Why additional languages can land you a job faster in IT

Career stories

Any international organization will be a fascinating melting pot of cultures, personality and languages. Every single day you could take a different trip around the world simply talking and interacting with your colleagues and clients from your own desk. If you’re looking for your first career or moving into a new one, by having a second language, opens so many exciting career roles. It can increase your chances of employment, substantially speed up the potential of promotion, and improve the quality of your life. So, what are the key benefits, specifically a business and IT support company?

Better problem solvers

Bilinguals are strong problem solvers. A study found that they were “significantly more successful” than their monolingual peers. Ability to resolve issues is a skill that’s at the core of most IT support roles and is highly valued due to here being a constant need to help customers find solutions through outside the box thinking.

One such motivated polyglot is Kermith Aglietti, operations manager (Unix/Linux) and senior level 3 engineer. Based in Costa Rica he speaks four languages, Spanish being his native. He said: “I use English daily to talk or email with my customers.”

IT experts are constantly challenged to filter information provided by customers, process it and offer a clear, efficient and fast solution. Another study found that people who speak more than one language can also process information more proficiently and easily.

Better decisions

A study found that forcing people to rely on a second language when making decisions reduced their natural human biases, making them a better person. Using a different language provides increased cognitive and emotional distance that allows people to focus on the information rather than their emotions.

Signpost to success

Companies need people who feel comfortable with the diversity at the workplace as well as people who can navigate different cultural expectations with the customers. Kermith confirmed that he feels his life has been enriched, “sometimes we share some cultural things with our customers and that help us to learn from different cultures.”

It also helps if you’re managing an account that is spread over several regions. For example, your client’s account management team is based in USA but their local support team and customers are in say China. In this case, the support staff will need to provide the right cultural support for the Chinese customer but report back to the account management team in a western style.

Diversity for better connections

International companies will choose one language to standardize on. This means we can all communicate at some level and share our cultures. It’s not uncommon to be speaking to someone in China in the morning, later in the day have communicated with a customer in Vietnam, a colleague in Bulgaria and finally send a report to a colleague in Costa Rica. You’ll start building better bonds, celebrate with them their local events while at the same time, you’re having a mini world tour every day.

Kermith said that if he was to speak to someone who was bilingual thinking of joining an IT company he would recommend them to do it because “Having a second language will make your work easier because you will understand better the customer’s environment and problem. And with that, find a faster and better solution.”

If you’re not using your second or even your third language maybe it’s time to rethink your career future.

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