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Benefits of Being Bilingual in Today’s Job Market

The ability to communicate clearly and effectively is invaluable in the workplace. This skill becomes even more important if your position requires you to interact with people who are from a different part of the world. In these instances, knowing how to speak multiple languages can be an asset to yourself and your employer. 

If you are currently between jobs, learning a second or third language may help increase your competitiveness in the job market. Whether you are interested in learning an industry-specific language or you live in a city where various languages are spoken, employers usually see bilingual applicants as an asset to their companies. Below are some of the potential benefits you can highlight in your resume or cover letter if you know a second language and are looking for work.  

Understanding Other Cultures

Many companies and organizations today are based in different parts of the world. As a result, employees, supervisors and customers come from many different countries. For people who are not familiar with different languages and cultures, this can be challenging. However, this is generally less of a problem for bilingual workers who are familiar with a certain country’s language and culture.  

When you study a second language, you usually learn about the language’s native speakers. Words are powerful, and you can learn a great deal about people by listening to how they speak. This information can help you when you do business with someone who speaks a language that is different from the one you grew up speaking. Employers also recognize this ability and know it is valuable for their companies. 

Diverse Communication Skills

If you want to work with people, you need to know how to communicate. This is especially true if you want to work in the education, technology or hospitality fields. However, even if you want to work by yourself as a freelancer or computer programmer, you still need to know how to be an effective communicator. This is because you will need to interact with supervisors and coworkers regardless of your position. 

If you are multilingual, you know how to communicate effectively in two or more languages. This allows you to express your thoughts and feelings in different ways. It also helps you to better understand and relate to people on your team. Furthermore, as a bilingual worker, you probably have the following skills, which you can highlight to future employers: 

  • Oral communication abilities 
  • Strong listening skills and the ability to remember conversations you had with someone
  • Reading comprehension and retention capacities 
  • The ability to write clearly and concisely in more than one language 

Translation and Interpretation Assistance 

If you work for a company that has international clients, bilingual workers are especially valuable. If you are the only person on your team who speaks that language, future employers may need you to use this skill to help with translation and interpretation tasks around the office. 

For example, your next boss may need you to help a customer if your supervisor does not speak the client’s language. Supervisors may also ask you to translate emails or marketing memos so more customers can understand them. The more languages you speak, the more helpful you can be with connecting your company’s product or services to a wider audience. 

Demonstrated Commitment and Consistency

Learning a language is no simple task. Even if you study abroad, it takes several months or years to learn how to speak a language fluently. If you are already bilingual, this shows future employers that you can commit to a task and complete it. It also demonstrates that you are a consistent student. Since you have proven that you can commit to work, hiring managers may be more likely to trust you as a future employee. 

Best Languages to Learn in 2019

There are thousands of spoken languages in the world today. With so many options to choose from, you may be overwhelmed when determining which language you want to study. Depending on the industry you want to work in, certain languages may be more useful than others. Some of the most popular languages you can learn for different industries are listed below: 

  • Mandarin – Mandarin Chinese is the most spoken language in the world. If you want to work for an international business organization, knowing Mandarin can be an asset. 
  • SpanishIf you live and work in the United States, you may need to speak Spanish at some point. If you want to work for a company based in Florida, Texas, California or Latin America, this language is especially useful. 
  • RussianRussian is an important language to learn if you want to work for the government or with a technology company. Furthermore, if you are applying for employment with a company that has offices or clients in Europe, knowing Russian is a major asset. 
  • ArabicThere are many different Arabic dialects that are present throughout Africa and the Middle East. If you learn Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), you can begin to communicate with individuals from countries such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. 

 

 

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