• Expand Your Career Opportunities With Foreign Language Skills

    It is no secret that unemployment is high, and there is great competition in finding a job or furthering your career. The importance of having a solid skill set is immense. If you are seeking a job, you have a lot of company in your quest, and therefore must find a way to stand out above other applicants. An invaluable skill that will set you a step ahead of the rest in the job market today is foreign language fluency. While learning a foreign language is no small task, the reward potential is quite high. There is increasing demand for bi-lingual employees in a vast array of industries. In the US, our standard education does not include learning a foreign language, so learning a foreign language is a great way to set yourself apart from the average job seeker.

    Investigate emerging markets within your profession. If you already have a skillset or career path in a certain industry or field, do research on the direction that your industry is heading. If you can get ahead of the industry and begin learning a language that will be important in the future, you may be able to get a leg up on other job seekers and position yourself to advance your career. See if the next logical expansion of your industry is into Asian markets, the Middle East, perhaps Latin America. If you are not already committed to a specific industry or career path, think about where you would like to live or travel in the future, or the culture that appeals most to you.

    Next, explore the most widely spoken languages in the region that you would like to work. Learning a common language in an area is ideal, as many business transactions will take place in a widely spoken language. For example, while Indians may speak a wide variety of regional dialects as a first language, Hindi is a common language that would allow more diversity in communication. If you do have specific goals in mind, however, you may find that there is a need for a less widely spoken language, as there will be fewer people with this skill.

    Perhaps you already have an employer that you see yourself staying with long term; look into potential opportunities within your company by seeing where the industry is going, if there are current or future plans for international interactions. If international travel is a real possibility within your current employer, you may choose to study the language that would position you to become a part of the international team in your company. Make sure that one company relationship is not the only reason you decide to learn this language, as the opportunities may be limited or the company may change direction. If you are not in control of these factors, you need to protect yourself with a secondary plan to make use of this language skill. Does it appear that other corporations within your same industry are engaged in similar international markets? Is the particular region that you are looking to learn a native language a diverse economic area? Checking out these factors will give you a better sense of whether there are other potential opportunities to use this language skill if the situation with your current employer were to change. Also, if there are other opportunities to use your foreign language skills, you will have more leverage in negotiations for promotions or a salary increase with your employer.

    To become fluent in a foreign language is a top method to increase your career opportunities. Including a foreign language fluency on your resume will instantly increase demand for your employment. This skillset can pay off greatly in opening new job opportunities, career paths including international travel or placement, and a higher earning potential.

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