Why Language is Your Competitive Advantage

By Hiroko Sato

“Every little bit counts.”

John Clements Consultants, Inc. (JCCI) currently services many multinational companies around the world. Needless to say, the talents we assist are not only Filipinos, but those who speak different languages as well. Many Filipinos are fluent in two or three languages, depending on where they were born and raised. But have you ever thought that being bilingual or trilingual gives you a competitive advantage in the job market? And once you learn which languages are in demand in the business world, you will be able to raise your value in the market.

Last January 2017, JCCI launched the Japan Desk to develop services specifically catered to Japanese firms and professionals who wish to explore their careers there. Under the partnership with Persol Holdings, which is the largest recruiting and staffing company in Japan, JCCI expanded its services both inside and outside the country. There are currently about 1,700 Japanese companies in the Philippines, and this number is expected to increase by 20% in 3 to 5 years. And with an increasing workforce demand in Japan, the population of foreign workers is escalating dramatically. Because of this, Japanese bilingual talents are currently in demand in the job market.

Do you know what the benefits are for multilingual talents? When you are employed by a company as a multilingual specialist, you may benefit from a better compensation plan such as language allowance and a chance to be deployed to the company’s headquarters across the country. It will advance your career and fulfill your life. Just by starting a new challenge by investing a bit of time and effort, your life will change and the door leading to a new world will open.

Motivation is simple and the process is clear. Everyone knows that the key to learning a new language is to have objectives and practicality. Last August, JCCI conducted Japanese language classes for its employees. When our Japanese class advertisement was sent via email, the first 15 seats were claimed within 30 minutes. I was surprised to see their passion and interest to learn Japanese.

Prior to the classes, we already learned basic Japanese phrases that are used in both daily life and in the office, through role playing. Some are useful greetings such as Douzo Yoroshiku Onegaishimasu. Meaning both “please” and “thank you”, we call these magic words because they are used in many occasions. During the classes, participants wanted to have fun while learning, so I prepared small surprises to let them experience Japanese culture. Once I brought Japanese sweets to class for them to taste. I continuously plan something fun for future classes. I hope my method helps keep the staff interested in studying. Like the saying goes, “What one likes, one will do well.”

The Japan Desk employees are now familiar with many Japanese phrases, and they will learn faster once they practice using the phrases in the office. As for myself, it was a pleasure to take on the role as both an educator teaching a language and culture, and a facilitator stimulating the community. Let’s start studying a new language for fun and investment in your future!

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About the author:

 Hiroko Sato is a graduate of Kyoritsu Women’s University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature. She also studied at the Arab Islamic Institute in Tokyo. Ms. Sato speaks three languages: Arabic, English, and Japanese.