Over the last 30 years, technology has made it easier for businesses to expand into new markets and capitalise on opportunities they identify overseas. The result is that the job market has become more globalised and multilingual in nature, with a workforce that is increasingly linguistically and culturally heterogeneous.
Being bilingual is by no means the only condition to be hired for any job, but with more and more jobs requiring experience in international and cross-cultural areas, bilingual workers can have a clear advantage. Aside from language skills, linguistic and cultural fluency often brings key qualities and competencies that are increasingly valued in the international job market.
With that in mind, here are three of the key traits that can give you the edge.
1. Enhanced cognitive abilities
There are a number of cognitive advantages associated with being bilingual. Increased mental flexibility, improved executive function (such as working memory), metalinguistic abilities and an ability and willingness to learn a third language are all clear benefits for international businesses.
There are also proficiencies across demanding skills such as abstract thinking and problem-solving, as well as an ability to select relevant information and multitask. In an increasingly connected world with an overwhelming mass of information, the ability to perform multiple tasks simultaneously while remaining focused is a key advantage in the modern workplace.
All languages are constantly activated in the brain of bilingual workers. They must either choose to use the correct language and ‘deactivate’ the second one, or switch between languages to adapt to the situation they are in. That requirement to adapt their language skills by using social cues can lead to improvements in their social, emotional and interpersonal skills.
Bilingual workers must also be constantly aware of the needs of the listener and be able to understand and express changing perspectives. In a world with so many global challenges, the capacity to understand and appreciate other people’s viewpoints is an incredibly valuable skill.
3. Cultural fluency
Bilingual workers have direct access to two or more cultures, which allows them to build a sensitivity towards more people and have a better grasp of the diversity that exists between two countries. The world can be seen in very different ways, and much of that comes from the cultural lens we look through.
In an increasingly globalised environment, that cultural fluency and ability to better understand an individual is a tremendous advantage.
The help you need to access leading bilingual opportunities
Being bilingual enhances your human capital in a global job market and allows you to access a wide range of opportunities. While language skills have always been a requirement in fields such as international trade and diplomacy, nowadays more and more industries are searching for talented bilingual recruits like you.
At Linguistica Recruitment, we work with leading employers across the south coast of England who are on the lookout for bilingual workers who can enhance the skills of their team. Take a look at our current vacancies, submit your CV or call 02392 987 765 to discuss the potential opportunities in your area.