10 Ways English May Improve Your Career

With over two billion speakers & learners, English proudly bears the crown of the most spoken language in the world. Indeed, there are many reasons to learn English but an obvious one is to improve your career prospects as it is the business language.

With over two billion speakers & learners, English proudly bears the crown of the most spoken language in the world. Indeed, there are many reasons to learn English but an obvious one is to improve your career prospects as it is the business language.

It is a common belief among non-English speakers that they improve their chances of working in world-class organizations by knowing English. Here are the top 10 ways in which English can help you with your career:

10 Ways English may Improve Your Career

1. Get a wide range of opportunities

When you are not searching for opportunities much, it is easy to miss what comes along. Foreign companies opening their branches in your town, or perhaps a local brand looking to work with international clients - either way, these and many more situations exist, but the common thing in all of them is English. It is a must-have skill to acquire a respectable position in a multinational organization.

2. Make your CV stand out

Your CV is the first thing HR representatives see. Of course, knowing multiple languages can be a big plus for your career. But even that is not enough if English is not one of them. With English, you get an extra edge of knowing several skills like Visual Studio, Resume Worded, International Online Bankings, etc., that are still to translate into other languages.

3. Stay on top of your field

Most careers require a consistent education stream, which means if you want to stay on top, you want to keep up with magazines, newspapers, research papers, and books. English has established itself as the language of science. No matter what field you are in, you will find the most prestigious publications in English. And most of the time, it is pretty late till you get a translated copy.

4. World Wide Web

Continuing the above point, we can never ignore that English is also the primary language of the Internet. For example, the navigation on Google appears easy in any language, but only until you try surfing the web in English. Besides, soon you realize that much important information remains hidden from you due to the lack of language skills: YouTubers, bloggers, Tweets, and several tools & platforms. Therefore, you will find it in English, whatever you are looking for and is missing in your native language.

5. Travel opportunities.

You might think that every career does not include travel opportunities. But as years pass, it becomes more apparent to you - that is not true. A doctor goes abroad for humanitarian help, an IT guy goes to another country to assist a big client with their new program, and an accountant gets to go overseas to help an old client set up new bank accounts. Opportunities that no one foresees come by more often than you can imagine. But like everything in business, the job has to be done NOW. It means the person who knows the international language - English gets the opportunity.

6. Create a bigger Network

We don't need to remind you that success in a career relies on several factors; one of them is your network - knowing the right people. If you know English, the most spoken language around the globe, you open up to the possibility of creating a great network. However, knowing just enough to be a tourist may not be enough to build a real connection with someone.

7. Computers. Again!

We already mentioned the computers earlier. We know! But here is another reason related to computers. Not only many tools and programs aren't translated to other languages than English, but even those that do are also originally written and developed in English. The Lost in Translation concept fits perfectly in such cases. No question knowing English will help you understand the computers better and become a more confident user of the computer in general & the old programs that we all know so well, like Spreadsheets.

8. Get an advantage above others.

Although everyone talks about the importance of English in your work, the truth is - it depends.

An IT without at least basic English is no IT, a doctor without at least basic English is limited, but a lawyer will probably not use a non-native language. It is pretty simple. Laws are different between countries, unlike medicine. A doctor can patch you up no matter what language, but a lawyer can't help you when it isn't their jurisdiction. So the reality is - that not all professions require you to know English to succeed in the field. However, it gives you an advantage over other candidates for the job. If another candidate has the same education and experience as you and English is the only difference in your CVs, the one who has it will probably get the job. There are chances that person might never use it during the job hours, but this little extra (which isn't that little per se) might get you the job.

9. Business owners

In general, most people consider small businesses as "local", but it doesn't mean that you must limit yourself, your income, or your potential. Today, you can offer your services remotely and ship your products around the globe. So why limit your audience to local? Yes, we are talking about taking your business to an international society, where there are so many new potential clients, all united by one language - English!

10. Investments

Sooner or later, most of us start thinking of investments - whether Real Estate, stocks, or a pension fund. Currencies may be pretty unreliable no matter how stable the economy seems, and many investors suggest the strategy of keeping your investments in multiple currencies. Our research (we are just linguists) taught us that not all countries allow local investors to keep their hard-earned money in different currencies. And countries that enable it for foreign investors apply additional taxes or even restrict you from your own money in case of a crisis. Knowing the international language opens other possibilities: investing overseas. Any self-respecting private investment fund/company will have an English-speaking person on call and adjust their website to English for the international crowd.

The examples of how English changed someone's career:

Many have talked about "Why it is important to learn English", but as linguists, we know exactly the difference between knowing and reading about those abstract reasons vs. actually feeling it or seeing an example. So, we have prepared a few bright examples from our students (those who were willing to share) of how learning English has affected their careers.

Sally is from Latvia. She studied English at school like everyone else but has established a goal for herself after college, to learn English "for real", as she calls it. There wasn't any particular reason behind it except for looking for a new hobby. She found our school (which back then was small) through friends and family and learned for about two years until a piece of fantastic news knocked on her door.

“I just got a new job. This company from London came to open a branch here and they need people who speak English”

After working in that company for over two years, her salary was way more than her expectations, while working as a secretary. But believe it or not, it was tough to find workers who knew excellent English.

Ksenia is from Ukraine, a simple manager (or used to be) in an IT company. Her company directed her to a language school, but it didn't work out long. She felt that a significant amount of her salary and time was going to group classes with over 30 students per teacher, and it went nowhere. A friend referred her to Language Academia (before it had a name) as a last attempt to get the value back for the money she spent on English classes. She had to pass TOEFL with a score over 100 to stop taking classes as a part of the job and get those evenings free.

"TOEFL was easy actually", as she now says, but that isn't the pride we have on her account.

After the exam, Ksenia remained at the school, saying she wanted to improve because she began to enjoy knowing a second language, finally, and was utilizing all of its perks. At the same time, the IT company had a new big client in the States and needed their project manager to go to Boston and help them with the software they developed. However, after speaking on the phone with a representative from the US was clear that they can't send a person who barely speaks English and, as a result, might sabotage the trip, failing to do the main task: teach the client to use the new software.

With the highest TOEFL scores in the office, Ksenia rushed into her boss's office, and the next day she was already at the American embassy, getting her visa. The trip was such a success. On her return, she got an immediate promotion to project manager, her dream job since college.

Katherine is from Israel. She didn't learn English with us but helped us organize this school instead. She knew English from her parents since it is their mother tongue, but after asking around, knowing English helped her pay off her college tuition too, and here is what happened.

Not many companies are willing to work with college students for various reasons; they are tired, late, unreliable, young, etc. Katherine was an earnest student but relatively young, having finished high school at 15. By the time she was about to finish college, she was barely 18. Anyone was a better candidate in the eyes of HR representatives than her. So, a bright engineer and mind, she was forced to work at a nightclub washing floor after parties every day until a man heard her speak English on the phone and invited her to an interview. She now admits:

"They only asked how I know English and if I can write fast. They didn't care much about my experience, education, or age. All they were looking for was a good English speaker who was responsible. I guess that combination is tough to find."

Katherine got a job as a personal assistant and now admits that the job saved her life. She no longer had to wash floors and toilets, but that wasn't the only advantage in the long run, as it turned out. She got into a good company that gave her opportunities to grow and eventually sent her overseas as a director with all expenses covered. This excellent job paid all the college tuition and gave her a good head start. And it would have never happened if it wasn't for her English.