Being bilingual not only gives you bragging rights, but it also gives you the benefit of standing out in an increasingly competitive job market.
Considering this, Lea Aylett, Academic Director at The Language Gallery has advised on the five languages that employees find most valuable, boosting your career prospects and potentially increasing your paycheck in 2018.
The official language of China, Mandarin is already the most widely spoken language in the world. China has strict laws governing business and trade, so the language is a highly sought-after skill and is becoming increasingly useful for working in finance and economics in China, USA, Dubai and Japan. As China’s economy continues to boom, so will the demand for Mandarin speakers across the globe. It’s not as difficult as people think.
Germany makes up Europe’s largest economy and is the second largest importer of British goods, so there isn’t a better language choice for those entering the world of international trade and investment than German 1. Those aiming to break into the western world of work won’t find a much better edge in getting hired than adding German to their resume.
Arabic is the official language of many developing Middle Eastern and African countries and can be your entry point into their ever-expanding economies. With booming oil, construction and real estate industries, being able to speak Arabic could help provide you with the competitive edge many employers are looking for in these growing economies. Much like Mandarin Chinese, it is also one of the most challenging languages for English speakers to learn, which makes it especially impressive to employers.
Spanish is the official language in 20 countries 2 and is also commonly spoken in the United States, Andorra and Gibraltar. Getting a grasp of the language will give you a huge boost if you’re planning on pursuing a career in tourism, healthcare, banking or retail, and may just prove the tipping point in getting yourself hired.
The demand for Portuguese speakers has increased due to Brazil’s steadily developing economy, with a British Council Report 3 predicting its gross domestic product will overtake France and the UK by 2020. Although demand for Portuguese may not currently be at the same level of demand as Spanish, demand is certainly growing. In fact, having the ability to speak Portuguese may currently provide a greater benefit than Spanish, since there are fewer individuals in possession of this skill.
Speaking about the benefits of hiring bilingual employees, Stefania Burns, Customer Services Manager at Tombola said: “Having bilingual speakers in our company enables us to understand the culture of a certain market so we can ensure our brand is appropriately represented. Language diversity is fundamental to business expansion as it allows team members to learn about the emerging market and effectively communicate with the consumer from that market in a relatable way.”
Norris Koppel, Founder and CEO of Monese, also said: “As the CEO of a business that provides banking services to customers across 20 countries, hiring people that speak multiple languages is a huge benefit to our team. We operate in 8 languages with more to roll out, so having the insight of those who are bilingual or multilingual not only helps us to achieve our goals, but also to understand the nuances and cultures of each country and our customer.
“The Monese team itself is split across two countries - Estonia and UK - and our team come from all over the world. Being able to speak another language really does open new doors and opportunities to travel and work abroad, and our team is a true representation of this."
Commenting on the above, Lea Aylett, Academic Director at The Language Gallery, said: “We live in a globalized business environment and knowing a second language will differentiate you from the crowd when looking to progress your career.
“In our global economy, one of the most valuable skills an employee can possess is the ability to speak a second or multiple languages. Knowing one of the above languages will illustrate to an employer the value you bring as an employee and a person.”
For more information on how language can boost your professionalism visit: www.thelanguagegallery.com/blog/careers/english-for-work-how-language-affects-profession alism-tlg-blog