Yuria (Senior Production Editor)
What attracted you to become a language professional at the United Nations?
Working for the United Nations in any capacity is inspiring. In particular, language professionals build bridges of communication and understanding among Member States, intergovernmental bodies and the general public. We are the unseen messengers who ensure that the principles and ideals of the Organization and its Members are conveyed eloquently and gracefully and, especially, that the essence of the message is clearly understood.
What part of your job do you consider interesting? Why?
There is constant learning in terms of content. As the world changes, so too does our work to adapt to the needs of the times. Thus, the materials are organic, subtle and complex. Even when, at times, change may seem slow, it keeps our work dynamic. Being part of this process is fascinating. Technically, work is also adapting to the new technologies and best practices of the industries we engage with. Continuous training and education are requirements that keep staff up to date with the innovative approaches, best practices and creative ways of working.
What challenges do you face in your daily work and how do you handle them?
The most valuable asset of the United Nations is its diverse and highly professional staff. Work as a production editor implies a great capacity for independent work, self-reliance and dependable and consistent teamwork. Our work has tight deadlines and requires precision in organizing and planning. We create bridges of communication by constantly engaging with our teams. We try to not only value the strengths of colleagues, but also respect diverse ways of working.
What are some of the most difficult assignments you have worked on?
Challenging jobs are also the most intriguing. They require creativity and teamwork. These jobs usually have a much higher level of involvement across offices and departments, such as the Sustainable Development Goals annual reports or the Secretary-General's annual reports. Since they require a high level of precision and adaptation to every language, we depend on the smooth transition from one stage to the next. We rely on one another across offices with the clear sense that we are working for a higher goal: serving the world. We develop trust and acknowledge the professionalism of our colleagues. These are my favourite jobs to work on.
How does your work fit into the larger framework of the United Nations?
The larger framework of the Organization requires interdependence to function successfully and to meet our goals. We work in such a variety of fields that we are required to develop a combination of dependent and independent work. Working interdependently, we offer individual contributions to other colleagues so they can perform their own tasks. It is a kind of work that is based on independent, self-reliable work, collaboration and teamwork. From this point of view, it is easy to see the value in the work that everyone does, and to realize how others rely on your work. Teamwork allows for a cornucopia of unlimited possibilities that combine a variety of skills, talents, levels of experience and diversity in personalities that create successful work projects. We develop a balance between collaborating and working alone to process our particular contributions with privacy and focus.
Do you have any advice for budding language professionals? Any tips on how to prepare for the competitive examinations for language positions?
Choosing a career is not easy. This exciting process is best taken slowly and with lots of self-reflection. There are not that many tools to develop the clarity needed when we enter the workforce, but we can find ways to navigate this process. So, first, it is important to build a great set of skills. If language is a natural inclination, then invest time in developing those skills. While in school, take time to find opportunities to see the jobs that you like from within. Reach out for internships or summer work programmes. Then, develop a coherent goal for the work that you want to do by asking questions and trying different possibilities to find out what kind of job you are well suited to and would love to do. Do not be deterred by internal or external voices that tell you what you should or should not do. Above all, trust that, with the right opportunities and guidance, you can make major contributions to the greater good.