Parlez-vous français? Sprechen Sie Deutsch? ¿Hablas espagñol? If the answer to any of those is yes, then you already know what we’re talking about. If not, then maybe it’s time to think about learning a new language. Not only will you get the benefit on your next holiday, but it can go a long way towards boosting your future career prospects. Here’s how:
International companies need your language skills
If your company has an international reach, then they’ll value employees with international communication skills. Every day, more companies are spreading out across the world, working with clients overseas, and appealing to foreign audiences, so you’ll be at an advantage if you can offer more than one language. You’ll be more employable in the first instance, but more than that, once you’ve found your perfect role, you’re likely to find more opportunities for development within the company, if you can speak other languages and work in international branches.
You’re opening up new countries and possibilities
If you can speak another country’s language, you open up new doors for yourself. If you’re not a home bird and you want to explore new opportunities, then learning another language gives you the opportunity to explore your job prospects in other countries. The more languages you know, the further you can throw out your net in the search for your perfect role.
You’ll build confidence
Finding your way in another language can be intimidating at first. The stumbles; the mispronunciations; the potential to say the wrong words by accident. Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, though, and as you build up fluency, you’ll realise that you’ve overcome an enormous hurdle. In the end, that’ll make you more confident at speaking out both at home and abroad, making you a better candidate for your dream job.
You’ll improve your English skills
This one sounds counter-intuitive, but the more you learn a second language, the better you’ll be at your first. As you embark on a second language, you’ll have to study a lot of grammar rules and sentence structure, and while that might not sound particularly exciting, it’s phenomenally useful for your communication skills at home. The more you pay attention to the rules of French or Spanish or Mandarin, the more conscious you’ll be of the rules that make up English, making you a better writer and communicator.
You’ll be better at multi-tasking
There’s a lot of research to suggest that if you learn more than one language, it improves your multi-tasking skills. It makes sense that as you listen to other languages and translate them as you listen, you become more adept at switching between tasks. At Penn State University, test subjects with multiple languages were asked to use a driving simulator, whilst also being distracted by other tasks. In the end, the study found that they were far less likely to make mistakes than single-language test subjects. So, if you learn another language, there’s good evidence that you’ll be more capable of keeping your eye on the ball on a busy day at work.