Many people learn the Korean language as part of understanding their culture, while some simply learn Korean mainly because they’re planning to visit the country in the near future. But if you’re career-oriented, learning a new language other than English might just be a part of your strategy to boost your career. If that’s the case, then the Korean language might’ve been one of your options.
But as you may have heard from your friends or coworkers, the Korean language is a bit tricky. It might be possible to learn the alphabet, Hangul, in a few months, but learning the Korean language with the intention of being proficient in speaking, reading, and writing, typically takes years. This begs the question, ‘Is the Korean language beneficial enough to warrant the need to learn about it?’ To answer that question, this guide will go over seven ways learning Korean can help you boost your career.
1. Companies Highly Value Bilingual Individuals
It’s a well-established fact that individuals proficient in more than two languages are more valuable to the workforce in comparison to people that are proficient only in their native language. Hence, if you learn the Korean language, or pretty much any language for that matter, you’re essentially gaining an edge over other candidates, which in turn inflates your value for organizations.
2. Learning New Languages Boosts Your Brainpower
Learning a new language is one of the many ways people can do to improve one’s brainpower. Hence, apart from directly increasing your value, it may also indirectly inflate your value by making you seem much more advanced than other individuals when it comes to cognitive ability. Of course, it goes without saying that you can learn a much simpler language than Korean and still enjoy the same benefits, so why should you learn Korean in particular? A part of it actually has something to do with Korea.
3. Korea Is A Popular Business Destination
Korea is perhaps one of the most popular business destinations across different industries, mainly because it has the 12th largest economy globally. For that reason, many companies are looking forward to expanding their reach by engaging in Korea’s economy. That’s also probably the main reason why you often find Korean characters in a movie because the company wants to cater to the Korean audience.
Nevertheless, when the company finally decides to expand their reach, you, an employee that knows how to speak Korean, would be the ideal frontliner for this expansion. Regardless of how this project goes, there’s a good chance you’re up for a promotion. But if this project succeeds, you’re most likely going to be the middleman when it comes to the relationship between the company you’re working for and its business partners from Korea. But what if your company doesn’t plan on engaging in Korea’s economy? Would your Korean language skill still be of any help?
Fortunately, yes, the company doesn’t necessarily have to engage in the Korean economy for you to make use of your skills, because chances are, the company already has connections with Korea.
4. The Probability Of Working In A Korean Company Is High
LG, Hyundai, Samsung, Kia—these are some of the most popular companies run by Koreans. Suppose you work for any of these companies. If that’s the case, then your Korean language skills would be invaluable to their workforce.
Not only can you better adapt to their culture, but you can also serve as the middleman to bridge the gap between the Korean authoritative figures of the company and their employees, which are most likely native English speakers, by translating Korean to English. You might also be surprised at the number of companies consisting of Korean stakeholders.
So, even if you’re working for a US company, there’s still a good chance it has relations with Korea.
5. Korean Is The 18th Most Used Language In The World
Another interesting fact about Korean is that it’s the 18th most used language in the world, with over 75 million people speaking Korean. By simply learning the Korean language, you’re essentially opening up a whole new world of opportunities to interact with someone. If you’re lucky, that someone might be an individual that would potentially have a massive contribution to your career success.
6. Government Agencies Value Korean-speaking Candidates
You probably already know that many countries, including the United States, are keen on improving their relations with Korea for the sake of diplomacy and international security. That’s precisely why government agencies such as the Department of State, National Security Agency, and Central Intelligence Agency value Korean language skills above many things. If you intend to work for these agencies, then learning Korean would be one of the best decisions you’ll make in your career, as it pretty much guarantees that you’ll be shortlisted if you ever apply for a position.
7. It Introduces You To Asian Languages
As stated earlier, learning a new language inflates your value to the workforce. Being proficient in two languages is enough to land you a job, but what if you can learn more? What if you learn Chinese or Japanese as well? Naturally, your value would become even greater.
The beauty of the Korean language is that while its complexity is leagues away from the English language when compared to other Asian languages such as the two mentioned earlier, it’s one of the simplest and easiest to learn. This is mainly because there’s a logical pattern. Moreover, its structure and logic are similar to languages like Chinese and Japanese, so you can think of Korean as a great starter when learning Asian languages. Hence, it makes sense to start with Korean if you don’t intend to stop with the Korean language.
Although it’s nice that you want to further your career by committing yourself to learn Korean, you should also take your time to appreciate the language for what it is. After all, the Korean language is known to be elegant and beautiful, so you might as well make the most out of your time and effort, and perhaps even resources. Needless to say, if you still have doubts about learning Korean, remember that there are countless apps, tutorials, and resources out there that can help out with the process.
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