Joseph Gustav is a guest blogger for Pounding the Pavement and a writer on call center management for Guide to Career Education.

More and more, it is becoming extremely beneficial to know a foreign language in today’s tough job market. Any kind of edge helps now more than ever in this economy, and one of the most sought-after and respected skills that can give you the upper hand is knowing a foreign language. Having expertise in another language only opens up more doors and opportunities — and offers more perks at those jobs.

If you need more convincing, read on for these reasons why a second language will positively impact your career.

Foreign languages are in demand.

The world is becoming a smaller place, and as such, it is important for companies to be able to communicate with clients or constituents in their native languages. For people looking into business-oriented endeavors, Chinese and Japanese are highly sought after, and for those working in social services, being able to speak Spanish will give them a huge leg up.

It shows ambition and aptitude.

Even if you are not applying for a position that will require you to use your language skills, it still looks excellent on a resume. It proves you had the ambition to undertake such an intense, time-consuming endeavor, and have the aptitude to learn something that is so difficult for many people. Plus, there is still the beneficial stigma that people who speak foreign languages are more intellectual and better educated than those who do not, so that certainly won’t hurt either.

Face less competition.

In a tough economy, successfully finding work is often all about having skills others don’t and being able to fill niches others can’t because of a lack of skill and experience. With a foreign language under your belt, you’ll be able to fill niches the majority of jobseekers will not, and so will have less competition to face and better chances at landing a position as a translator, teacher, copywriter, or any other of a multitude of jobs that require expertise in a given language.

Open up new doors.

Conversely, just as the competition will thin out, the number of positions you will be able to fill will only grow exponentially as you will be able to apply for the positions you did not have the required language skills for previously. When looking for work, it is essential not to limit your opportunities so as to give yourself the best chance to find enjoyable (and good paying) work. Broaden your horizons and your career opportunities by learning a new language.

Be an essential team member.

While working as part of any team within your new position, you will be an integral and respected member as your language skills will be necessary to success. Relish being a key player at work and having an essential helping hand in all projects you are involved in.

Increase travel opportunities.

If your company needs to send someone to meet with clients in a foreign country but no one speaks the language well except you, who do you think they are going to send? With a foreign language under your belt, particularly one in high demand areas like Spanish, Chinese, or Japanese, you will increase your chances of having your company pay for you to visit the places you have always dreamed of visiting. Hopefully you’ll be able to sneak away a minute or two to see the sights and practice your language skills with the locals.

Pin It on Pinterest