Globalization, Internationalization, Inter-cultural relations: foreign language skills have never been so important. Companies are looking more closely at the language skills among their workforce. English is the de-facto language of business, of course. Anyone who wants to score more can, for example, learn Spanish, French, Arabic or Chinese. If time permits, you should think about learning a foreign language – not just when you are working abroad. The willingness to learn a foreign language is seen positively and shows that you willing to go beyond your call of duty.
Which languages are in demand?
Since English enjoys the reputation of being a ‘world language’, it is often assumed that this is the ultimate. However, the fact is that English skills are an excellent foundation for International career paths, are assumed to be self-evident. But, English skills alone do not provide for better earnings opportunities. Whoever wants to earn better salaries and career chances should focus on other European and Asian languages. Foreign languages that are currently in demand are:
- Mandarin (Chinese)
Ultimately, it is always important to which countries your company wants to maintain or develop professional contacts. If you already have an exotic foreign language, it is helpful to search specifically for companies for whom this knowledge is valuable.
Stays abroad for career success
Whoever has the opportunity should develop foreign linguistic skills. Language courses are not only relatively inexpensive, but can also be integrated well into everyday life. Some companies also offer the possibility to learn a new tonuge during office hours.
Even better and more profitable is when you can pick up a foreign language during your stay abroad. This approach brings a decisive advantage: you not only learn a new language but also internalize cultural aspects, such as politeness, rules of conduct, non-verbal communication and interpersonal behavior. Those who can demonstrate these and similar inter-cultural competences for specific cultural circles have very good chances on the labor market and are in great demand. You should consider the cultural understanding and fluency to make valuable business contacts. In general, you should not learn a foreign language out of context. Anyone who memorizes vocabulary is not automatically a communication expert in that language. It will only be an enabler when you apply it in context and in real conversation.
Importance of linguistic skills
Not only do Diplomats and employees in International sales roles require foreign-language skills, but some industries do too. The following industries particularly value multi-lingual employees:
- Mechanical engineering
- Plant construction
- Information technology
You could apply your linguistic competencies in a variety of ways. They range from direct customer contact to specialist articles to classic usage instructions. Even when creating a multilingual company homepage, corresponding knowledge of foreign languages is clearly an advantage.