The unfortunate side effect of being a non-native English speaker is that you have to overcome other people’s biases. This can hold you back when it comes to working in the field of business. Here are some of the obstacles that you may face and how to overcome them.
Overcoming Racial Stereotypes
Many people view those that are foreign as somehow being alien. This may mean that you aren’t given the same level of confidence and trust as a native speaker. You have to work harder to show that you’re just as valuable as someone else. This is often the most difficult obstacle to overcome. You can’t change people’s minds but you can alter their perceptions of you. Be aware that some people may have this hang up. Strive to overcome it by setting yourself apart from their stereotype of your culture.
Difficulty Conveying Ideas
It can be nerve wreaking for anyone to have to get up and speak in meetings. This fear may be compounded further if you’re struggling to convey the meaning of your message. Look into ESL classes so that you can get the help that you need with pronunciation and public speaking skills. This may give you the confidence that you need to stop stumbling over your words. Those that are able to communicate effectively are more likely to be viewed positively.
Less Likely to Be Promoted
Some of the more established businesses are less likely to promote those that are non-native speaking. This is because of the perception that you may be unable to communicate or achieve the standards required for the job. Not all businesses share this problem. If you don’t feel appreciated in your business field, you may want to look for a more diverse company. Talent and knowledge should be rewarded instead of your cultural background.
Less Influence over Others
Another common misconception about non-native speakers is that they have less influence over others. It’s often viewed that because of the cultural differences you can’t understand the motivations of those around you. Understanding what motivates someone is key to being able to change their mind. Plan out your ideas so that you explain your rationale when it comes to making business decisions. Having the reasoning to present may help others to see the benefit of your way of doing things.
As the business world becomes more diverse, stereotypes and irrational fears will have to be set aside. Develop your skill set so that you’re in a good position to move forward in a company.