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5 Business Languages You Should Know To Get Ahead In Your Career

5 Business Languages You Should Know To Get Ahead In Your Career

The future of business is global, and there’s no getting around learning top business languages to survive.

By 2025, 50% of the world’s biggest companies will be based in emerging markets. This is up by 10 folds from only 5% in 2000.

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    CareerBuilder.com’s hiring forecast showed that 39 percent of U.S. employers said, they plan to hire bilingual candidates, and half said that if they had two equally qualified candidates, they would be more inclined to hire the bilingual one.

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    What’s more, salary bonuses vary depending on which languages you’re able to speak. Here’s a quick breakdown of a few different secondary languages and their annual bonuses as reported by The Economist:

    • Spanish — 1.5 percent bonus
    • French — 2.3 percent bonus
    • German — 3.8 percent bonus
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      This means that you can make an additional $50,000 to $125,000 just for knowing how to speak a foreign language!

      5 Top Spoken Business Languages You Should Know To Get Ahead

      To arrive at our 5 top spoken business languages, we took a number of factors into account.

      The first one is the number of native speakers. While this shouldn’t be the only factor you take into account when choosing what business language you should learn, there is a noticeable correlation of how impactful it would be.

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        The second is comparing countries with the largest GDP’s in the past (2010) and where they will be in the future (2020). While there are smaller variables taken into account, these two factors can help us narrow down the 5 top spoken business languages you should know to get ahead in your career.

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          1. English (365 Million Native Speakers)

          English is the obvious first choice when it comes to the top business languages. With economic powerhouses like the U.S, the U.K, and Australia, there’s no getting around English. Even when you’re speaking with native speakers from other countries, it’s likely that they speak English as their second language. Since most of the readers here are already English speakers, we’ll keep this section short and concise.

          2. German (92 Million Native Speakers)

          German is a perfect example demonstrating that the best languages shouldn’t be based on the number of native speakers in the world. Not only is it Europe’s largest economic powerhouse, with a GDP of 2.4 trillion Euros, but it’s also the largest export market for British goods.

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          Anyone seeking a job in the U.K, Austria, Germany, or anywhere that’s doing business with the companies (nearly everyone) in Germany, understanding the differences between ‘danke’ and ‘Ihr willkommen’ is critical.

          3. Russian (160 Million Native Speakers)

          Germany may have the largest export market for the U.K, but Russia is the U.K’s fastest-growing major export market. While there are fruitful opportunities to work with companies in Russia, there aren’t as many fluent English speakers that live in Russia, and knowing how to speak Russian comes with a big advantage.

          4. Spanish (406 Million Native Speakers)

          Recognized as one of the most popular European languages, Spanish is a beloved language not only in terms of usefulness in business, but in many areas of society. It’s the leading language that fuels many of the fastest-growing Latin economies in South America, Central America, and North America (Mexico).

          Given that it’s the second most spoken language in the U.S, with over 20 countries around the world that uses Spanish as their official language, 37% of American employers prefer hiring people who know how to speak Spanish.

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          5. Mandarin (935 Million Native Speakers)

          With just under a billion native speakers around the world, Mandarin has more native speakers than English and Spanish combined. This makes it one of the most attractive places in the world for businesses to target and a great investment for any professional to make today.

          Bloomberg has also ranked Mandarin as the number one business language to know after English.

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          The Gentle Art of Saying No

          The Gentle Art of Saying No

          No!

          It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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          But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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          What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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          But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

          1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
          2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
          3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
          4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
          5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
          6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
          7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
          8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
          9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
          10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

          Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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