A lot of my clients tell me they want to apply for a job where they will need to use English. Sometimes, they are not happy in their current job or they feel like they are no longer growing.

I see that these clients are motivated and focused on improving their English skills and they have a clear goal in mind.

Once we define the goal, I usually ask them when they intend to start applying for these jobs.

They tell me “I’ll be ready in two or three months” or “I just need a little time to get ready.”

The problem with waiting until you’re ready

When I first started teaching English in a small village in Thailand, nothing could have prepared me for my first day in the classroom.

I had training of course, but standing in front of a room of 40 students whose language I couldn’t speak was a new situation. In other words, I wasn’t ready.

The first class was a disaster. The first week was difficult and disheartening. But the second week was a little better and, despite some bad classes, things improved steadily over the next weeks and months. Eventually I could walk into the classroom every day with the confidence to give a strong class.

You have probably been in this situation with something other than English before. It’s that moment when you transition from preparation and training into the actual work. You can study for years, but you never know if you can do the real job until you start doing the job.

Communicating in English is no different. You might have done well in your English class and can have a conversation with a teacher. But you aren’t going to know if you can perform a good job in English until you try it.
You’re ready now

I don’t want you to read this as, “I’ll never be ready.”

I want you to know that you are ready now.

You’ve put in the work. You’ve taken classes. You’ve practiced and practiced. Now it’s time to take the next step.

Another month or two will not make you feel any more ready than you do now. It’s up to you to take a chance and throw yourself into real situations where you need to use real English.
Start by speaking up in your next meeting or volunteering to work on multinational projects. Look for the jobs you would like to work in and send your application...today!
The cost of waiting until you’re ready

Recently, a client of mine saw an announcement for his dream job. As he described the position and the freedom and benefits it would provide, I could see his smile grow and joy in his eyes. Then I asked if he had sent his resume.

He laughed a little and said he didn’t. He said he was afraid because the job required English. His smile started to fade.

Opportunities like this don’t come every week. The chance to work in a company and in a position where you are valued and being challenged to grow everyday is rare.

When you see a good opportunity, are you going to let it pass or will you at least take the first step?

There will always be another opportunity, but the next one could come in a month or in three years. You want to take these opportunities when they arrive.

We tell ourselves we need to speak English better before we apply for these jobs or we risk embarrassing ourselves. But that’s an excuse to protect ourselves from failure.

Rejection hurts and you may fail to get that job. But you will never know unless you try and you will learn from the experience either way.
Never stop learning

After six years of teaching, training, coaching, facilitating and mentoring, I am still learning new things every day.

I’ve taken chances. I moved to another country and started a business. I wasn’t ready for those things either, but I took a chance and continue to learn as I go.

As a modern day professional, you are always learning new skills in your field and adding to your knowledge. Sometimes we have the luxury of intensive training before we apply these new skills and sometimes we learn something new one day, and have to use those skills the next day.

Applying for a job where you need to use English everyday does not mean you have to stop training with a teacher or practicing your listening skills.

You don’t have to speak perfectly before you apply for these jobs either. You know that learning is an ongoing process. There will be days when you feel like you’ve failed and there will be days when you feel on top of the world.

But if you never take the first step, you’ll never have the chance to succeed.

Stop waiting until you feel ready. It doesn’t matter if it’s your English skills or another professional skill. You’re never going to feel ready until you’ve tried to use your skills.

A 5 day English interview training and practice program for your job interview success.

Take a chance. You’re ready now.

Author's Bio: 

My name is James, founder of English Arrow. I provide professional coaching in English for interviews, that enables non-native speakers with the knowledge and skills of interview English, to easily communicate during official settings.