There is no doubt that the global economy has taken a downturn of the like that has not been seen for many years, with entire countries on the verge of economic collapse and even the strongest countries heading inexorably into recession. These times are the most uncertain for business and employment alike as trade and jobs hang in the balance. Companies will go under, small businesses will go bankrupt and many people will lose their jobs–this is often unavoidable and is a sour outcome of the economic crash. There are, however, ways in which individuals and businesses can give themselves an added boost against the competition to ensure their business, or their job, is less likely to be found on the executioners block. One of these ways, which is available to everyone, is to learn a foreign language. It doesn’t matter how rich, smart or busy you are, everybody can learn a foreign language, and doing so gives your business and employment prospects a boost like you wouldn’t believe.
Today’s world is a global environment, no country or economy is an island–If nothing else, the current economic crisis has shown us how true this is: If one country falls, they all fall. This is partly due to the fact that the majority of economy today is created through trade and a large portion of that trade is international: Venezuela sells oil to America, America exports goods to Russia, and China sells everything to everyone. International trade is the way of business today and most certainly the way of business in the future, and yet many companies continue to trade in solely domestic circles. If you are a business owner, there is one way to make your economic trade with foreign countries a reality and cement relationships with your foreign counterparts: Learn their language. Maybe they can speak English already so you feel there is no need to learn a new language, but what if your company is one choice of a possible 5 similar companies all vying for the same contract? What could tip their favour in your direction? I bet taking the time and effort to learn their language would do it. Apart from making communications infinitely easier between you and all of their staff, it would show your prospective clients your intentions for the deal. They could see that you put time and effort into learning their language so they would know you would put time and effort into the partnership. Your business could only improve from doing such a simple thing as learning a new language.
What about if you are an employee? You must be thinking, how can learning a language help me? Well I am glad you at least asked, because it can…immensely. If you have been following the above, i hope you can see the importance of business owners learning the language of their clients. This does not, however, stop with the business owners, especially in big companies. Very few of the CEOs of big companies do the day to day dealings with everyday clients–they have managers and sales teams to deal with that. Becoming an international sales executive usually depends on one thing: What languages can you speak? If you speak the same language as a client of the company, you are more likely to be moved to international sales and more likely to be promoted. If a company has international clients it will be searching for employees who can speak the native language of their clients to keep the business strong and secure against economical difficulty. If you are bilingual, you will be among the last names to be placed on any forced retirement list, you will be in demand for many years to come. Most native English speaking countries are notoriously bad at learning second languages, so at the moment the advantages of doing so are enormous.
Even if you are in a company that does not have so many international clients, the chances are good that you have some non-native speaking employees at the same company as you. Again, if you are able to speak reliably to the staff in their own tongue, you are less likely to find yourself relieved of duty than the guy who thinks speaking English slowly is as effective as speaking a foreign language.
Overall, there are never any downsides to learning a second language. There are intellectual and personal advantages that I won’t go into here, but as far as business and employment goes, learning a second language, especially a strategically chosen foreign language, can mean the difference between success and failure, employment or the job office.
A second language is not particularly difficult to learn either: There are many great products that can help you learn quickly with only 30 minutes per day of study, and there are even free products that can help you learn if money is a problem. Basically nobody should have an excuse as to why they do not learn a foreign language and with the enormous benefits associated with it, learning a second language is the smartest thing anyone can do.
Learn a second language and improve your life.