Chartered Institute
of Linguists

Linguists’ Luggage – The Art of Travelling Light

By Hiba Bayyat MCIL/RPSI/DPSI-Law

‘No, you can cross this bit out, it is irrelevant’, that was the worst advice I was given whilst preparing my CV during an employability workshop a few years back. True story!

Nothing you have done in your life is irrelevant to what you are doing now or planning to do in the future. In fact all of your skills and experiences, past and present, have shaped you and made you into the person you are today.

Your learning journey begins from the moment you arrive in this world, until you depart from it. This journey has some fascinating and wonderful stops along the way, as well as boring and horrid ones! You have the choice at some stops, others are forced upon you!

As you travel on this journey, you carry around invisible luggage. Everything you have learnt and all the skills you have acquired throughout your life, whether at home, school, college, university, even the jobs you have had, the extra courses you enrolled on, your relationships, friendships, hardships, they are all added into this invisible luggage.

The years pass by and you become wiser and more experienced. The journey has more exciting stops awaiting discovery and exploration.  However, this invisible luggage becomes heavier, bulkier, and harder to manage. You think about getting rid of a thing or two, someone suggests that you do too… but hold on!

This invisible luggage is in fact your survival kit! It is packed with random items, all of which are essential and will most certainly be of use one way or another... someday... one day... any day!

‘Ok, I hear you, but what am I meant to do?’ you may wonder.

Remember how we said this invisible luggage holds all your life skills and experiences? Skills and experiences do not weigh you down, it is how you feel about them that does!

Are you embarrassed about a skill you learnt in the past?  Perhaps something you have experienced?  Do you still blame yourself for something? Do you still regret doing something? Or not doing it?

This guilt trip needs to stop now. You have no power over what should have, could have, or would have happened. Instead, you need to get rid of all the negative feelings and thoughts you currently have. Be proud of where you have come from, your accomplishments and what you have achieved so far, your whole journey. By doing so, you are making room for new adventures whilst travelling light!

The author: Hiba Bayyat has been a member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists since 2017 when she acquired the DPSI qualification in Law. She is also a member of the National Register of Publish Service Interpreters. Her passion about this profession has encouraged her to study it further. She is currently preparing her dissertation for a Master’s degree in Translation. It has also lead to the creation of a Facebook group, ‘The Linguists Café UK’, a friendly and informative platform, offering advice and support to established linguists as well as people who are interested in joining the industry and becoming professional interpreters and translators.