Around five years ago, I was in an incredibly dark place in my life. I had lost my job in my career of choice. I was unable to find another one. While I was financially stable, I knew I had to make some changes.
One of the ways that I got myself out of a funk was learning a new language.
I decided to teach myself Spanish, as I figured it would be cool to learn a language that so many in America now speak. Little did I know that learning Spanish would end up having such a huge impact on my career!
Learning Spanish By Myself
I will not lie and say that it was easy for me to learn Spanish on my own. It was definitely a struggle. My family members were not too helpful in the beginning, as they felt my quest was silly.
My husband did not think that I was focusing on the right things, while my kids were confused why mommy was suddenly muttering words in a language they did not understand!
But it was something I knew that I needed to do – even if it was to make myself feel better about myself. I used Rosetta Stone, Lang-8 and other online resources to make the process easier.
It can be isolating at first, as it is hard to retrain the brain with a new language when you get older. But I stuck with it and around six or seven months into my journey, I was able to hold basic conversations in Spanish.
One tool that helped me immensely was Lang-8, where it is possible to submit statements and short essays in a language. These submissions are critiqued by native speakers, showing where the submitter went wrong.
The site even has lists of Skype partners – people you can engage in Skype conversations with to get better at speaking a new language.
Spanish and My Career
When I lost my job in teaching, I felt as though my life was falling apart. I had money saved, which meant we were okay financially. But not being able to find a job for many months hurt me deeply, and I decided to move away from teaching.
I decided to take a course in nursing, as I was not working anyway. I managed to complete the course and get all the necessary certificates to work as a registered nurse in my state.
When I began applying for jobs, I noticed many of them were asking for people who were fluent in Spanish. At first, I was hesitant to apply. But then I submitted a few applications, hoping for the best.
Fast forward a few months and I was working at a top medical provider in the state, at a job that required me to speak and understand Spanish. I still find it incredible that a personal project to learn a new language ended up helping me find my footing in a new industry.
Now I get to practice my Spanish most days, which has improved immensely. And I work at a place I love!