Taking the time to invest in yourself is one of the best things you can do in life. To stay fit and healthy, you invest in physical activity and exercise regularly. To advance their careers, most seasoned professionals invest in additional training and conferences. But there is another way to develop the key skills needed to take it to the next level.
Speaking multiple languages has been proven to increase your income, broaden your job prospects, and enhance your leadership abilities, and as a professional investing in your language skills can do much more than that: increase your self-confidence.
Increase your confidence
In the professional world, a deep knowledge and understanding of your industry is fundamental, but without self-confidence it does not take you to the top echelon. Being self-confident and able to communicate effectively and confidently with colleagues, senior management and key stakeholders are two essential qualities for anyone who wants to make a good impression and grow.
Learning a widely spoken language, such as English, as a second language allows you to communicate better with your international customers and partners. With English in your pocket, you will instantly expand your conversation and career development opportunities; The EF EPI annual English skills index also found that workers with English skills were more often promoted.
Each successful interaction will continue to build your confidence in yourself and your professional abilities, making it easier for you to outdo yourself when it comes to attending conferences, facilitating presentations and undertaking negotiations with international partners or clients.
Fluency in the language can be particularly advantageous in negotiations; Speaking in the mother tongue of a speaker helps break the ice. Not only is this a mark of politeness and respect, but it will also help you avoid misunderstandings or translation errors, so you can avoid any thorny problems down the road.
Improve the way you think and communicate
When you learn a language as an adult, you learn to view communication differently and develop new, alternative methods of problem solving – qualities valued by employers looking to fill leadership positions.
Researchers even believe that bilingualism can improve your cognitive abilities, make you smarter and slow down age-related cognitive decline; therefore, investment pays off in multiple ways.
When you are abroad or in the company of international partners, a good understanding of the language in which you are communicating prepares you for every question posed to you and allows you to fully participate in larger discussions.
You will be ready to react swiftly and intelligently, avoiding long pauses or hesitation, thus appearing to be someone educated, professional, with all the qualities necessary to become a valued member of any team.
Open career prospects
In many cases, professionals seek to improve their language skills in order to realize their ambition to settle and work abroad. To get promoted in New York, it’s best to make sure you have excellent English skills and it’s no secret that mentioning multiple languages on your CV will make you more employable.
But language learning is not just about looking for a future job abroad – it is also a very useful asset in your current career. Coming to the negotiating table fluent in multiple languages can help you move from a junior or middle management position to a managerial position.
Countries like England and the United States, which give less importance to foreign languages in the formal education system, now face a language deficit, since, for the best performing positions, more and more multilingual workers abroad are better able to do business and compete with uni-lingual employees.
Many people are starting to invest more in language education at school level. But already active professionals would also benefit from investing in their language skills – and learning a language later in life is not necessarily difficult.
One of the fastest ways to accurately learn a language and achieve a high level of proficiency is to enroll in a tailor-made language learning program. With tailor-made courses and experienced educators, you’ll have all the tools you need to acquire strong long-term language skills and thus continue to boost your career as you grow.