Yes bilingual professionals get jobs twice as fast and get paid more. This is the reality in our 21st century globalized world. Take two candidates with the same exact educational and work experience background, the candidate that is bilingual will get the job, and be offered more money.
I have been blessed with many wonderful positions at important companies such as Kleenex, Kimberly Clark, Solectron an IBM partner, an Arthur Anderson Consulting spin off company and many other international companies.
I have traveled the world, met great people and been involved in great projects with companies such as Lufthansa Services. I now realize that all this has been because I made the concentrated effort to become and stay bilingual and multilingual.
As a young professional I did not understand why my boss would say, “We need the best consultant to go to Brazil” and he would pick me. I was not the best, but I was bilingual in Portuguese, so I would be sent to Brazil on an exciting project to work with HP (Hewlett Packard) a very important client of the company at that time.
Young professionals today should get training and become bilingual in any language; they should look for foreign assignments. These two strategies will help you climb the corporate ladder faster, will make you earn more money and if you need to change jobs, you will get the next job faster than your competing candidate.
Language is power and it is the competitive advantage you need to succeed in business and in your career.