5 ways learning a second language can benefit your career
Almost everyone wants to learn another language, but not that many actually commit to this self-improvement project. This usually comes down to a lack of motivation. It takes quite a bit of time and effort to become proficient in a language and even more time and effort to become fully fluent. Without a concrete motivating reason, many people don't even start in the first place, or become discouraged and give up. But there are many benefits to learning another language, including ones that will very positively impact your career.
1. A second language looks impressive on a resumé.
The most obvious reason to learn a second language is to brag about it. And it is pretty impressive. (There's a reason some people lie about it on their resumé, after all.) It doesn't really matter what kind of job you're applying to, pretty much everyone will give you a second look. Taking the time to learn a second language shows incredible discipline and dedication. It's a decent boost to your resumé, even if you don't really need it for your chosen career path.
2. Knowing more languages significantly increases your job opportunities.
Ever wanted to live in another country? Knowing another language can help open those doors. Rather than being limited to English-speaking countries, you could be able to live and work almost anywhere. For this option, you might want to pick a language that is widely spoken. The first most spoken language in the world is Chinese. Spanish is second and English is third.
3. You can increase your contacts and build more relationships with a second language.
But maybe you don't need new job prospects. Learning another language can probably help you in the job you already have. If you work in business, learning the language most of your clients speak can go a long way to build trust and create long-lasting relationships. The same situation can arise if you're a doctor or nurse. Knowing another language can help even if you're law enforcement. The possibilities are pretty endless.
4. Learning another language improves your memory and decision-making.
Let's say you don't need a new language for any practical reason. Taking the time to study one can still help you immensely. Studies show that there are many, many benefits to becoming bilingual. The ones most applicable in the workplace are improvements to your memory and decision-making. People who know more than one language have to know a lot more vocabulary than monolingual people. Because of this, it's often easier for bilingual people to retain information like phone numbers or grocery lists. When speaking in any language, you have to be careful of what vocabulary you are using when. This kind of decision-making can make you more conscientious on the job.
5. Ultimately, the practice of studying a language can ultimately improve your English.
Studying a foreign language brings your focus to the mechanics of the language, including grammar, conjugations and sentence structure. Being aware of how another language works can also lead to you become more and more aware of how English functions. You'll be more comfortable with the ways it can be structured and how it can be manipulated. These skills can make you a more effective communicator. That's a skill you need in pretty much any career path.