It seems that everyone is talking about improving their English these days. After all, it is so important, isn’t it?
But, in terms of business English and business in general, what are the real, specific, concrete advantages of having a good level? I explain 10 of them here:
1. Getting a Promotion
If you have a great level of English, you are much more likely to get a promotion, or even a new job. It doesn’t really matter whether the new position is internal (in your company or organisation) or with another employer, the credit given to having a high level of English is often the same. Due to the nature of the global marketplace, employers have more choice nowadays, and ensuring your English is up there with the best of the non-native speakers will put you at the top of the pile.
Have you ever wanted to be selected for that special work trip abroad? That team meeting in New York or the annual getaway in Singapore? Employers value English, and for good reason. If you have a good level of English you will have no problems with travel situations – at the airport, finding a taxi etc. – and you will also be able to interact with others from around the globe. Get your business English to the next level and book yourself a place on that upcoming international event!
3. Perceived Intelligence
This is about how others see us. Being able to speak English to a high level means that your peers and colleagues are likely to believe that you are more intelligent, and speaking a second language might well be something they aspire to and value highly, even if they haven’t achieved a good level themselves. And in fact, there is actually some truth in this – it has been shown that those who speak a second language develop and operate new pathways in the brain which can lead to a sharper mind!
4. Meet and Greet
Do international English-speaking corporations visit your company, factory, or service centre? If so, and you speak English, you may well be chosen ahead of your colleagues to form part of the “meet and greet” team – the team that will interact with the visitors during their stay – show them around, have lunch with them etc. If you want to guarantee that yours is one of the first names that comes to mind for such events, then make sure your business English is up to scratch!
5. Promotional Materials
Employers love to show off their best employees. It can take the form of photo shoots, biographies, brochures and websites, amongst many others. If you are among the “best” or “most interesting” in your team or company then you are putting yourself in the frame for this kind of publicity. Having a good level of business English improves your chances significantly.
I have heard employers complain many times that the employees they send to international conferences simply don’t have the required level of English to be able to benefit completely from the information being shared. On other occasions, the employee with an insufficient level of English doesn’t even get that far – they are left to hold the fort in the office while others enjoy the international travel and learn from renowned global experts. Make sure you are among the conference attendees and enjoy all of the benefits attending conferences can bring by improving your level of business English.
7. Secret Information
OK, so maybe it’s not “secret” information, but having access to material on the internet in English (which makes up the vast majority) will keep you up-to-date with what’s going on in your industry and keep you one step ahead of your peers. Don’t be kept in the dark, make sure your business English is good enough to take advantage of all the information online!
8. IT Helpdesk
Have you ever had problems with your computer? Of course you have, and with so much online information in English, figuring out a solution for those who speak English can often be easier.
9. Hire Others
If you don’t speak English yourself how are you going to be able to evaluate the level of others? Let’s suppose that your company wants to hire some new English-speaking employees. Who are they going to want to be in charge of the process? Well, someone with a good level themselves. Having a good level of English keeps you involved in so many ways – and those who are more involved tend to be those who move up the ranks.
10. International Colleagues
Developing business relationships is important. Having a great international contact list can lead to friendships, travel opportunities, speaking gigs, job offers and much more! But to be able to get these connections started, it’s important to be able to have a good level of English in the first place, especially as it’s the language that most international experts use in their business communications.
So there you have it: 10 reasons to make sure that your English is at a good level. There are many more of course, but my piece of advice is to take action and make sure that you don’t get left behind!
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