Use Bilingual Skills To Talk Your Way Into A Bigger Paycheck

For anyone navigating the choppy waters of today’s job marketplace, it’s getting more difficult to find points of differentiation that make you stand out. Fluency in a foreign language is one skill in high demand across almost every job channel. It’s time to buckle down, hit the books and learn that second language.

Why are employers so excited about bilingual employees?

Employees with language skills tend to understand a multicultural audience and engage well with people from different backgrounds, both inside and outside of the workplace. With a growing population of non-native English speakers in the United States, it is increasingly important for companies with customer-facing departments to hire workers who can effectively communicate with their customer base. As a bonus, employees who know a second language demonstrate significantly improved cognitive problem-solving skills that can aid in all aspects of their jobs.

Look to the statistics

According to the Center for Digital Education, approximately 80 percent of Americans can speak only English.  With such a narrow set of bilingual speakers, you can see that a resume boasting two or more languages stands out in the pool of candidates. The research also shows that 41 percent of companies pay candidates an average of 11 percent more for this skill. If you are looking to climb the ladder of success all the way to the top, language studies can provide an extra boost.

Where to begin?

You’re ready to revamp your resume, widen your skill set and improve your linguistic range. Now what?  There are many language learning options out there, but some find that learning a foreign language as an adult is much more difficult than picking it up in as a child. One of the best ways to learn a foreign language is through conversational skills. While audio guides and DVDs can help with pronunciation and grammar, the only way to truly make a new language flow as freely as your native tongue is to speak it over and over again. Private tutors can be found more easily than ever online, with websites that now streamline the process of matching you with a great instructor for your learning style. A live and interactive language tutor can set attainable goals, monitor your progress and adjust lesson plans to compensate for your strengths and weaknesses. Whichever route you decide to go, stop putting it off and start now. That next promotion might just have your name on it.

As Chief Operating Officer of TakeLessons, Alan Cole is responsible for the product, marketing, sales and customer service teams. Alan earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Santa Clara University and an MBA from the University of Texas. Before his role at TakeLessons, Alan led at Active Network as Senior Vice President for Developing Markets where he oversaw Actives Business Incubator. In this role he was responsible for defining the strategy and accelerating growth within several key business units. As COO of TakeLessons, Alan is able to pursue his passion of helping people learn, grow and explore while helping instructors focus on teaching.