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Learning Languages to Accelerate Your Career


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If you work in an international company then it is clear that languages can help you reach the top. Interviews with leading CEOs confirm that many had a period working abroad. In an era of globalisation it makes sense to get international experience.

What if you don't use languages in your current job? It's still valuable to learn Spanish, French, Chinese or whatever tongue interests you:

  • It will show your colleagues/boss that you pick up new skills quickly.

  • You may get further new opportunities within your company.

  • It could open up exciting possibilities for your future career.

    Assuming you're learning or have mastered a foreign language, how do you land that dream international job?

    The first thing to consider is lifestyle. Are you able and willing to relocate to another country? This decision needs to be carefully considered. Involve your family and friends to make the right choice.

    Even if you're not willing to move, there are fantastic ways to use languages closer to home. For example, you could work for a foreign-owned company in your area. Or you could train to become a teacher, interpreter, translator or another specialist job using your language skills. The army, diplomatic corps, political groups and NGOs are other organisations which increasingly value languages.

    You'll find jobs using languages in the oddest places. . . even nannies, hotel workers, secretaries and scientists with language skills are in demand. You may earn a higher income than someone with similar skills lacking the language.

    If you decide to take the big step and seek a job in another country, then the world (or rather the Web) is your oyster. By using certain websites for research you could make your dreams come true, sooner than you think.

    You can apply direct to companies in your dream location after you've got the basic language skills. It's a great idea to fly to the country for a local language course and at the same time schedule some job interviews there. Remember to research work permit requirements and tax information carefully.

    If you feel in your heart that an international career is right for you, then what are you waiting for?

    The author is writing a book on language learning and also runs a website on this topic. Please log on to for further tips, publications and features on accelerated language learning as well as a guide to finding an international, multilingual job.

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