Why learning Spanish for business
Most of us came across the Spanish language at least once in our life, but have you ever considered learning Spanish for business? How would it benefit your career growth?
Learning a language does boost your status drive certainly. With the desire to learn and experience foreign people, cultures, and contexts, you will improve your communication and transform your perspective. This allows for expression and opens opportunities with a wider world of knowledge and experience.
There are many reasons why learning Spanish will come into use for business.
Firstly, Spanish is the second most spoken language after Chinese.
There are approximately more than 577 million native Spanish speakers.
Now that’s a lot! But interestingly, in the USA, more than 43 million people speak Spanish, and the number is growing. So, what’s stopping you from learning Spanish when what mentioned above is an enough good reason to start diving into it?
Whether you decide to study it by yourself or need professional help (we offer free consultation) below are seven reasons why learning Spanish will benefit your business or your change to be employed.
- Change of career:
If you’re bored of your current job and need a change of setting, learning Spanish can open that door. You can travel to Spanish-speaking countries and do something new with your life. As I previously stated, Spanish is the second language that is most often spoken, which means you have a better chance of getting work abroad than staying in your native country and doing the same thing. This gives the possibility of career transition; you may work as a translator or start a business in Spanish-speaking countries because you are familiar with their culture and interests.
- Boost your CV:
If you are driven and wish to advance in your work, Spanish can benefit you as you have one more valuable skill to add to your CV. This increases your chance of getting your dream job as employers will be impressed seeing someone that can speak more than one language. It also offers additional possibilities; you’re more likely to be promoted if they want you to travel to Spanish-speaking nations.
- Other languages become easy to learn:
Spanish might be a valuable asset in this regard. Spanish is a Romance language, which means it has a lot in common with Catalan, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Romanian languages, all derived from Vulgar Latin. This means that Spanish vocabulary, syntax, and sentence structure are like the other foreign languages, so studying related languages takes less time. That’s great news as you could become a multilingual professional and your chances of getting the job of your dreams are even higher.
- Increase connection!
Isn’t it wonderful to be able to connect with others? Imagine being able to communicate on an emotional level with one of your Spanish friends or a stranger simply because you speak the language. It’s a gift we should cherish. Moreover, multilinguist paves a path to communicating with broader society on personal and professional levels.
People will be very welcoming and appreciate you; you will feel like a member of their community. It also promotes friendship, rapport and trust among experts, resulting in numerous commercial chances.
- Increase the size of your brain:
Learning Spanish is beneficial not just to society, but also to your brain. There are many cognitive benefits of learning a language like improved memory, problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, concentration and listening skills. There is more flexibility and creativity, but it also maintains the brain youthful and protects it from mental ageing and cognitive loss. That’s precisely what a business mind needs: to keep feeding the brain so dementia doesn’t get the best of us.
- Perspective drive
Learning Spanish allows you to explore and gain knowledge of culture. It illuminated facets of our own culture that we had previously overlooked. It could imply one thing to you and another to someone else. It’s a roller coaster cycle, but we appreciate it once we make it to the end line. Diverse cultures have different communication styles, and one of them may be better suited to a learner’s personality and preferences than others. Getting perspective can make you feel empowered.
- Establishing personality traits:
Learning Spanish gives you personality, whether it’s how you pronounce words or how you carry yourself. It boosts confidence. Any learner can make mistakes, but mistakes are crucial for the learning process. Learning a new language means putting yourself out there and coming out of your comfort zone. It can be fun and interactive with the proper guidance. It makes you look charismatic when you can converse with someone in their native language, but also, you can enjoy your favourite Spanish movies or tv shows in the original language.
What MOTIVATES you to learn a language? To improve communication, build your status, gain perspective or simply because it’s fun. Whatever reason you wish to go for, it does have its perks. Spanish makes you look romantic, intriguing, creative and unique. It increases your chances of making connections, opening doors to new opportunities, and developing rapport and trust among peers and colleagues. Finally, it increases your metacognitive abilities, which an employer looks for in an individual. You’re not just learning a language; you’re also bagging up many skills, which is a good reason why learning Spanish is beneficial to business.
How to conduct business in Spain
Business culture in Spain
Spain’s business culture is believed to be deeply rooted in tradition and some business practices could seem quite old-fashioned to foreigners. However, once you get familiar with the language and culture you will feel more comfortable in doing business in Spain. It could even become very pleasant.
Business hours vary according to Spanish’s regions and businesses. Generally speaking offices open at 9 am and close mid evening with two hours for lunch and siesta. However, siesta is not as popular as it used to be and business hours are adjusting to this change.
Of course the language of business is mainly Spanish, although multinationals will probably opt for bilingual English/Spanish speaking employees in big cities.
Business dress code
Business attire is typically smart and conservative with a preference for dark colours especially in winter. Suites are widespread among men and women. The latter could also opt for a modest dress. The outfit’s colours need to match.
Make a good impression
Personal pride, social status and personality are paramount attributes for Spanish people. In most cases, these factors are decisive for Spaniards to decide whether they would like to make business with you. In many cases these factors are valued as much as your professional experience and competence. In Spain, a successful business person will not only be presentable, honourable and trustworthy, but also be good company and amusing. So be ready to show the best version of you!
Building positive relationships is vital for Spanish people and face to face interactions are strongly preferred. Therefore, rather than sending emails or calling, take the time to set a meeting in person and keep the interaction personal, but formal.
Gifts are not a must, but they are encouraged during Christmas time and after successful business negotiations. Gifts should be of high quality and usually the receiver opens them in front of the giver. A good practice would be to check the company’s gift-giving policy as some corporations do not allow their employees to accept gifts or have particular protocols to adhere to.
Attitude to foreigners
Spaniards are friendly and welcoming people and appreciate when foreigners are open to the Spanish ways of doing things. Foreigners are also most likely to get a positive reception if they make the effort of speaking Spanish even if a little. However, with increasing unemployment and competition in jobs as in business, there has been some resentment towards employed foreigners from certain social classes. That said, Spaniards are not xenophobic and remain polite with foreigners.
Dos and don’ts when conducting business in Spain
- Address the business person formally using “Usted” it’s a sign of respect; your interlocutor will ask you to address to them informally if they wishe so.
- When introducing yourself, give a firm, but not aggressive handshake and maintain eye contact. Use formal greetings such as “buenos días” o “buenas tardes”
- Dress well and be presentable; a shabby image will definitively set you back.
- Don’t be taken by surprise if you find your personal space “invaded”, Spaniards prefer standing close and moving away can be interpreted as offensive.
- Don’t start negotiations at the beginning of a meeting as Spanish people like to establish a personal, but formal rapport first before engaging in business transactions. Likewise, when lunching or dining with associates only discuss business if you are invited to do so or it has been previously established that the main goal of the meal is to talk about work.
- Don’t fall for the “mañana” stereotype, whilst the life pace is slower in the South of Spain in the North deadlines are rigid and one is expected to be on time. It must be the weather!
Would you like further help?
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We offer language and intercultural training for individuals and businesses.
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