Why working in a second (or third, fourth…) language is better

5 reasons why working in your second (and third) language makes me work better!

Since when I get to work only in English, and eventually in German, I realized that my prodactivity on work has increased 100%. It’s something that I would never even imaged before, that “only” changing the language, I would have also make my Job better.

I started 3 years ago when I was relocated in Germany to do a job at european Level. I didn’t know a work in German and my Job required English enyway, so I had to speak and write (and think) only in English. All meetings, emails, conference calls, files, conversations, everything work related was for me in English, and when I started to speak a Little German, it was also in German. Certentely, nothis in my native language (Italian) anymore!

Since the very first start, I could see the benefit of that. Not only I was working better but it was also changiny my personality towards work. And I am not talking of languages improvements, which obiouvly came along, I mean mental and psycological benefits.

1. First of all, rationality has took over my impulsivity. Having to always think before speaking or writing, forces me to reationally chose what I want to say and say it really clearly. I never express anything with impulsivity. Having to think before saying something provides the result that I think also before doing anything. This new ability had a huge impact in my everyday working life as in the past I used to react to things too fast (could be that my Italian nature plays a role here).

2. I am always clear on what I want to say. I don’t leave any ambiguities, I am streighforward, direct and simple. This does not happen when I speak my native langguage I admit. And on working envoirment, where everything is on short mails or by telephone, almost never by person, it’s crucial important to BE CLEAR.

3. You learn how to think differently. Using always other works forces also the flow of my thoughts to follow different paths, for example if I think about how a headline should be, I already know the structure that could have in English, I would never think of it in my native language and then translate it. And that reflect a visual different point of you.

4. At work I keep more distance with people. That does not mean we don’t make jokes and don’t have nice conversations, sure I do it. It means that I keep barriers always up and I never reach that critical point of emotionally react. Rationality and stabilty are my strenghs now. Being as a nature talkative and warm, I know that for how much I will take distance, I will never be able to not create Relations. That’s why I needed to learn how to manage my nature, and I learn through a language control.

5. I get less emotional and I am able to negotiate better. It’s always difficult, especially for women, to ask things at work. It’s also stupid not to aks things that could improve our Job, but many times we don’t dare. I leart that thinking strategically works better in my second (or third language), that’s why when I think I need something, I make a case, I give proofs that I really need it and it’s worth what it costs, and then I go for it. From a new computer to a language corse, up to a new qualifications and responsabilities. Asking is the key, make it well planned though.


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