The process of finding a job can sometimes be daunting, from preparing answers to interview questions to figuring out how to show off your experience in the best light. But it’s all worth it once you land that dream job.
So what’s the next step once you start on your career path? You now need to prove that you were the right choice for the job and start thinking towards your future. Where do you see yourself in three or five years? It’s never too early to start mapping out your career path and start working towards a promotion, and practicing English is just one way you can do that.
Recently Kaplan Inc. commissioned the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) to carry out some research into the international experience available to students during their higher education and the impact it had on employment. It showed that graduates who have international experience find work faster than those who lack it.
International experience can come in many forms, whether it’s taking a semester abroad, volunteering in a different part of the world, or gaining experience through an international internship. You could also choose to learn English abroad, and you’ll not only benefit from the experience of living in a different city but you’ll also gain a language which can add a huge amount to your CV and make you a stand out candidate for jobs.
The research also revealed that many of those in higher positions within a company or those with the ability to recruit and hire new staff members value and look for certain qualities within a candidate, these include:
- A new language
- Inter-cultural awareness
- Overseas contacts
- So read on to find out how English can give you the tools to succeed at work.
Use your English skills
In today’s globalized world and competitive job market, having international experience and another language is what is required just to get your foot in the door, but it’s when you’re able to utilize these skills that you show your boss you have a lot more to offer.
Many companies work across borders. A French company, for instance, that opens up an office in Germany will employ the local population, and in order for colleagues to collaborate with each other, and there needs to be a common language. Today, that common language is English, the international language of business. Whether or not you need and use your English skills in your day-to-day job, try to look out for opportunities where you can help colleagues or where your English skills can be used. This will show you’re adding value to the company, a team player, and willing to go the extra mile to help out.
Contribute ideas and solutions
Doing your job well might not be enough for a promotion, you will need to show that you not only understand what is important to the business but that you are able to contribute to those goals. If you are in a position where you are constantly speaking to colleagues based in other parts of the world, your understanding of English might give you a different view on problems or issues, which you can bring to your boss’s attention or try to offer a solution.
Attend international conferences
Whether it’s a conference or exhibition, offer to attend and utilize your English skills to talk to potential suppliers, partners, or customers and open up the discussion of what your business does to more people. If you’re able, bringing back new business to your boss will show him or her that you are working hard to do more than just your day-to-day tasks and have potential to take on more responsibilty.
With your English skills you might be asked to put together and give a presentation, whether this is to external clients or internal staff (who might include senior managers), this will give you an opportunity to show off your thoughts and ideas, your presentation skills, and demonstrate to your boss that you are capable of more responsibly and welcome a challenge.
Commit to your own personal development
Now you’ve shown your boss that your English skills are an asset, this gives you the perfect opportunity to pitch a career break in order to further your language skills and take your English to the next level. At Kaplan International we have many students who come for a couple of weeks to improve their level, many citing career progression as their reason. Studying English abroad allows you to immerse yourself in the language and improve more quickly than you would if you were learning during your spare time. You too can progress at work—learn English in a range of locations all over the world—it will make you a dynamic candidate in a job interview and a valuable employee.
A version of this post originally appeared on Kaplan International English. Join the Kaplan family and benefit from immersive English language courses, choose from over 35 schools located around the world.