The importance of networking for translators
Translation work can be pretty lonesome sometimes. High speed internet connection at home, a professional email for work purposes and a reliable computer is all that the qualified translator needs on a daily basis. If he or she isn’t careful, it can be very easy to become a kind of recluse and feel fairly isolated from the rest of the working world in general.
This is why it is important for translators to network. It is inspiring and productive to stay in contact with new trends and to make an effort to be part of the translation community close to where you live. The problem is that not all translators really know where to start or how to network effectively.
Here are just a few tips for you to help you creating strong networks from the beginning of your career.
It is a wise idea to join at least one translator association, particularly if you are working as a freelance translator as is the general custom of most translators across the globe.
There might be times when you need legal support or sound advice before signing a contract or launching into a long term project with any given company or independent client. As a member of a translator association, you will always have somewhere to turn should you require support of this kind.
Now, you may ask yourself: and what association should I join? Well, it is always useful to become a member of a professional association in the country you live and work in, so you can visit their meetings and use any professional services they offer. In addition, it might be useful to join an association in a country of your working language(s), to be able to keep up to date with developments in that country/language and to meet other translators working in the same language.
Use social media to develop your visibility!
Most jobs can be found on the Internet nowadays, and the translation industry is no exception! An active social media presence can help you to expand your audience and promote yourself This is especially important in the case of potential clients, who will type your name on Google to see your CV and the services you provide. Create professional profiles on LinkedIn, Monster, Proz, and think about joining groups like Acolad Community too: you will find advice and articles for other freelance translators.
Being multi-skilled is certainly useful as a freelancer. However, specializing in one or more areas that you love and master is far from limiting; it can be very profitable! This way, you will gain access to exclusive contracts that are only available for translators with strong experience in those areas, and therefore more lucrative. You can specialize in areas such as economic and legal translation, website translation, or in more specific areas like vegan and cruelty-free cosmetics.
Contribute to Portals
Translation portals can be some of the best ways for translators to find support from other translators, find work and further develop their translating skills as the demands of their jobs expand.
Two of the most well-known translation portals are www.proz.com and www.translatorsafe.com. Both portals are particularly popular thanks to the extensive support and guidance translators can find via the forum discussions and translator help pages. Proz operates on a points system whereby translators who dedicate regular time to helping other industry experts and contributing to posts that have been published in the forum space earn more points. The more points a translator earns, the better their profile looks in Proz.
Positive profiles are clearly the best way forward for securing more work and better paid work too, which is why it is a really good idea to join these portals and make a constant effort to stay active on these sites as well.
Rely on your personal network
Last but not least…remember that you never walk alone in translation. Your contacts are one of the best ways to find new projects! It only takes one person who knows someone else who has a contact who is looking for a translator… So contact your former classmates, ask your friends, your relatives or even your hairstylist and ask them if they have heard of a company that’s looking for a translator. Don’t be afraid to talk about your business over and over again, your determination will pay off!
By Ramona Vasiasi
February 23rd 2022
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