Let’s keep it real.
We are all at a point in our careers where we spend at least 1/3rd of our day at work.
Some of us bring work home, work overtime or take up side projects to earn that extra something.
So no, with our plates full, learning something new is not an idea that we would easily embrace.
To add to that, learning a new language seems all the more demanding – wrapping your head around a whole new linguistic system, bothering yourself with the right grammar, pronunciation, learning to read, write and speak from scratch seems like….starting from scratch!
It’s not like you can master the language in a few weeks – it would take at least a year of intensive (which means time-consuming) and immersive (which means you need to be completely involved and committed) learning.
And that’s why the internet is filled with articles about 3 or 5 or 10 reasons you should learn German – because it takes a lot of convincing before one is finally ready to take the plunge.
But most of those reasons don’t really matter, and honestly, we don’t have the time to even consider them.
Here are a few of those reasons I’d like to bust for you:
Don’t learn German to discover a whole new world:
Yes, you will learn about a whole new culture, which can broaden your world-view.
But ain’t nobody got time for that.
Don’t learn German for Mozart or Goethe:
Yes, you will understand German music and lyrics on a whole new level. Yes, you will unlock access to a life-changing universe of German literature, philosophy and history.
the ideal world, this would be the perfect reason to learn German. But right now, we don’t have the time to pick up a book or even listen to music to our heart’s satisfaction. So listening to Mozart and reading Goethe?
Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Don’t learn German because of your Wanderlust:
Yes, most of Germany is more beautiful that you can imagine, and yes, it would be amazing to travel to Germany AND speak their language.
But like almost anywhere in the world, you can get by just fine in Germany with English.
Plus, we’ve got work to do. We’ve got goals to kill. We’ll cross the Wanderlust bridge when we come to it.
As of now, ain’t nobody got time for that.
Don’t learn German because your friend (or nemesis) is learning it:
The German language is not a skill that is ‘hot right now.’ German is not relevant because it is trendy, or cool, or glamorous – quite the opposite; German has been an important skill around the world since a long time.
German is not a skill that is ‘trending now.’ It has been valued and in-demand for years, and it is here to stay and grow.
German is a skill you pick up, invest your time and effort in, and then stick with it to make real gains.
The ONE (INSANELY) smart reason to learn German
With all those myths busted, let me tell you the only assured reason you should be learning German.
Assured: An extra 30% edge to your career and your pay.
I’m talking about a sure-shot average 30% hike in your salary.
I’m talking about 30% more opportunities among high-paying jobs.
I’m talking, switching from a ‘local’ career to a global career.
It hardly matters what your profile is – adding German language skills makes it insanely better.
Here's an example:
The average pay for an English-speaker in India with 1 – 3 years experience in customer support is between 2,00,000 – 4,00,000.
The average pay for a German-speaker with the same level of experience is between 5,00,000 – 7,00,000.
I have worked with German-speaking freshers who STARTED OUT with that salary.
Similar ratios can be found across job profiles, across industries and countries and for different experience levels. One look at any online job portal, and you can find more examples like the one I shared.
But I've heard that learning German is...
…complicated: So is every other high-paying skill. The German language is a language – it has its own linguistic logic, grammar system, specific way of pronunciation and etiquette.
But here’s something that is equally true: The German language is one of the best-taught skills, irrespective of where you are.
The language is taught in a non-intimidating, systematic and seamless way – soon, German comes naturally to you, and you tend to even think in German.
In that sense, the German language feels less complicated than many other technical skills.
…time-consuming: Here’s the deal. There is an internationally accepted system of German learning. There are essentially 6 levels, and then a few more ultra-specialist courses on top.
I completed the 6 levels from Goethe Institut (Max Mueller Bhavan, Pune) in a little over a year. But let me be clear, my course was a super-intensive one, which means that I attended 5-hour classes every weekday for a little over a year (I basically skipped college and attended MMB).
But that’s not practical for everyone, and it’s a good thing that there are a hundred other options to learn German without quitting your job.
Plus, though there are six levels, you are perfectly employable for some German-speaking jobs as soon as you finish level 3. The more you learn, the better your avenues get.
You could take up an online course, a one-on-one course that will ensure that you get all the focus you need.
I'm a busy person. Even if I want to, how do I start?
My advice? Start slow. Start with 3 – 4 hours a week.
Give yourself a 30-hour goal to learn the bare basics of the language.
And pick up the pace when you’re comfortable.
Look for a trainer who will customize the course for you according to:
– Your daily schedule
– Your career path
– Your 12-month goals
– Your 5-year career goals
Make sure that your German course charts out the following:
– Number of teaching units (Teaching units are usually 45 mins / an hour.)
– Frequency of sessions (How many teaching units per week?)
– Course goals (“At the end of the course, you will be able to…”)
– Future path of learning (once you have made up your mind to add “German-speaking” to your skill, it’s important for you to understand the learning levels, certification, duration of the courses, etc.)
You’ll find plenty of courses and teachers online, and plenty of apps to help you keep learning. (I’ll share a list of my favorite ones soon.)
And of course, you can always start with me. There is nothing I love more than teaching, and with me, you’ll learn in a more bigger-picture way – keeping your vision for your career in mind from day one.