Three Reasons Why You Should Be Bilingual in the Workplace

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Being bilingual opens plenty of doors in life. Even if you know a second language at a basic level, you’ll find that it comes in handy and makes your life better in so many ways. When you’re away on holiday you’ll be able to speak to the locals, find your way around, and understand what’s happening around you. Back at home, you might be able to order food at your favourite ethnic restaurant, strike up a conversation with a foreigner, or help a visiting tourist with your foreign language skills.

But there’s more to knowing a second language than just the feel-good benefits. In the workplace, for example, being bilingual is incredibly valuable. Check out just three of the reasons you may want to learn a second language and stat.

1) You’ll stand out from the crowd.

No matter what field you’re in, chances are pretty good that things are competitive. You may have people within your own organization vying for your job, and if not, there are plenty of outsiders who would love to be in your position. By speaking a second language, you’re demonstrating to your boss that you’re a step above the rest. It’s a unique and valuable trait that has real-world applications and shows that you’ve worked a little–or a lot!–harder than the rest to make yourself even more valuable in the workplace.

2) You’ll look smart.

Being bilingual can really grab your coworkers’ and managers’ attention. It says, “I’m not afraid of a challenge,” and proves that you’re willing to put plenty of hard work into an important endeavour. It shows that you keep your brain sharp by challenging yourself to stay fluent and on top of your language game. Even better, by enrolling in classes you demonstrate a commitment to continued learning, and that’s something any manager will take notice of and respect.

3) You’ll be more appealing to prospective employers.

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These days we don’t settle into one job and plan on spending a lifetime working in the same building. Today’s workers move about from job to job, company to company, at least several times in their career. That means you probably have your eyes open for new position openings all the time and have your resume ready to go if a not-to-be-missed opportunity arises.

Being bilingual is a highlight on many resumes for a number of reasons. In addition to the benefits listed above, speaking a second language means you can talk to a whole other division of customers, employees, or other stakeholders. You may be able to translate important business documents or take incoming calls from those who speak the other language. Hiring directors see speaking a second language as an attractive skill that enough applicants just don’t possess.

Being bilingual is a gift that is rewarding on so many levels both personally and professionally. If you’ve studied a foreign language and wonder how your skills stack up, why not check out one of our free language level tests? (We have lots of languages, from Mandarin Chinese to Spanish to Norwegian, and lots more!) And if you’re ready to take your skills to the next level or start the exciting journey of learning a second language, visit our enquiry centre. If you have a workplace success story using your language skills, tell us about it in the comments section below!