English means Business
If you can learn and master English you’ll speak the language of global business.
You’re amazing—top of your class, leader of a local volunteer group, hard working, honest, and SUPER likeable! A shoe-in for whatever internship, job or promotion you apply for… right? Not so fast. Every position you’ll interview for will have a crowd of amiable over-achievers just like you all looking to snag that job or take the next step up the corporate ladder. So how do you stand out from the competition? ENGLISH. Yep, that vast sea of vocabulary words, the Gordian knot of grammar, silent letters, slang, and “th” sounds, oh my! Your time as a study abroad student in the US added the Swiss army knife of tools to your business toolbox.
There are nearly 400 million native speakers of English in countries like the US, Australia, and the UK. Add in another billion fluent speakers in formerly colonized nations (think India, Nigeria, Jamaica…), sweeten with the millions who’ve studied English as a second language, and that means that 1 in 4 people in the WORLD speak English.
English for Business
Multi-national companies have adopted English as their common corporate language.
Communication is singularly important to a successful business. When that business is, let’s say SAP for example, headquartered in Germany, with regional offices and subsidiaries in 130 countries—from Japan to the Mid-East, and Africa—how can they ensure that everyone’s on the same page for a product roll out, or a client retention crisis? With a common language! Africa can talk to Japan with Germany conferenced in, and everyone is speaking the same language. English. Having a single common language facilitates performance and increases efficiency for companies with customers and partners worldwide.
The choice of English as the global language of business is not simply because it’s the most widely spoken language on Earth, but also because it feels neutral to non-English speaking countries.
If a French company took over a Japanese company, and decided to make French the official corporate language you can imagine how the Japanese employees would feel. They’d be at a complete disadvantage in meetings filled with native French speakers, and would likely not participate. If the common corporate language were English it would seem more fair.
Now, back to you and your interview…
Picture yourself confidently telling a prospective employer that you have an “excellent command of English”. Don’t you think that would improve your chances of being hired? (Especially if they were a multi-national corporation).
What about that promotion you’re seeking?
Adding English fluency to your resume makes you a far more valuable employee, and I mean that literally! Employees fluent in English can earn up to 30% more than their non-English speaking co-workers, and are FAR more likely to be tapped for promotion when the company expands.
The globalization of business means we can order items designed in Germany, produced in Japan, that have customer service provided by India. English is the language of business at every stop in this chain. Wherever you are in that chain you can benefit your career by adding English fluency to your skill set.