Geography is no longer a limit for business.
Entrepreneurs have remote teams incorporating global skills where communication is vital to the success of these international endeavors. Businesspeople now face new challenges as they expand internationally and grow a global workforce. English has established itself as the lingua franca of global communication, innovation, commerce, trade, law and diplomacy. English is rapidly becoming a major factor in serving international clients, managing supply chains, collaborating in cross-border teams and communicating globally with their international counterparts.
Almost anyone in today’s world can make a living from the comfort of their own home through remote working. All that is needed is a working computer or phone, a high-speed internet connection and the required skills for the job. Online conferencing and project management platforms have made it easier and cheaper to build international teams.
The benefits of working from home are numerous such as flexible hours, choice of specific work environment, make a living while home-schooling and you can access markets without all the legal and financial red tape.
There is, however, one challenge: language. Fluency in the English language is almost essential for building and growing as a successful home-based entrepreneur, business, or remote working career.
Fluency is key for many reasons;
Access – it is possible to work from almost anywhere but many of the most lucrative contacts could flow from English-speaking nations such as Australia, the UK and Canada. Furthermore, many of the platforms that provide online marketplaces have roots in the English-speaking world. Accessing these platforms and connecting with remote working opportunities requires English language skills.
Out of the world’s approximate 7.5 billion inhabitants, 1.5 billion can speak English. That is about 20% of the world’s population. It is also one of the most studied second languages among non-native speakers so there will be a lot of competition out there.
You may have excellent written skills but struggle with conversation although it is highly likely that you will be involved in conference calls, Zoom meetings, updates and idea-sharing. If you can’t keep up with the conversation or struggle to find the words you need you could miss out on valuable opportunities.
Perception – Speaking multiple languages is usually dismissed if you can’t speak English. It’s unfair but it is a reflection of our current economic environment. This, however, can be turned to your advantage. Companies are always looking for multilingual candidates to add to their staff or if you are an entrepreneur your ideal client may see your efforts at perfecting the language as a unique and highly desirable skill.
Potential growth – English isn’t just found in the work environment but also in professional development resources too. Your English skills can help you grow corporately from data entry into a virtual assistant which may grow into an account manager and then your own business. There are endless amounts of material and information on professional development but a large portion is available in English.
Barriers and geographical distances are becoming less important as the internet helps us connect. Now more than ever, English is becoming the lingua franca for this new world of work and perfecting it could be your ticket into this exciting remote working economy.
1 - Learn how to learn by switching from passive to active learning. Would you learn how to drive a car just by reading the manual? Would you learn how to cook by reading a recipe book? Probably not. You learn by practical hands on, by making mistakes and by messing up.
2 - Make a specific list of things you need to practice (phone calls, presentations) because once you have goals then you can gather the most common phrases native speakers use in those situations.