Learning a new language can open all manner of exciting personal and professional doors – maybe it will lead to a new job offer, a holiday in a far-flung destination or a way to leverage greater opportunities in your current role. It may even be a company-wide commitment that you can share with your colleagues – which brings the bonus of extra people to practice with and to motivate you when you are struggling.
In this article, we look at the benefits of learning a new language for you, your company and your longer-term career prospects.
Achieving a personal goal
There are plenty of great professional reasons to learn a language, but if you can connect your language learning commitment to a personal goal then it may become particularly meaningful. Imagine the wonderful feeling you could experience if you visit Munich with your newly developed German language skills and find yourself chatting to a new friend in fluent German, or you take a taxi in Rome and find that you and your driver can exchange thrilling tales in Italian!
You might also like to connect your language learning goals to a personal ambition, such as visiting a new country. Maybe you could even reward your progress with a ski trip to the Alps – to practice your language skills, of course! Incentivising yourself with personal stepped targets, challenges and rewards can help to keep you on track and motivated (and how popular will you be if the whole family get to enjoy your well-earned holiday as well!).
Developing your career
As much as learning a second language is a positive personal goal, the chances are that you will be embracing a new language because you see a professional advantage ahead. Imagine the possibilities… perhaps you fancy a stint working overseas, or maybe you hope to play a commanding role in your organisation’s global expansion? Whatever the professional challenge, a second language could make all the difference to your career.
You can also expect to discover greater professional fulfilment if you learn a new language. You may enjoy more opportunities to flex your interpersonal skills, which might become more nuanced as you work across both languages. It is also thought that multilingual people are more creative, so perhaps you will see the solution to a business dilemma that you might not have arrived at before you picked up your new language. A whole new world of exciting professional prospects awaits you!
Growing your business’s international opportunities
Everybody benefits when it becomes strategically advantageous for a business to invest in language learning in-house. If you are already keen to try out a second language, the company can help to fund and provide time for training and learning, and you have an extra reason to stay focused.
You may also be part of a language learning team, meaning you can operate functionally while using the language (for example, by holding meetings to practice the language in, or arranging conference calls that engage potential new clients in the chosen language). Immersing yourselves in the language should help you and your team focus on developing your skills.
Even if your organisation does not want to commit valuable business hours to language training, you could look at learning in your lunch break or joining a conversational language class after or before work – or, if your company remains unconvinced, you could suggest a more compelling solution that demonstrates the long-term strategic outcomes for in-house language learning. Who knows – your commitment to developing yourself might inspire your company to be more creative and invest in future training (at which point you might be ready to try a third language, which should hopefully come even more easily!).
Imagine the thrill of being the central liaison to your new office in Brazil, Spain, Germany, Mexico… the possibilities are endless in a globalised business world. Committing your energies to a new language could help to smooth global operations and make setting up new overseas offices a piece of cake. Your international colleagues might also welcome the opportunity to practice their English skills with you and your team, too.
If learning a new language is your goal, make this imagined world a reality in 2019. Whether you want to learn for your own benefit or you see opportunities for company-wide language learning, we can help you find the language learning solution that works for you. Contact Simon & Simon today to find out more about how you and your colleagues can benefit from learning a new language for personal and professional success.