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If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.’ – Nelson Mandela

People will understand more when we communicate with them using language they understand, and the same thing goes in terms of business matter. In today’s vast learning world where people are always eager to seek for new knowledge, English remains the first choice in language learning. As English is universally-used in diplomacy, business, and popular culture and spoken by billions of speakers, it becomes “the language of the world”.

However, not only English, there are some other languages you should learn if you want to reach the top of business market. Training Journal mentioned that “speaking more than one language can improve a person’s job prospects, potentially opening up opportunities for roles in global business.” Moreover, being a bi- or multilingual can help you make better decision-making, improve perception, have stronger relationship with others, as well as master the art of multitasking.

Here are 7 top languages that will help you face future workforce.

  • Mandarin Chinese

Mandarin Chinese is the most widely-spoken language in the world with over one billion native speakers. In business, people who speak Mandarin will have huge advantage when you plan to tap into Chinese market. Thus, it will be much easier to develop all-important relationship if you speak Mandarin. As a leading country, China’s importance on diplomacy and trade has also grown exponentially. So, if you are planning to work in Asia, mastering Mandarin Chinese will add an invaluable string to your bow and open up a huge opportunity in career advancement as Mandarin is a language of a business future. Mandarin Chinese might be challenging and difficult language to learn, but it has no verb conjunction of distinction between number or gender. It also has a simple grammatical structures so you do not have to memorise much.

  • French

French is widely spoken as first language in European Union and is official language for 29 countries worldwide. French is among five largest industrial economies in the world, it has strong economy in agriculture to engineering and commerce. Thus, as French is spoken throughout the world and giving big influence in the industry, it becomes obvious that French language has become an integral ingredient of corporate success on an international scale.

  • Spanish

Spanish is the official language of the UN, EU, World Trade Organization, and North American Free Trade Agreement. It also is the third most used language on Internet due to the continuous growth in young and middle aged Spanish-speaking user base. Instituto Cervantes estimated that in 2050, United States will rank at the top, in terms of Spanish speakers, reaching up to 30 percent of its population.  It means learning Spanish is very useful in fields of mass-media and management to communicate especially if you are planning to work or leveraging your business in international scale.

  • Japanese

According to IFR, Japan is the world’s predominant industrial robot manufacturer. Japan is also the third largest national economy in the world after United States and China. Becoming the third largest in economy culture, Japanese language is spoken by more than 128 million native speakers and 128.3 million speakers worldwide. Thus, by learning Japanese, you can boost your professional value. You will also has less competitors when seeking for a job. Don’t forget that Japan is also a leading country providing a wealth of innovative opportunities.

  • German

Inlingua Edinburgh mentioned that German has had a long-standing, prominent role in international business throughout the years. It also is the second largest exporter and has a major role in international business. As Germany has the biggest economy in Europe, skills in German are highly desirable for any company interested in exporting. Therefore, no surprise that employers are more interested in hiring employees with strong German skills. Likewise, German is also widely spoken among Western European population which ensures plenty opportunities is waiting for German speakers.

  • Arabic

In recent years, Arabic language is proven to be a powerful language as Arabic-speaking countries play important major in global economy. United Language Group says that Arabic is currently ranked on Power Language Index (PLI) as the fifth most important language based on several factors such as number of native speakers, economic output, and importance of language in world diplomacy. There are 20 countries which official language is Arabic and there are nearly 300 million native speakers. Although Arabic language is as challenging as Chinese, once you master it, you will get a vast reward both in business and personal life.  

  • Russia

Spoken by more than 260 million people world over, Russian becomes the eighth most spoken language in the world. If you are interested in Russian culture and its hidden treasure, learning its language will be an advantage. Moreover, learning Russian language can also improve your employability. According to Mosa Lingua, Russia is trying to recuperate its position as a geopolitical leader along with the USA, EU, and other powers. Russia country is now a member of G20, BRICS, European Council, United Nations, UNESCO, and World Trade Organization. It means Russian language will be one of diplomacy and trade languages.

Read also: Revising Your Life – How to Navigate Your Career When You’re Lost

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Peter Drucker once said, “The only skill that will be important in the 21st century is the skill of learning new skills. Everything else will become obsolete over time.”

From what Peter said, it applies that mastering certain skills is essential for survival. Skill is a part of being able to meet challenges of everyday life. For an individual, having skills can help find new ways of thinking and problem solving, recognise failure and take responsibility, analyse option and make decision, as well as develop a greater sense of self-awareness.

Skills are also important when it comes to looking for a job. According to a research by Confederation of British Industry (CBI), students work hard to get good grades but many struggle to gain employment. Employers, on the other hand, are looking not only academic success but also key employability skills such as the ability to self-manage, time and people management, potential to be a leader, and agility and adaptability to different roles and flexible working environment.

Applied education systems (AES) suggested that skill plays as a vital role especially in the age of transformation and information. The skills you master will also determine your future success or failure. Below, AES has listed 3 categories of essential skills you should have in 21st century. Let’s take a look:

#1    Learning skills (the four C’s)

Known also as four Cs, learning skill helps individual acquire mental process needed to adapt and improve upon modern work environment. The 4 C’s stand for:

Critical thinking - This skill is important in business setting. It improves mechanism that weeds out problems and replaces with fruitful endeavours.  

Creativity – As equally important as other skills, creativity empowers individuals to see concepts from different angle which leads to innovations. Innovations, in this case, is one of keys for overall business success.

Collaboration - This skill is seen as the most difficult to acquire as it needs every person in the team to sacrifice part of their own ideas and adopt others to get the best result for company’s success. But once you master it, you can bring firm back from the brink of bankruptcy. In other words, this skill means getting an individual to work together, achieve compromises, and get the best result.  

and Communication. - Communication skill is always important to learn. It is also a requirement for any company to maintain profitability. It can bring all of your educational qualities together.  

#2    Literacy skills (IMT)

Literacy skill or so called IMT is skill you need to learn which concerns with different element in digital comprehension. IMT stands for:

Information literacy - It is a foundational skill that helps you understand facts, especially data point. Being able to separate fact from fiction is what this skill about. Also, in the age of chronic misinformation, finding truth over online platform has become a new job. Therefore, you should learn how to be information savvy otherwise, you will fall prey to myths, misconceptions, and outright lies.

Media literacy - This literacy skill means to help you practice identifying publishing methods, outlets, and source while distinguishing which one is credible and which one is not. Same as information literacy, media literacy also helps find truth in a world that’s saturated with information.

and Technology literacy - Another step to success, industry 4.0 requires you to be tech savvy. This is where technology literacy lies. You need to be able to use computer, cloud programming, and mobile devices to become part of tech world/industry.

#3    Life skills (FLIPS)

Life skill is the final category of skill you should have. Life skills might pertain to your personal life but also blend with professional settings. FLIPS is an abbreviation from:

Flexibility - This skill plays as a vital role for your long-term success. You should be able to know how to change, when to change, and how to react to change. Some people are struggling learning this skills as they need to adapt into 2 uncomfortable ideas: (1) your way isn’t always the best way and (2) you have to know and admit when you’re wrong.

Leadership – Leadership is needed to help you understand decisions that managers and business leaders make. In real-world experience also, you sometimes need to decide or lead entire team. This is where this skill plays its turn.

Initiative - This skill is an attribute that earns rewards. Initiative often means working outside your working hours or spending extra 30 minutes at your job before weekend. Regardless of that, it indicates that someone’s character in term of work ethic and professional progress is good.

Productivity - It is an ability where you complete work in an appropriate amount of time. Business leaders often say it as ‘efficiency’.

and Social skills - Networking is crucial in building and maintaining business relationship. This is why you need social skills. Social skills also mean that you should have good etiquette, manners, politeness, and be able to start a talk.

Read also: Should You Go to an Interview for a Job You Don’t Want?

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Self confidence is always the key in almost everything that we do. Yes, you are fully equipped with all the knowledge and skills that you might need for your current job but those brilliant ideas are not backed up with confidence, then the hiring manager will also be in doubt.

Going back in the workforce after being out for a while can be difficult but through the help of the following tips, you are sure that you are backed up with the most effective strategies to regain your self-esteem:

 

  1. Highlight small achievements. Promise yourself to improve on your skill in anything and then take action. Improvements, no matter how big or small they are can definitely help you jumpstart your confidence. We are not only talking about achievements related to work but also in your personal life.

 

For example exercising, knitting, cooking or even being able to speak to the public. These little achievements can help you boost your confidence real time.

 

  1. Volunteer. Participating in a volunteer act is perfect for people who just got laid off against their will. It can give you a boost of your morale and a sense of fulfillment just the same as what you will get from a paying job. Same deadlines, schedules and people depending on you. It also allows you to dedicate yourself to a deed that you are really passionate about.

 

  1. Update your knowledge. Working in an industry 5 years ago doesn’t give you an assurance that everything that you used to do and know during your stay there is still the same. Many industries have experienced rapid growth and change during those 5 years.

 

Keeping up on things casually is not enough. You need some refresher. You need to review and also update your materials so that you will be fully armed of everything that you should know.

 

  1. Take care of yourself. Taking care of yourself both the inside and outside can mean a lot in regaining your confidence. Stress, anxiety and depression can be encountered along the way so you better be prepared when you see them. Continuously looking and being declined by several companies can be very stressful and can lead to loss of self confidence.

 

Take breaks in between job hunting and try to devote a portion of your time in doing something you really love. By doing this, your spirit will be uplifted and will give you enough energy and courage to face more rejections and eventually land to the job you are really hoping for.

 

  1. Learn another language. We all know that English is the universal language. English is most of the time used for multinational corporations during interviews and in the production per se.

 

However, there are companies today that prefer to hire people who know how to speak the owners’ native language. Companies believe that by communicating through their native language, their culture and work ethics will be preserved and also the secrets and strategies will be kept safe by their employees. So, people who know other languages might have a bigger edge from those who don’t.

Next read: 5 Characteristic of A Positive Workplace Environment, Does Your Company Have Them?