You’ve been studying translation and interpreting for three or four years. You’ve been improving your languages and even studied abroad for a while. You’ve been working hard to make the most of your university years. And now these are coming to an end. It may seem scary. Believe me, I’ve been there.
I was really scared during my final year at uni when I had no idea what to do next. Some of you may be considering studying a masters or travelling to keep improving your languages, whereas some of you may be starting to look for career opportunities. One of the scariest paths to follow is to start you own business as a freelance translator and interpreter. That’s the one I chose straight after uni.
Why should you start working as a freelance translator and interpreter?
- You’re your own boss. You decide the assignments that you want to take, and you’re the person in charge of your professional career.
- You decide your rates and the clients that you want to work with. You can focus on the specialisations that appeal to you the most.
- You’ll have more flexibility. You can work as many hours a day as you want, and from wherever you want (as long as you’ve got a laptop and WiFi connection!)
- You can start working on what you like the most, translating and interpreting, avoiding jobs as a project manager or badly paid internships.
It sounds like the perfect career opportunity, right? Then why are there so many translators and interpreters scared of starting up as freelancers?
“I can’t do it” and how our minds are sometimes our worst enemy.
Before talking about tips on how to start your career as freelancers, there’s a not so obvious obstacle that everyone needs to overcome at this stage. As I said, becoming a freelancer is one of the scariest paths to follow when we’re starting up. But that’s not a bad thing if it doesn’t stop us from following our dreams.
Paralysis is an intrinsic feeling that we all have inside us. When we are very scared, we freeze and focus on the fear until it passes by. We don’t act, we don’t do anything but observing the fear. That can be dangerous in the sense that the fear of becoming a freelancer is always going to be there, and that fear may be freezing us not allowing us to act and do something about it. It’s good to be scared. That means change. We’re getting out of our comfort zone and we’re about to act to follow our dreams. When we’re scared we tend to make excuses up to justify somehow this fear.
Ask yourself: Why aren’t you working as a freelancer already? Make a list with all these buts that are stopping you, and try to come up with a solution for each of them.
For example: I can’t work as a freelancer because I don’t have any clients. Solution: I’m going to learn how to get my first client and I’ll find my first client before [insert a specific date]. Since I started coaching freelance translators and interpreters, I’ve come across so many of these buts that are stopping people from acting and developing their businesses. Changing our mindset is very important to make the right decisions, and we need to get rid of all these buts for a good start.
To be continued. Watch this space for next weeks feature (Part 2).
A feature blog brought to you by David Miralles Perez.
“My name is David Miralles and I am aware of how languages can influence professional environments. Honing communication between two cultures has become crucial in today’s globalised world. And that is what I do by means of my translation and interpreting services. Small and medium enterprises and entrepreneurs can now spread their messages through cultural and linguistic barriers and make a big impact on an international scale.”