Dominating the marketplace – My Bi-lingual personal development journey.
By Reuben Dawkins.
Brexit has begun, and the UK are about to venture into the unknown. Things could change dramatically, so as a business we need to be well placed to ensure we can maintain our competitive edge. It has never been so prevalent for our nation to start learning other languages. Previously, we have been able to rely on English being the international language of business, and while it definitely will remain so for the near future, we must prepare for the years ahead.
Whilst English is the second language of the majority of Europe, we still desperately need multilingual speaking employees to help grow the business. Government statistics show that the UK loses around 3.5% of its GDP each year due to lack of language skills. With MarketMakers being the most powerful B2B agency in the UK, we are able to rise above these issues for our clients. We scout heavily for talented multilinguals who can assist our clients with campaigns beyond the English language.
This is where my journey comes in, I am an English born citizen and I want to use my hobby to progress in my career and as a result, become invaluable to MarketMakers. I have been studying Spanish for the past 12 months, committing 5-10 hours a week of personal development to this passion. This has been a personal hobby, with Barcelona being a frequent holiday destination of mine. During long chats with Henry, our MD, about life and success, he said many enlightening things that stuck with me. He spoke about the importance of finding your purpose, and showed me a diagram very similar to the one below.
After reflecting on one of our conversations, something everything clicked and ‘Spanish’ popped into my head. This added a new layer to my already high motivation. In the same way carbon enhances steel to create a valuable alloy, Speaking Spanish enhances my career goals to create a greater vision. Whether as a telemarketer, speaking to prospects, or managing accounts and connecting with clients, I can bring value to MarketMakers with this skill.
How would English Bi-lingual employees be viewed to the rest of Europe? As a force to be reckoned with. Firstly, it is seen as a sign of great respect when someone is spoken to in their own language, which from my experience is extremely higher when an English person is speaking to them. Whilst on travel excursions to Barcelona, the locals where surprised and impressed with an English man speaking Spanish. Many complimented to say they had never met someone from England who had learnt the language to my level. It has been proven that individuals think more logically when thinking in another language. So, how much of a disadvantage are we putting ourselves in when hiring natives to negotiate our business deals? From my understanding, if as a nation we spoke other languages, we would vastly improve international relations.
Currently I am intensively learning 225 words a week, listening to audio book stories for 20 minutes a day and speaking with friends made in Barcelona once a week. The plan is to take my B2 Spanish exam early 2018. Once reaching fluency, I hope to be able to demonstrate that upskilling our nation’s employees, lies key to remaining a dominant figure in the market, for decades to come.