English is one of the most widely spoken languages on Earth. It is the international language of business and is spoken on every continent. So it makes sense that having the ability to speak English fluently will make you a more valuable candidate for any job, regardless of your career path.
Understanding English and being able to speak it fluently can often make you the better choice when it comes to hiring and promotions. Many companies look for employees who are well-spoken in English to work with their English-speaking clients. So if you have that skill set, you instantly jump to the front of the line in the minds of your supervisors.
Benefits of Learning English
Taking a course in English – either in a classroom, online or with a private tutor – can truly help boost your career. Once you can speak English fluently, you can be promoted more quickly, make a bigger income, travel to new places, and interact with a broader range of people in different cultural settings.
English speaking can help you in business, but it can help you socially as well. Knowing how to speak English allows you to converse easily with other English speakers, opening up a door to an entirely new social circle. You also can impress your family and friends with your fluency in another language.
But the biggest reason to learn English is to boost your career prospects. Being able to write a well-planned resume or CV in English that showcases your work history, experiences and abilities will catch the eye of corporate recruiters and get you the interview for the best-paying jobs.
What Big Companies Want
Corporate recruiters are looking for prospective employees who are multi-faceted. They want people who offer more than the next person. Being able to speak English fluently meets these criteria.
Be careful not to overstate your abilities, however. You may think you are fluent in English. You may even have a well-written English language resume that is free of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. But you could blow it in the interview if you open your mouth and blurt out halting non-confident English.
Companies want English speaking employees in non-English speaking countries because it sets them up for success when it’s time to expand. If you can speak both your own native language and English fluently, you can be the person big companies turn to for building their business in your native country.
But understanding and speaking English also can help you succeed if you want to travel to another country to work. Your skills sets give you the ability to offer more flexibility to companies so you can do whatever they need to succeed.
English Skills in the Workplace
Knowing English also will help improve your job performance. Consider how many emails, text messages and letters you get every day. It will be much quicker for you to deal with all of them if you know English inside out and don’t have to stop and translate everything into your own language first!
While there are some English language courses you can take that focus on English for business, these can often be limiting because they only give you common phrases and jargon you are most likely to hear at the office. While this may be helpful in talking to colleagues about work projects, it doesn’t help you achieve your objective of being able to speak and think in English the way you think and speak in your native language.
Business today isn’t just limited to the office or workspace. Today, people in business communicate with each other in many different mediums, such as on the Internet, video conferencing, phone calls, texts and emails.
Learning to be fluent in English will help you communicate effectively with customers, clients, co-workers and supervisors in all of these formats. Not only will you be able to speak and hear English without thinking about, but you also will be able to type emails, tap out text messages in English on your smartphones, and interact with others online all the time.
You also can expand your social network when you speak English fluently. Many people use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and other social networking sites for business networking as well as for keeping up with old friends, relatives and former classmates. When you speak English fluently, you will have access to a broader scope of social media contacts.
English and Business Cultures
Being able to read an English language newspaper or watch a TV program in English without stumbling over what is being said gives you the ability to understand what’s going on in other parts of the world. And always remember “Knowledge is power”, so the more knowledgeable you are about other cultures, the more power you can potentially have in the business world.
There’s really no downside to learning English. It can only help your career, offer you more business opportunities, and give you the potential to be more successful in whatever you choose to do in your career.
Can you think of more career-enhancing benefits of learning the English language? Do let us know in comments.
John Smith is a supporter of English Language Learning at Language Express School in Bangkok.