While English is the most popular business medium spoken the world over or the second language of choice (known as a lingua franca), being proficient in only one language can have a limiting effect on your career. Being fluent in a second language could serve you and your work well in a number of career paths, such as these:
Second language teacher
Teaching foreign languages abroad is something great to do while you’re young and just starting out your career. A teaching degree or even a post graduate diploma combined with being fluent in French or Spanish could open many doors as a second language teacher in countries such as Canada and the US respectively.
Working as an au pair is another great way to travel the world or live abroad for a few years. While there are certainly many opportunities to take advantage of as an English-speaking au pair, many clients are not willing to even consider an au pair’s application unless the applicant is fluent in their native tongue.
Cruise ship careers have really taken off in the last few years. This is an amazing opportunity to travel the world and experience different cultures. There are possibilities to work on the ships for years and even relocating to a new country. This cultural experience will only be more enriched by learning the languages of the places you may visit or relocate to.
Interpreter / Translator
Interpreting has become a really lucrative career to pursue. Whether or not you do it full time or part time, you stand to make a lot of money for your work. Mandarin translation might not seem like a great career path; however you may change your view once you realize that clients are willing to fork out up to 80 dollars per hour for this valuable skill. Many companies also pay translators per word to translate documents. Translating from English to a foreign language such as Danish or Arabic may get you up to 19 cents per word.
The challenge with writing has always been getting your work read by as many people as possible. This is not as easy as it sounds as the majority of all content written today uses the English medium. Amazingly English does not have the most speakers, let alone the most readers in the world. There are approximately 1 billion Mandarin speakers and readers in the world. Learning to write in Mandarin would immediately open your writing to a huge market that you may never have reached had you only written in English.
Aside from the amazing career opportunities that learning an additional language have, learning a second language will also make your traveling experience easier. Learning the language of a country such as France is seen as a sign of respect. While French people have a reputation of being somewhat abrasive, they are more than accommodating if you are able to converse with them in their native tongue.