Improving Your Career Opportunities with Multiple Languages

Being bilingual or multilingual provides many advantages in life. Two of the most significant and important of these advantages are the possibility of enriching and interesting travel experiences and the broadening of the career opportunities available to you.

Many people realise the professional benefits of learning English (if English is not their native language) and thus decide to undertake a course of study at an English language school. Australia is home to many credible and high quality language schools and English courses. Melbourne, and other Australian cities, are popular study destinations for students from many different parts of the world.

Benefits of speaking more than one language

Aside from the general travel and career advantages that can come with a person’s ability to speak more than one language, there are particular psychological and linguistic benefits that are simultaneously found. These include enhanced cognitive flexibility (including divergent thinking and the ability to think conceptually), as well as improvements in verbal abilities and reasoning.

Additional benefits of learning another language are:

  • A heightened sensitivity to language
  • Greater flexibility in thinking
  • An improved ear and propensity for listening
  • A greater understanding and appreciation of the native language
  • Greater exposure and insight into other cultures

When it comes to career opportunities, why are people who can speak multiple languages in such demand?

Speakers of multiple languages are attractive to employers for many reasons that extend beyond the role itself. The advantages of being bilingual or multilingual relate to cognition, culture, communication and tolerance of other languages and cultures.

Speaking multiple languages improves your career opportunities because:

  • Creative thinking and the ability to think flexibly are more likely, and appropriate choices can be made based on the person, situation and purpose of communication. Bilingual or multilingual speakers tend to be more sensitive and responsive to the needs of a listener and this ability can have a profound effect on intellectual growth, because a person’s intellectual development is believed to be enhanced.
  • The ability to confidently alternate between languages is highly regarded professionally and, for the individual speaker, can increase their self-esteem. These abilities can lead to useful and effective links being made with people from different cultures and countries.
  • In terms of achievement and the ability to produce excellent results, bilingual and multilingual speakers frequently impress. Success in this regard is commonly attributed to the benefits in thinking that come with the ability to speak more than one language. It’s also noted that speakers of multiple languages often find it easy to learn and speak a number of languages and this is often of interest to prospective and actual employers.
  • Typically, speakers of multiple languages derive enjoyment from writing and reading in different languages and this allows for a deeper appreciation and understanding of traditions and ideas, behaviours and ways of thinking. When travelling or working in a foreign country, multilingual speakers face significantly fewer communication difficulties and this has definite appeal for many employers given the nature, importance and frequency of global business.
  • Bilingualism and multilingualism increase access and exposure to a variety of cultures. As a result, many of these people exhibit more tolerance of customs, beliefs, values and practices than some speakers of only one language.

Ultimately, the ability to speak with confidence in one or more languages offers some definite career advantages. A broader range of jobs in different fields are available for the person to choose from and lucrative and fulfilling career opportunities are on offer in sectors including tourism, administration, public relations, marketing, law, education, banking and finance, sales and marketing and many more.

As people grow in awareness of the benefits of being bilingual or multilingual, the career advantages on offer are becoming all the more apparent. It is little wonder that so many diligent students embark on studies of languages such as English in order to enhance their career prospects.

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