Interested in learning a foreign language? You’re not alone. Many of us dream of broadening our horizons with multilingual skills. However, most of us abandon foreign language learning once we leave high school or further education.
In an age of globalization and increasingly sophisticated translation apps, it’s easy to forget how useful bilingualism is. Not only does foreign language fluency make travel more rewarding, but it can also bring significant career benefits.
Multilingual professionals stand to earn higher salaries than their monolingual counterparts. Furthermore, there’s increased potential for career advancement if you can communicate in something other than English.
If you’re itching to take your career to the next level, there’s never been a better time to dust off your foundation-level French or rudimentary German skills. Looking for more of a challenge? Why not explore online Korean classes or master Mandarin remotely. Need more convincing? Read on for more reasons why language learning can be the right next step for your career.
Open the Door to More Opportunities
If you only speak one language, you limit yourself to significantly fewer roles and career advancement prospects. Even a conversational grasp of a second language will give you the edge over colleagues who can only speak their mother tongue. Don’t assume multilingualism is reserved for high-level positions.
Entry-level positions in the retail, hospitality and tourism sectors depend on multilingual employees. If you’re in the market for a new role and are eyeing up vacancies with global enterprises, there’s a good chance they’re actively looking for bilingual candidates.
If you’re searching for high-skilled appointments with more generous salaries, interpreting and translating is the way to go. In the United States, the average salary for a translator is $83,100 annually. However, those at the top of their game can expect to pocket upwards of $130,000 per year.
Increase Your Odds of Landing an Interview
Have you been struggling to get your foot in the door? Demonstrating language skills on your resume is a great way of getting noticed by hiring managers. Even if a job description doesn’t call for foreign languages, being able to speak at least one additional language fluently will be seen as a desirable skill.
If you’ve been shortlisted for an interview and are up against a handful of other candidates, your fluency in French might be the thing to land you a job offer.
Negotiate a Better Salary
Bilingual employees typically take home more money than their monolingual colleagues. If you’re looking for a new position, starting salaries tend to be around 10-15% higher than a standard role. However, a recent study found that multilingual candidates can secure salary premiums of as much as 20%.
Should you be shortlisted for an interview, don’t be afraid to use your language skills as leverage. Bilingualism isn’t a skill to be scoffed at. Use this as ammunition to negotiate a higher salary if you feel the initial offer is too modest.
If you’ve gone out of your way to learning a language outside of the workplace, you’re demonstrating initiative and a willingness to learn. This showcases additional skills that potential employers will value in a new hire.
The World is Your Oyster
Unless you’re content with spending years in an entry-level position, any role you chase should offer career advancement opportunities. A foreign language opens you up to a world of possibilities. If your employer is active in other territories, you have the option of relocating elsewhere in the world.
Even if your employer is limited to one country, there’s always a chance that international expansion is on the cards. Should an overseas operation commence, you’ll be first in line for advancement opportunities.
It’s worth remembering that you don’t need to be completely fluent to benefit here. Simply being proficient with a foreign language is still incredibly valuable.
In many cases, you’ll only need to be fluent enough to manage day-to-day operations. Business administration and advanced correspondence will almost certainly be taken care of by an experienced translator.
Start Your Language Learning Journey Today
If you’ve ever felt like your career options are limited, it’s time to add some language skills to your repertoire. Regardless of your field, foreign language skills will make it easier to advance to more senior roles and secure higher pay rates.
Furthermore, you can look forward to increased job security. You also free yourself up from geographic limitations. If you’re finding it impossible to find suitable roles in your corner of the world, you can look to different countries or continents to find something that fits. You don’t even have to physically relocate to take advantage of foreign job markets.
As remote working becomes the norm for many sectors, multilingual skills and a reliable broadband connection are all you need to secure your next dream appointment.