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The Most Profitable Languages to Learn in Order to Increase Your Revenue

The Most Profitable Languages to Learn in Order to Increase Your Revenue

It’s easy to decide to learn a foreign language, but the real challenge is to decide which language to learn. If you have a solid reason to learning a certain language, you don’t need more; however, many adults want to learn a new language to develop their expertise, but have no idea how to pick the right language, especially when they are looking to supplement their income.

As the unemployment rate in US is still pretty high, millions of people are trying to make themselves more valuable for employers. Luckily, learning a foreign language is one of the ways to gain extra value as an employee, a fact which has been proven by surveys among employers. Moreover, being bilingual can bring you higher income.

More languages, more money

Recruitment specialists state that bilingual workers earn up to 15% more money, which is a significant amount. The Economist made a top 3 most profitable languages, which show bonuses vary in amount on the language you are fluent in. German is the leader of the top, with almost 4% bonuses.

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Many companies are open to hiring foreign workers and this trend is spreading on all domains. Translators’ opportunities are expected to double until 2022, for example, while US military workers can earn up to $1,000 more each month, if they are bilingual.

After you have learnt a new language you can easily change your job field, as there is a whole new range of opportunities open for you, based on this new language.

Which are the most profitable languages to learn

All foreign languages are useful, however, there are some languages which are considered to be “more profitable” than others. In this article, I rated different languages by the number of speakers in the world, the number of countries where it is spoken and their relevance for the international economy.

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I have to note couple of things about this criteria: Chinese, Arabic and Hindi are the top 3 most spoken languages across the world, BUT you need to consider the number of people in each country when you decide how useful are these languages. For example, China is the most populated country, with 1,300 billiard of people, which made around 20% of the world population.

For the second criteria, you can check the Census official data to see the business partners of US.

Now that you know how I made this list, let’s get into the business!

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The top 4 most profitable languages to learn (in no particular order)

French

Despite the misconception, French is spoken by over 2 million people across the world, in 29 countries, which makes it highly useful. First, students who know French are eligible for scholarships, which can save their parents a lot of money. Secondly, Canada, where French is one of the main languages spoken, is the top trading partner of US. Moreover, French is the official language of NATO, the Olympics, Red Cross and United Nations as well as other organizations. This opens your job opportunities to jobs in consultancy, administration, pharmaceuticals and telecommunications, to name a few.

In US, mastering French is going to add to your value as an employee, because few Americans know it.

Mandarin

China is the new dominating power in economy and it’s influence is growing, which means learning a Mandarin language opens up your professional perspective. China is one of the biggest trading partners of US and the demand for executives in multinational companies is rising. Knowing this hard to learn language is hard, but it will provide you with opportunities in diplomatic sector and military sector, apart from commerce and banking sectors.

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German

Germany is a powerful European country, which means its economical value is rising, along with its international economic power. According to some financial magazines, German is the language that returns the highest profit. The only drawback is the fact German is not the easiest language to learn, but the increase in monthly earnings is a strong motivation.

Italian

Our latest entry is not the latter, but it’s the easier to learn: you can even pick up Italian during a visit in Rome! British Council included Italian in the top 10 most important languages for UK, for the next 20 years, which means it comes with a lot of opportunities. Italian is a Romance language, just like Portuguese and Spanish, so it can be a good option for those who already know Spanish, for example. Or, you can first learn Italian to make it easier to learn Portuguese.

Either way, it will open a lot of job opportunities for you, as Italy is a popular destination, with a strong tourism sector; Milan is the fashion capital and great chefs come in this country to perfect their cooking skills. The business sector is also in demand of Italian speaking professionals.

Featured photo credit: Flickr/Peter Miller via flickr.com

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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