The Linguist

The Linguist 59,2 - April/May 2020

The Linguist is a languages magazine for professional linguists, translators, interpreters, language professionals, language teachers, trainers, students and academics with articles on translation, interpreting, business, government, technology

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28 The Linguist Vol/59 No/2 2020 OPINION & COMMENT Why a portfolio career could be the answer to a changing jobs market REZA NAVAEI the Future of Jobs survey 2018, carried out by the World economic Forum, outlines the way jobs are likely to change between 2018 and 2022 as a result of the digital revolution. It divides roles into three categories: stable, new and redundant. there is no direct mention of the role of 'linguist', but some of the fields that linguists work in do appear. these include university/higher education teacher (stable) and training/development specialist (new). Administrative and executive secretaries, accountants, auditors and lawyers are all deemed 'redundant'. Among the stable roles are financial adviser, managing director and human resources specialist; while new roles include specialists in big data, social media, new technology, and people and culture. the digital revolution is leaving its mark on most areas of the jobs market, and fundamentally impacting the way we work – possibly even the way we approach work. the role of linguists continues to change as new technology emerges. this includes ways of teaching or interacting with students, as well as tools and approaches to translation, interpreting, subtitling, games localisation and other fields. Linguists are seeing rapid change in sectors, roles, tools, working hours, working methods/environments and pay packages. the stability of some careers, such as in-house translation, academic posts and multilingual business specialists, is also under threat. In this emerging landscape, a portfolio career could be the way for linguists to weather the storm and remain at the top of their game. According to the cambridge dictionary, a portfolio career is "the fact of having several part-time jobs at once, rather than one full-time job". While this definition focuses on hours of service, portfolio careers are also associated with contract type, including freelance and consultancy work. What all definitions have in common is diversity and multiplicity of work in return for multiple streams of income. Portfolio careers may contain freelance assignments, part-time temporary positions and a self-owned business, but they could equally consist of a full-time job combined with other interests, such as writing, training, consultancy and collaborative projects. Portfolio linguists apply the knowledge and skills they have developed and acquired as linguists to different sectors and jobs. Language-specific knowledge enables us to undertake work in our specialist languages; subject matter expertise allows us to focus on specific sectors; and sector-specific skills enable us to undertake tasks such as interpreting, creating multimedia products, translating and teaching. Alongside our core specialist knowledge, we have skills that allow us to deliver a professional service. Such skills are crucial if we are to carry out our work effectively during the digital revolution, and vital for establishing a portfolio career. take strong communication skills as an example: linguists working in education and academia need to be able to communicate effectively with students, authorities, clients and colleagues to manage their expectations. teachers, lecturers, interpreters, localisers and Declining by 2022 • Technology installation/maintenance • Reading/writing/maths/active listening • Visual/auditory/speech abilities • Management of personnel • Technology use/monitoring/control • Manual dexterity/endurance/precision • Coordination/time management • Memory/verbal/auditory/spatial abilities • Management of financial/material resources • Quality control/safety awareness Trending by 2022 • Technology design/programming • Active learning/learning strategies • Creativity/originality/initiative • Reasoning/problem-solving/ideation • Systems analysis/evaluation • Analytical thinking/innovation • Leadership/social influence • Complex problem-solving • Critical thinking and analysis • Emotional intelligence Desirable skills: Future Jobs A skills-first approach © ShutterStock

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