In today’s work climate, it’s difficult to make yourself stand out from the crowd. Why should a potential employer pick you over the other, similar applicants for the job? One way of making yourself noticeable is to learn a new language. You may have heard this before, but just how does being bilingual help you in your career?
Getting the Edge Over Other Interviewees
To start with, it gives you that edge in an interview. Your future employer will have interviewed countless similar candidates before they get to you, but having a second language under your belt can make you stand out. With many job seekers going after a limited number of full-time jobs, any advantage you can give yourself will help.
Better Earning Power
Knowing a second language can lead to salary bonuses if you’re already employed. The Economist suggests that a bilingual employee can expect to earn about $600 more per year than a typical employee, which seems like a small sum. However, this can add up over time. By retirement, this could build up to around $67,000. Not bad going for one extra skill.
Opening Up New Job Prospects
The technology and gaming industries are currently able to offer some new and exciting opportunities to bilingual people. Would you like to be a game translator for Nintendo, or a TV subtitler for Cinematext Media USA? How about becoming a brand specialist for Google? Having a second (or third, or fourth) language under your belt really opens up job opportunities.
Living and Working Internationally
Having a second language can make your life a whole lot easier if you’re looking to work overseas. It’s much easier to communicate with your construction team in Dubai if you’ve been studying Arabic, or settle into your new home in Paris if you can speak French. If you want to work in a certain country, learning the language will go a long way in helping you achieve your goals.
Opening a Potential Market
If you can speak the language of another country, you can potentially expand your market there. Learning Spanish while living in the U.S. can be a huge advantage as it can open another potential market there. If your office is opening an office abroad, learning the language of that country can help you advance within the company. If you’re freelance, being able to speak another language can mean you can reach more potential clients all over the world. Having that second language gives you room to grow both as an employee and a business.
Improving Your Brain Function
Learning a second language has huge benefits for your brain. Studies have shown that it can ward off dementia, help improve decision making, and improve your memory and attention span. Having learned a second language, your brain can help shut out any unnecessary influences while you’re working, helping you become a more focused and valuable employee. Plus, who wouldn’t like to have those extra health benefits?
If you’re currently monolingual, it may feel like you’ve missed your chance as you didn’t learn another language as a child. However, you may still be in luck. Studies have found that an adult starting to learn a language can become just as proficient in that language as a child learning the same one.
Learning a second language isn’t automatically a skill that will land you a dream job. As with most things, your career will still be something you’ll have to work hard at. In a crowded job market, though, it’s worth considering since that language could open some new and interesting doors for you.
Do you think learning a new language would be worth it for your career? How many languages do you speak?