How to Get a Raise by Learning Another Language

As language lovers, we’re not always convinced people should need an incentive to learn a language. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t aware of a perk or two! And since money is such a motivator for so many of us, let’s start with that. Here’s how to get a raise by learning another language.


Learning a new language can be a huge advantage to get the raise you’ve been looking for. / photo via Unsplash


By far, the most transferable skill you can gain from learning another language is the art of communicating more effectively. Speaking a second language requires you to think in ways you wouldn’t necessarily in your own, and helps you develop the ability to think before you speak. You learn to appreciate the pauses between words, master reasoning skills, become aware of the pitch and cadence of your tone and others’.

Whatever industry you work in, communication is key to everything. Effective communication means the difference between success and failure, how you deal with difficult issues, and generally how you interact with both colleagues and clients. Learning another language will bring a whole new level of competence and understanding for all of these things.


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As someone who can speak an additional language, to those in your workplace, there is automatically more value placed on you and your skills. If there are international clients that your company is looking to develop relations with, you may be the person they turn to for help. If that is negotiating a new deal, building a strong rapport with the client base, or even smoothing things over when something has got lost in translation elsewhere, your language skills are vital.

It may even be your language skills that make your company consider looking in new areas for clients. Which means your services become indispensable to your employer. How much extra salary is that worth?


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Want to get ahead in your career? Learning a new language could be key. / photo via Picpedia


Learning an additional language can open up a world of possibilities to you that you might not have ever considered. It’s true that a second language gives you more people to speak to, enhances your travel experiences, and means taxi drivers the world over are less likely to look at you and think easy money when you are a tourist.

But in a professional capacity, having a second language on your CV can be monumental. If you are going up against candidates who don’t speak the additional language that a company is looking for, you will stand out. If you work for yourself, your client base is already wider than someone doing the same job but only in English. And if you’re bored of your job, well. Where in the world could you do your work instead of at home, if you speak a second tongue?


Taking it upon yourself to learn a second language is a huge commitment. If this is something you do while in full-time employment, this is a huge demand on your time. Learning a language isn’t just about taking classes or learning new vocabulary and grammar, it’s about time management, prioritizing, efficiency, and many other crucial transferable skills.

We’re not saying that your manager is about to turn around and reward you with a higher salary purely because they know you are learning a second language. But making an employer aware of your language learning means that in any salary negotiations you take part in, you already have an upper hand. By clearly demonstrating how all of these transferable skills directly impact your work, you are revealing your worth to the company. What better reason for a salary raise than that?


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Think of all the places you can go with a new language. / photo via Unsplash

Unique selling point

So now you might have realized the worth of learning a second language and are possibly considering which you should choose. German and Spanish top many lists, though Mandarin is also growing in popularity. So, if you are looking to compete with your peers, research your industry and see which of these most popular languages might be right for you.

However, if you’re all about out-of-the-box thinking, what languages receive less focus? Could Arabic be crucial to opening up trade talks with possible suppliers or clients that your company hasn’t previously considered? Would learning Swahili open unexpected doors to set up business in Tanzania, Kenya, or the Congo? And who knows, learning a language that isn’t winning any popularity contest might change the way you think and might change the focus of your interests and passions. Which might lead you on to even more exciting (and well-paying) work.

So with that in mind… what language are you interested in learning?