Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.
We asked Xiaona Hou from Smart Futures to give some advice for people considering this job:
Don’t be afraid to speak up, be yourself and always learn from each other.
What are your interests?
The Linguistic's interests are usually focused on ideas and information exchange. They tend to like reading a lot, and enjoy discussion about what has been said. Some will want to write about their own ideas and may follow a path towards journalism, story writing or editing. Others will develop skills in other languages, perhaps finding work as a translator or interpreter. Most Linguistic types will enjoy the opportunity to teach or instruct people in a topic they are interested in.
What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?
I took science and geography options at GCSE level (up to 16), followed by geography, biology and psychology A-Levels (16-18). At A-level, I followed my interests, but with hindsight I wish I had pursued Maths and Physics. The UK system has changed now and you do a wider number of subjects between 16-18 which is a good thing. My lack of science at A-Level did hurt my career progression at university, which required me to get extremely high grades to demonstrate that I could take on the harder science topics at University. My advice is to study Maths (in addition to other things youíre interested in) for as long as possible. Itís like a VIP pass in your career. If youíve got maths, then that takes you anywhere. I wish I had known this earlier on.