About 92% of European kids study a second language while in school. Their American counterparts lag far behind. Only about 20% of U.S. kids study a second language in school.
Are you looking for an edge in the job market? Learning a second language is a great way to round out your resume.
There are many career benefits to learning a second language. We’ll share 9 of them with you here.
1. Global Companies
Do you love to travel? Many companies are now servicing the global economy with offices throughout the world. Global companies need reliable employees willing to travel and immerse themselves in other cultures.
Marketing, tourism, public relations, and government are all industries rife with opportunities for bilingual individuals.
Speaking a second language gets you to the head of the line when it comes to lucrative posts in other countries. And speaking of lucrative posts…
2. Higher Salaries
Employees that speak another language make anywhere from 5-20% more than their mono-language counterparts. Across an entire career, that adds up to a lot more money in your 401K!
You’ll also open up job opportunities not available to those who only speak one language.
3. Relationship Building
As companies reach across borders, relationship building is crucial. People who know more than one language also have an understanding of other cultures.
Managers need people who can guide others through new and different places while avoiding embarrassing cultural faux pas.
You’re a value add to your employer when you not only know a second language but also understand another culture. Part of learning a second language is learning about subtle cultural cues.
4. Enhance Creativity
Research suggests that learning a second language improves problem-solving abilities and enhances creativity. Thinking outside the box is a valuable business skill.
5. Confidence Booster
Chances are if you’ve learned a second language you’ve made some embarrassing public mistakes. While it’s hard while you’re in the moment, once you’re fluent, you’ll have a huge sense of accomplishment.
That boost of accomplishment is a confidence builder. And self-confident people are more successful.
6. Enhance Your Decision-Making Skills
When working in our native tongue, decisions are often made through a filter of emotional bias. When making decisions in a second language, the emotional filter isn’t as prevalent.
Decisions made in a second language are more rational and systematic. Rational decision-makers are sought out in the business world.
7. Gain New Perspectives
Learning a second language and culture gives you new and wider perspectives. You’ll see the world through the eyes of people in different parts of the world. This gives you a better understanding of other people’s problems.
One of the main ways a business makes money is through solving problems for others. Seeing problems from others’ perspective gives you an edge.
8. Cognitive Edge
Learning a second language enhances neural networks and sharpens your mind. A second language makes your brain more flexible and elastic.
Although more research is needed, it’s thought that a second language helps stave off cognitive decline. If you’re predisposed to Alzheimer’s, learning a second language may delay onset of the disease.
Anything that keeps your brain sharp is a plus in the business world.
9. Become a World Traveler
Not everyone loves traveling on the job. But if travel is what you want, a second language is a step in the right direction. Look for global companies that have offices in countries where people speak your second language.
Companies often send employees to different countries even if they’re not fluent in the new language yet. That’s the perfect opportunity for immersing yourself and becoming fluent. Once you’re fluent, you’ll have even more career opportunities.
What Language Should You Study?
If your native language is English, there are five other languages you should consider:
These are the major international languages. Knowing one of them in addition to English offers a huge boost to your resume.
Did you know that 23% of the population of the U.S. speaks Spanish? Across Spanish-speaking countries, almost 445 million people speak Spanish!
Worldwide there are 300 million people who speak French, making it the 5th most spoken language in the world.
How Should I Study a Second Language?
The internet offers an easy way to study a new language. You can learn French online. Other language courses are online as well.
Most people don’t have the time or money to travel to another country for an immersion course. Learning a language online makes it easy and cost-effective.
Once you start your online study, seek out someone near you who speaks the language. Lots of practice is essential when learning a second language.
Career Benefits of a Second Language
There are so many benefits to learning a second language. But career benefits are at the top of the list.
Many companies are now global and they need employees who speak more than one language. If you’re bilingual, your resume stands out to potential employers. And once you’re hired, your salary could be higher.
Boost your confidence and enhance your creativity for out-of-the-box thinking that earns you recognition. People who know more than one language are also better decision-makers.
Employers look for well-rounded individuals who are good at relationship building and can see things from different perspectives. Knowing a second language helps in all these areas.
Employers value people who can travel to different parts of the world and get along well. Do you want to travel the world? Why not get paid at the same time?
Learn a second language and open up your job opportunities.
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