Career talk: My experiences working internationally, jobs with languages and travel, and career advice
Today marks the start of National Careers Week here in the UK. I’m passionate about developing my own career and about supporting others to do the same, which I do through mentoring female students at my alma mater, organising career-focused events for my university’s alumnae, and giving careers talks to schools and universities around the country. Another good UK-based platform for sharing career advice is Inspiring the Future, which connects schools with volunteers in all careers and industries, to deliver careers talks, mock interviews and career advice.
This year I obviously can’t attend schools in person, so I was instead asked by a school in Dorset to record a careers talk in advance, to be delivered online to their pupils, who are all studying at home during the pandemic. I’m really pleased to hear that schools are still focusing on their students’ future careers amid the pandemic, and I’m really happy to help. It makes sense for me to share this talk on Youtube more widely so that other schools, universities and individuals can access it wherever they are.
This career talk is specifically about my experiences studying languages at university and working internationally since then. It is an insight into my experience of multiple careers involving languages and travel, in the private sector and public sector, as well as insights into other careers such as teaching, translation and interpretation. Finally, it also includes broad career advice that is relevant to anyone, including: the importance of keeping doors open, developing a growth mindset, building a network, saving for career transitions and re-training, and finding a career that stimulates you.
You can also see these relevant articles and posts I’ve written in the past,
- Why Every Pupil Should Study a Foreign Language at A-Level (based on a careers talk I gave a few years ago)
- Other posts on careers and languages (including career options for linguists, the benefits of studying abroad, and webinars I’ve created on job-hunting, personal resilience, etc.)
- 4 Ways to Boost your Career Outside of the 9-5
Please do share this talk with schools or individuals who might be interested in studying or encouraging languages, or working internationally, and I hope it’s helpful in guiding anybody interested in international careers!
That’s great Virginia, nowadays many young folk imagine a long-term stint abroad to be the preserve of digital nomads and wandering backpackers only. it’s apt therefore that you can demonstrate an alternative approach to this ideal. I’ve never adhered to either of those two categories by the way but have nonetheless spent much of my working life advocating this and indeed practicing what I preach. The reasons are manifold but it generally boils down to three simple benefits: it’s invariably a great experience, looks impressive on any CV thus setting you up for the future and, most importantly perhaps, it’s tremendously good fun !