You don’t want to be a journalist. Writing a novel sounds agonising. You certainly have no desire to become the next Shakespeare. So why must you bother studying English?
The truth is, even if you don’t have a natural knack for it, English language skills are required for almost every job on the market these days. Here’s why.
Every career relies on written first impressions
Let’s face it: during the hiring process, employers have to judge a book by its cover. Your CV might not fully represent how talented and hardworking you are, but it’s all they have to go on. That’s why it’s crucial to make sure it’s well-written and eloquent.
Your CV isn’t the only written first impression you’ll make in your career either. Whether it’s a work proposal for a new client or your first email to a particular colleague, you’ll regularly introduce yourself via the written word.
And if you’re self-employed? Writing skills are even more important for you. When you work for yourself, you’re your own secretary, marketing guru and sales executive. It’s up to you to fill every role, which will inevitably involve a certain amount of writing.
Written communication is on the rise
Once upon a time, boozy client lunches, long-distance conference calls and water cooler chinwags were standard in the world of business. Then the Internet showed up and made communication faster and more efficient than ever.
Instead of booking a meeting room for a routine catch-up, you can simply send a group email. Office rumours aren’t whispered with a sideways glance, but discretely discussed in real-time via instant messaging. That elaborate ‘Mad Men’ style sales pitch you’ve been planning? The client would actually prefer it in a PowerPoint presentation.
Indeed, the Digital Age has placed much of our once-verbal communication into writing. Even professionals that don’t work in a typical office setting—from plumbers to zoologists—still use email to contact suppliers, invoice clients, communicate with colleagues or follow up on enquiries. Thanks to the Internet, writing and business are tied at the hip, permanently.
English is the language of international business
No matter where you are in the world, chances are you're going to be using English to communicate. Whether you're a native speaker or not, it's vital to have a firm grasp of the subtleties and nuances of the language. Conversational English isn't enough - you need to be able to give presentations and write in a variety of formats and styles such as letters, proposals and reports.
Plus, when you're communicating with people who have varying degrees of English proficiency, it's more important than ever to have a firm grasp on the language -the last thing you want is to cause more confusion.
Clarity, simplicity and brevity are more important than ever
The Internet hasn’t just changed the means by which we communicate, but also the way we absorb information. Accustomed to getting information from websites and social media (rather than encyclopaedias or books) we’ve become skimmers, scanners and list junkies. Our attention spans are shorter and there’s a growing expectation for content to be as clear, simple and brief as possible.
Learning how to translate your ideas into bite-size, easy-to-digest pieces of writing is useful for any profession. Proper formatting, sentence structure and punctuation play a big role in this. By understanding the rules of the language, you’re able to get your point across more effectively.
So what do you do if you don’t know your whos from your whoms? Get learning, of course!
Our IGCSE English Language course is the perfect way to hone your skills. It’ll give you a firm grasp of the English language, including grammar, writing for a purpose, and forming an argument - skills that will help you in any career (and in persuading your SO to do the dishes).
To find out more, get in touch with our course advisors by phone, email or webchat.