If you’re considering a career change and working internationally appeals to you then congratulations, I think you’ve chosen a path that will offer some amazing opportunities both for your professional and personal life.
The term “international business” is a wide one comprising all those business activities involved in cross border transactions of goods, services and resources. By “transaction” we refer to the capital, skill set and work force used for the international production of goods and services like insurance, construction, banking or finance.
As if these topics aren’t complex enough in this country, it’s fair to say the more you know about their application in different countries, the more successful you’re likely to be. A global understanding will help you make better decisions and decide what policies you should support.
Thanks to the phenomenon of global transformation and unification that we know as globalization, a career in international business offers as many opportunities as there are countries around the world. From Andorra to Zambia, the possibilities are truly endless. The first question to ask oneself is perhaps “Where do I want to work (and spend my time)?” and following in a close second is surely “Will I need to learn a new language?”
Truthfully, only you will be able to answer the first question, but as for learning a new language, the sustainability of your new career choice could well depend on it.
Learning a New Language for Business
The challenge that international business presents is an interesting one; the ability to combine your knowledge of business with its application in unfamiliar markets (systems, cultures, targets, languages, etc.). For that reason, knowing more than one language is likely to be of vital importance.
Ask yourself; would you be able to deal with or work in a foreign country whose language –and culture, as language and culture go hand in hand- remains a mystery to you? Knowledge of business in your country, however proficient you may be, may not be enough.
With this in mind, it’s really important that you learn your chosen language in a way that will be most beneficial to you in a business environment. Think back to when you learnt Spanish at school. Whilst the phrases you remember may still be of use on holiday when ordering a coffee or asking for directions, I doubt they’d get you too far trying to negotiate a business deal with your Spanish counterpart.
Whilst home learning CDs may help, what you’ll really need to do is to enroll with a training provider who can offer you a tailor made business oriented language course.
Tailor made language training is available in most major cities across the UK but naturally many of the larger providers are based in London because of its cultural diversity. If you’re seeking to learn Spanish in London, one of the most well established providers; Language Trainers has offered training in the London area, in almost every language, for over 15 years now and would seem a good place to start your search.
In contrast to say a general Spanish course, a course from a specialist provider will offer one to one training by native speakers who will focus on the exact language requirements that your new role demands. So, whether you’ve chosen a career as Import/Export Agent, Foreign Currency Investment Advisor, Foreign Sales Representative or International Management Consultant (to name but a few), your training will be based around your own specific needs and interests. Greater emphasis is also usually placed on developing proficient reading and writing skills as well as formal business communication.
I hope that this post will help you on the path to success and that you thoroughly enjoy the time you spend emersed in a new culture (and the better weather of course).