The Linguist

The Linguist 61_4-August/Sept 2022

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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@CIOL_Linguists INSTITUTE MATTERS family, but as a person who likes to get things done, I couldn't just stay at home. When I met up with friends at the time, we said: "Why not create a place where women can work from the comfort of their homes – where they are respected, seen and heard whether they are newly married or just had a baby or relocated to a new country…?" The answer was to create an online company that brings an opportunity to talented, home-based women – whether they are translators, linguists or work in HR, marketing, finance etc – for whom work may not otherwise be accessible. So how did the pandemic affect you? Internally it didn't affect us much because we have always worked remotely from home. I was just telling the world: you're joining me now! You can do it too! Of course, things were more basic when we started. There was only Yahoo! and MSN Messenger, and maybe Skype. Not like nowadays with Voiceover IP, Zoom and WhatsApp. The connections were very slow, so it wasn't an easy process, but we created systems and worked things out. So the world has come to you! But I imagine there were obstacles to being a pioneer in this kind of online work. When we first had the idea, a classmate said: "How are you going to get clients if you're doing everything online? Where is your office? Where's the Could you tell us a little about your background, Rasha? I believe that being a linguist was my destiny; it has always been my forte and shaped my whole life. Growing up in Cairo, I used to tutor my friends and help them with their English studies. When applying to study English with German, my heart was set on the Faculty of Alsun – one of the most prestigious schools in Egypt for language and culture. So, what did you do next? First, I worked in a non-linguist role but used English to communicate with my bosses. Later I started my professional linguist career and studied for a Diploma in Translation at university. That was the best time of my life. The best professors in the field taught me and I made wonderful friends in the profession. That's fantastic. So are you working in translation with those friends now? Yes, we created a translation company in 2008, combining our values and learnings – a company led by women for women. I'm a multi-hat person, so I am currently working on several things, but running the company as Managing Director is one of the things I am most proud of. I'm based in Saudi Arabia but my companies are registered in the UK. Why did you choose to do something with and for women? I always try to turn my challenges into opportunities. The first challenge I faced was when I quit my job because it was very time- consuming and there was no scope for a personal life. I got married and started my The new CIOL Council member explains how she set up a business for women by women, and why remote working comes naturally to her RASHA ALAJOUZ JOHN WORNE MEETS solid stuff?" She didn't think we'd be successful or seen as credible. I have to thank her for giving me this push though. There's nothing wrong with being innovative or thinking outside the box. If you have a clear purpose, and a cause you believe in, just do it. Do you bring this into your coaching? Yes. Coaching, for me, is a self-empowerment tool. It's far more empowering than training, advising, mentoring and counselling. It can help people reconnect with themselves, and their purpose and values in life. They design their own path; I ask the right questions, WORK LIFE Rasha Alajouz at her home office in Saudi Arabia

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