Learning a new language has many perks, one of which is having the ease and comfort of communicating with others when you’re traveling or moving to a new place. It’s also a fun way to meet and make new friends with other people.
However, the most practical aspect of being bilingual, or even a polyglot, is that it can definitely help in your career. Fluency and knowledge in more than a single language is a desirable hard skill that many industries value.
Careers Where Foreign Language Skills Are Desirable
It’s not only translators and interpreters who need foreign language skills—any company or job role where the language may be used could do well with someone like you who is fluent or at least has a working knowledge of a foreign language.
Here are some of the many types of jobs where being multilingual is marketable:
- Social workers
- Restaurant or hotel workers
- Healthcare professionals
- Flight attendants
- Tour guides
- Customer service representatives
- Communications/public relations specialists
- English as a second language (ESL) teachers/tutors
4 Reasons Foreign Language Skills Are Valuable to Your Career
While certainly, foreign language skills boost your résumé, what makes you more desirable to recruiters are the soft skills that you bring to the table. People who are fluent in more than one or two languages gain certain related skills that are valuable to one’s career:
1. Enhances decision-making skills
Research shows that individuals who speak a foreign language have reduced decision-making biases and better skills in solving complex problems, subsequently making them better decision-makers. This comes from being familiar with the culture associated with the foreign tongue and the cognitive development that comes with learning a new language.
2. Boosts opportunities and relationship-building skills
Building rapport and cultivating relationships are more crucial in certain industries, especially in sales and marketing. Being bilingual or multilingual helps you in communicating and empathizing better with different cultural groups, and thus contributing to better and stronger interactions. Having extensive foreign language skills also offers you wider access to people and resources, including more opportunities for business partnerships and collaboration.
3. Provides unique insights into different cultures
Another study also reported that bilinguals literally and figuratively see the world in a different way. In one aspect, color perception seems to become more enhanced in bilingual people than those who know only one language. In another aspect, the study revealed that by learning a foreign language, you also unconsciously immerse yourself in the culture of the new tongue and thus widening your overall perception of the world. In the business setting, foreign language skills provide you with a unique insight into the people you are dealing with and consequently improving the relationship.
4. Becomes more cognitively efficient
Naturally, multilingual people frequently switch from one frame of mind to another in the course of a day with ease. As such, you become more efficient in multitasking, which can be beneficial in the business setting. Such skill also boosts your mental endurance, collaborating with the earlier point that multilingual people have enhanced decision-making skills.
Ready to Learn a New Language?
Language learning brings a slew of benefits both to one’s personal and professional life. If you’re interested in learning a new language without the rigidity of formal classes, language meetups such as that of Language Garden might just be the thing you need to get started.
The Language Garden community meets several times a month, offering language learning meetup opportunities and other helpful resources. Check our event schedules here: https://www.meetup.com/languagegarden/