There's a reason that many public schools teach Spanish or French as a second language - and it's not just to offer an interesting elective. It's because being bilingual gives people a huge leg-up in the job hunting process!
Being fluent in a different language says a lot of good things about your potential as a job candidate. It tells employers you're intelligent, open-minded, and willing to go beyond expectations.
This is true whether you learned a second language in school or if English is your second language in addition to your native tongue. Not to mention, the more languages you're fluent in, the more you can reap the benefits of being bilingual.
Even if you "only" know two languages, you're already in a great position to get hired when you start looking for a job. Here are 8 reasons why such knowledge is so valuable to employers.
1. You're a More Desired Applicant
Have you ever heard of someone getting job offers from companies even when they're not actively searching for a new position?
This happens to people who are very skilled at what they do. They're known for producing good work, and they have unique skills that employers need, and thus companies are willing to go out of their way to bring them on board.
Knowledge of another language is one of those highly desired skills.
This can be what helps you get the attention of recruiters and job posters even when you're not interested in switching jobs. It's what helps you get ahead when you're looking to move up in your industry and prove yourself as a valuable employee. It also makes you a more desired applicant when you're just applying to entry-level jobs!
2. Your Career Opportunities Expand
No matter what career you want to pursue, your opportunities in that field significantly expand when you add being bilingual to your resume.
Even if you don't meet every single qualification for a certain job posting, your knowledge of another language can help get your foot in the door. It's an interesting piece of information that most employers will be curious about. They'll want to get to know you a little more and let the hiring process go from there.
3. Travel Opportunities May Be in Your Future
Another reason it's worth learning a second language is to travel more. If you want to be the employee who's chosen to go on that overseas trip to visit a client or close new accounts, you have a better chance of doing so if you can speak the local lingo.
This does a lot more for you than give you a fun vacation. The opportunity to go on work trips with other employees allows you to strengthen the ties you have with your team. It also gives you the chance to create new professional connections with people all over the world, and you never know when those will come in handy!
4. Working Abroad Becomes a Possibility
Here's an interesting thought: maybe you learning a new language is your first step in making a complete life change. Maybe this is what you need in order to finally move to Spain, Germany, or Japan.
Being fluent in a foreign language makes it much easier to get a job in that country. It helps you build your professional network, get your foot in the door, and hit the ground running once you do get hired. Not to mention, your knowledge of English or an additional language will be beneficial to your new, foreign employer.
5. You Have Leverage to Negotiate Higher Pay
Whether you end up working somewhere on the other side of the globe or you stay in your local area, being bilingual may mean you get paid more!
Don't be afraid to bring this up during the hiring process. It's not a subject to start negotiating right away, but it's worth mentioning. Your new employer may even take it upon themselves to give your starting salary a bit of a boost because they recognize the value of this skill.
6. You're Able to Make Unique Connections with Coworkers and Clients
The more you use your ability to speak another language, the more benefits you'll be able to enjoy from it. This applies in the workplace and in your personal life.
More so, it helps to mix the two.
One of the clients you meet overseas for a work trip could end up becoming a great friend because of your ability to connect with them. You may hit it off with a coworker who speaks the same foreign language as you and enjoys practicing the language with you.
Plus, your knowledge of the language and its culture could expand as these relationships strengthen. If you're interested in improving your fluency on your own time, you can read more on how to do so!
7. You're More Creative
This is one of the coolest advantages of being bilingual. Learning another language makes you see things differently. It challenges a lot of the rules you know about grammar and conversation.
This opens your mind in a way that other things just can't. You become significantly more creative when you think about everything from what to say to ease a conflict at work to what to eat for dinner. As your knowledge of a new language deepens, so does your natural ability to think differently and come up with creative solutions.
8. You Have a Better Knack for Problem-Solving
It may sound like nonsense that learning a new language makes you more creative. But, it's been proven that people who are bilingual have a better ability to deal with conflict and solve problems.
Smart hiring managers are well aware of this. They want team members who know how to think outside the box and bring a fresh perspective to the table, and they know they have a better chance of finding such an employee if a candidate is bilingual.
Discover the Benefits of Being Bilingual for Yourself!
You can read about the benefits of being bilingual all day long. But, it's not until you actually put in the work to learn another language that you'll understand just how much of an advantage it is.
This opens more doors than you can even imagine - both in your career and your personal life. For more tips to help you get ahead in your career, click here.