5 Reasons Why Being Bilingual Will Help You in Your Career

In today’s competitive job market it is essential to have skills that set you apart from the crowd. While we may all write ‘team-player’ and ‘go-getter’ on our CVs, it takes more than that to really catch the eye of a potential employer. One of the biggest skills you can add to your CV is that of bilingualism, particularly considering the global village our world has become. Multinationals and local companies alike are looking for individuals who can bring more to the table and here are 5 ways being bilingual can help boost your career.

1. Unlock Better Potential for New Jobs

Even if knowing a second language is not an essential requirement for a particular role, having bilingual potential can give your CV a big boost. This is especially true for customer facing roles or companies with a wide international presence. A few key phrases, such as local greetings or other basic cultural niceties, can present a warm and diverse brand image that creates customer trust and loyalty – a fact that hasn’t gone unnoticed by many multinational companies that now seek more bilingual candidates. Of course many roles, such as translators or roles that require international relocation, consider bilingualism a necessary skill to have so speaking a second language can also help to open a wider pool of potential jobs.

2. Earn More Money

Because bilingualism is a relatively rare skill to have, it is valued above others by many companies that require it. Given the fewer number of potential candidates per job, companies tend to value these employees more and are therefore willing to pay more to have and keep them on board. Research shows that companies requiring bilingual candidates to fill their roles are willing to pay up to 5 to 20% more than companies offering similar roles without a language constraint. Further studies also show that bilingual candidates manage to earn 2% more than their peers over the course of their career – this could amount to over $50,000 by the time they retire.

3. Enhance Other Skills and Career Personality

Knowing a second language can help you in more ways than just communicating. Studies show that individuals who speak more than one language have a better grasp on problem-solving, multitasking and making decisions. Because different languages have different rules of grammar and vocabulary, constantly deciding how to present your next sentence instills a natural decision-making and problem-solving skill into the speaker. Speaking multiple languages also encourages memory use and allows you to enhance your retention rate. These skills are transferable to other areas in your professional career, not just speaking a second language – a fact that recruiters and employers alike are aware of.

4. Manage to Take On Secondary Career or CV Enhancing Opportunities

Another significant way being bilingual can help your career is by allowing you to take on volunteer roles or secondary roles that don’t directly build your career but add valuable experience and diversity to your CV. For example, jobs that involve teaching or volunteering at an international charity not only develop your own secondary skills, but also appear very valuable on a CV, giving you a natural edge over other candidates. Other potential volunteer opportunities involve verbally translating communication between, for example, doctors and patients or lawyers and clients.

5. Become a More Well-Rounded Individual

Finally, knowing a second language can make you a more well-rounded individual in general and it is natural to say that a well-rounded individual makes a well-rounded employee. People who speak more than one language normally either come from a multi-cultural background or have travelled extensively to develop their skills. Interacting with different cultures encourages cultural tolerance and acceptance, cultivating a sense of community, versatility and diversity. These skills can enhance the workplace environment for fellow employees and create stronger teams from a managerial perspective.

All-in-all, there is no doubt that bilingualism is a very valuable skill to have on your CV. Remember, it is never too late to start learning a new language and knowing one even partially is more valuable than not knowing one at all.

Cindy Parker is the professional writer and Content Specialist. She loves to write about small businesses, education and languages. Currently, she works for Learn to trade – a currency trading


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One Comment

  1. Rebecca says:

    Thanks for the insight, Cindy. Being bilingual is great, but a lot of people don’t realize how competitive it makes you in the job market. This article really spelled out the benefits in a clear, concise way. Thanks for posting!

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