Speak Chinese and get more responsibilities in China
China is racing ahead as a world-class economic power. It has officially left Japan behind as it became the world’s second biggest economy in 2015. It has also overtaken Germany as the world’s biggest exporter and is also a huge contender as one the world’s biggest car markets.
Chinese economic growth has been known to have its cracks and weaknesses but is it stopping? The short answer is no.
So does that make anyone feel like they should start to learn Chinese? The idea would not be unjustified. Wherever you are from there is a good chance that Chinese cities have a relatively better job market for you, and all you need to unlock all of those possibilities is the key, the lingo.
It goes without saying that for anyone who wants to set up camp and make a living in China, knowing the language is an advantage, and even more so if you know some of it before arriving.
Bilingual is better, of course.
And we don’t just mean that for the expats. If you live in the U.S. or in Europe, it won’t be difficult for you to find some evidence of Chinese implantation at least on a national scale, and this implantation is generally getting stronger and stronger with the time. So at home as much as in Asia, you will surely benefit from mastering Chinese. However, if you really want to fully enjoy the potential of your Mandarin skills, you should try to make sure to reach a high-enough level so that you are able to speak directly with clients or suppliers from China as well as Chinese businessmen in your country, a rather large group of people all things considered.
There are many benefits to picking up this language
Not to fear though, for although there are many benefits to picking up this language, mandarin is not yet close to becoming the world’s language for business. The fear that all self-respecting business men will have to know Chinese to survive in the next few years is a bit extreme and much of world trade can still thrive on good ol’ English. For sure, Chinese language skills will help anyone standout on the job market, because for one thing it isn’t the easiest language for a foreigner to learn. But speaking Chinese does in no way guaranty your employment. It all depends on how you use it, how far you understand the “Chinese system” and how good you play at it.
Brian Renwick, an executive Boyden China Ltd recruiting says that Chinese firms still prefer to have main executives from mainland China. He affirms that cultural adaptation is becoming more and more important to Chinese companies. He adds also that if employment candidates with Chinese language skills are lacking in supply, Chinese firms will be much quicker to turn towards other Chinese speaking labour supply such as that from Taiwan, Hong-Kong, Singapore and such.
But the fact remains that there are many opportunities for westerners who speak mandarin. A chief executive of a search firm based in London, Chris van Someren, suggests that the demand for executive positions multinational companies in China has risen by 35 percent in the last year, resounding similarly to figures from other research firms.
So Chinese language skill are a certified advantage for opening up the job market based in another continent, but what is also fully appreciated by such potential recruiters is a sensitivity towards China’s very strong tradition rooted culture. If you were thinking of learning Chinese for future career development, it’s a plus. But if you want to go all the way in riding the wave that is China’s world expansion, learn some about China’s unique culture and specific ways of doing things.