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Take Advantage of Your Bilingualism: 5 Things You Can Do Right Now
Are you bilingual? Trilingual? Even multilingual? If so, you are one of more than 55 million people living in the United States with these amazing skills. And because you are not alone, and actually desired by many employers, it’s time to open up about your heritage at work. Your language skills don’t need to stay at home! The first step to integrating your skill into your career is to open up about your heritage and your native language.

Take Advantage of Your Bilingualism: 5 Things You Can Do Right Now

1. Tell the Boss

Telling your boss first may make your heart flutter, but this may be the most advantageous step you can make. You never know if another multilingual client might come along. You might become the primary contact when a special bi-cultural or international business opportunity arises for your company. Your supervisors will see you as an asset if they know that you are able to speak an important language for the transaction. There are countless reasons why being open about your heritage professionally is advantageous! It’s important to think outside the box and be creative and open about the magic powers your skills have.

2. Be Creative About the Possibilities

Consider all of the possibilities for your native or second language in your office. How can it benefit relationships with your current business partners, and for your company locally, nationally, and internationally? Write a list of all of the times you might have interacted as a customer in another language, then consider being on the other side of the table. After brainstorming, approach your boss with your ideas. Most will see this favorably if they understand the current scope of the business world we live in today and know the silver platter they are being offered.

3. Positively Tell Everyone Else

Next, find ways to mention your heritage and language skills to your coworkers as well. The more comfortable you are with your own heritage, the more comfortable others will be. Accept questions with a smile! You never know if the guy in the cubicle down the hall who you’ve always secretly wondered is from an international household might start chatting you up in your other tongue!
[RELATED: 10 Steps To a Promotion (Without Working Longer)]

4. Know Your Advantage

Most importantly, be confident knowing the huge advantage you have! Being bilingual or multilingual opens opportunities for international connections in your future and brings a global perspective to any office – a highly desirable viewpoint in most successful workplaces.

5. Add to it Your Resume

The last step? Don’t forget to add your credentials to your resume!

Hi, I'm Anna!

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