Use English in Your Career

The next edition of Beyond English Fluency is here and it’s a little different this time.

It’s all about asking a very important question.

Do you want to work and use English in your career? 

If you are new, Beyond English Fluency dives into topics and shares strategies around communication that go beyond language.

Every other Wednesday (twice per month), I share a theme related to communication that goes into depth about one theme, strategy or idea. Whether you are a non-native English speaking professional or consider yourself a native looking to excel in your communication- you’ll find a strategy that you can apply to your own situation.

Why are some Design and Tech Professionals able to confidently, clearly and successfully use English every day as a professional while others are feeling insecure, overwhelmed and tired of being rejected for opportunities.

In today’s article and over the next month, I will be breaking down the steps to move forward in your global Design and Tech Career. I’ll be sharing the answers to those questions so you too can develop your English language skills to successfully work with international clients, teams and companies.

If you are new to the Beyond English Fluency Newsletter, welcome! My name is Gemma Keeling and I help non native English speakers go from overwhelmed and struggling to use English to communicating with confidence and clarity to successfully work with international teams and clients.

Even the most shy and nervous professionals can overcome self-doubt, and figure out how to articulate their ideas and decisions with clarity and feel better in their job as a creative, design or tech professional.

Working in education for over 12 years, I understand what it takes and which areas to focus on to get the best results. Over the years, I’ve helped 1000’s of students build their communication confidence, language and fluency.

I am excited to share that roadmap to using English effortlessly and with confidence with you here.

But firstly, there are some decisions you need to make.

At least, you need to have some idea of where you want to go and what you want to do.

This means, you need to spend time asking a very important question.

You will see many people say ‘You must have this to succeed in your career…’ or ‘become fluent in a few weeks…’ or ‘‘This is the law of working in UX…’ or ‘‘This is the law of working in tech…’

I want you to question everything. 

There are many methodologies and approaches you can follow… but is it the right one for you?

Which takes me to an important question. It’s a question that only you can answer.

‘Do I even want to use English every day in my career?’

Sure, there are SO many benefits of learning a language and working in English.

Having English on your side means more opportunities, higher salaries, more access to the latest training, resources, tools, mentors and books. Working with talented teams and the latest technologies and methodologies.

You are thinking ‘of course I want that!’…

The cold reality though, is that there is no shortcut to learning a language.

I’m being very real with you here. 

Working in English full time isn’t right for everyone.

You simply might not want to.

You might love the idea, but the reality can be very different.

It’s your journey.

I am asked almost daily ‘How do I become fluent in English?’

My question is ‘do you need to be?’

Or do you want to be?

Depending on your definition of fluency – typically fluency is defined as the ability to speak or write a foreign language easily and accurately.

I won’t go into the definitions of fluency here but if you want to hear more about that topic then check out one of my most popular podcast episodes here – Are my language skills getting worse? 

Using English in your daily life can be fun. You are connecting with people in different countries, using English when you travel and visit new places. You are playing video games and watching series, reading books and listening to podcasts and have access to a plethora of information and knowledge.

I’m a huge advocate for language learning and I am not here to put you off learning languages.

But learning a language and using a language in your professional life are two different things.

I’ve seen it time and time again when professionals have an intermediate level of English or consider themselves to be proficient in a language and then start working in English full time and quickly burn out.

I’ve even seen it when they start to resent going to work.

I dare say it. They end up hating their job.

They are challenged with their daily tasks and projects that come with a new job, and then on top they are struggling with making the best impression, speaking up and using English, and standing out as a non-native English speaker. They know they have so many ideas to share, many ways they can contribute, but they are being held back.

I hope it doesn’t get to this situation which is why the question is so important.

Decide if you want to use English in your career one day…

If it’s not right now, then that’s okay.

If you are not sure just yet, that’s okay too.

Sometimes, you don’t know unless you try!

If it is, do you have a plan to develop your skills and spend the time required to reach your career goals?

Think about where you are now, where you want to be, and be realistic with the time you are giving yourself to achieve it.

There are many Design and Tech Professionals who are non-native English speakers who are able to confidently, clearly and successfully use English every day in their job – and they aren’t necessarily fluent English speakers.

In the next article, I’ll be sharing all about how they are able to do it and where you can focus when it comes to developing your language skills in English and as a professional.

How do you feel about using English everyday? Are you working in a second language? What challenges do you face?


If you would like to build your communication confidence and foundations in English but are not really sure how or where to start then check out my free guide to build your confidence today.

Do you have any additional questions? Feel free to reach out and send me a message. I’m happy to help.

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