Senior Linguist

I moved from a big city and a job where I felt my contributions made a difference, so I was keen to join a place where I would find a similar sense of achievement. I also wanted to work somewhere where I enjoyed my job. The recruitment process was relatively painless… just a bit long. There was an online questionnaire… a language test… and an interview. The interview was a chance to talk in detail about my achievements and for the interviewers to get to know me better. It was more like a formal chat rather than a gruelling process. But the vetting interview about six months later was exhausting. This took around eight and a half hours and I’d never answered so many personal questions… But not once did I feel threatened or uncomfortable. My language skills have been tested in numerous ways. After being retrained in a couple of languages and working on a variety of target sets, you learn to appreciate the difference between languages learnt academically and when used at work. The challenges and frustrations are different to when I worked in the private sector… but the pros far outweigh the cons. There’s a similar repetitiveness that you get in any job you do. But the work ethic… the sense of belonging… and the strong urge to improve and better yourself is quite unique. And I enjoy knowing that our work makes a difference. There’s a sense of achievement that you’re playing a key role behind some serious decision-making. As well as learning two new languages I’ve also helped to deliver training. I’ve taken a number of courses to help me do my job better, from learning new tools to maintaining language skills… And I’ve had the chance to work with a variety of people from different departments, and with other governmental agencies. Before I joined I thought it was an organisation filled with ridiculously intelligent people… People who were all working on breakthroughs and were not allowed to talk to anyone. Like any place, there are all sorts of people who work here. We do have a lot of intelligent employees who could be employed for a lot more elsewhere… It’s a privilege to work with these people.

Departments and Roles at GCHQ