10 Steps to Becoming a Professional Translator
People of all ages often wonder what career path they should take. Some are only starting their life journey, thinking about entering a university but unsure which specialty they should choose. Others have spent years working in a sphere that got tiresome, so now they want to change their lives and try something new. Becoming a translator is an alluring perspective, but how to achieve this goal?
Outlining 10 Useful Steps For Your Professional Journey
Currently, we have way more opportunities to learn and to promote our services than previous generations did. It means that being a successful translator today is easier than in the past. All you need is to know what to do, and the list below should help you with this.
1) Choose the target language. This step applies to those who haven’t learned any second language yet and are only contemplating doing it. This will be a crucial decision in your life, so you have to think very carefully. Your preferences play a major role here, but the demand for your language is also vital. Consider all pros and cons. Don’t select a language almost no one uses since you won’t find many clients with it, no matter how interesting it might seem to you. Take both personal interests and market demand into account.
2) Determine what your focus is going to be. General translators aren’t very well- paid, so you should select a specific sphere of interest. Would you like to provide medical translations? Perhaps your passion lies in the IT sector? Again, choose wisely. Specialized translators are the elite in this industry.
3) Decide between kinds of translation you’ll do. You could be a translator or an interpreter; you could focus on localization, transcription, etc. Which option attracts you most? Read about them in-depth. Try them and decide what you can do best.
4) Practice and test yourself. Any translator must acquire sufficient experience before they can be seen as professionals. Keep studying your chosen language, passing various tests to make sure your performance is flawless. Remember that mistranslations can be disastrous for everyone involved, and you can avoid it only by being the best kind of specialist.
5) Clarify work-related aspects if needed. You could always hire quick professional translation services to double-check yourself, comparing your work to that of experts. These people could also answer any work-related questions you have.
6) Receive certification. To move to professional ranks, you’ll have to prove your knowledge and abilities on an official level. Consider such an organization as ATA. If you pass its tests and gain a certificate, your business attractiveness will increase, and you’ll be able to find more clients & ask for better fees.
7) Create your space. Applying for jobs directly is a great start, but at some point, you’ll have to create your own site. This will boost your professional worth — the clients will be able to make sure you have the experience they need, and they’ll feel more comfortable hiring you if they see feedback from others available on your site.
8) Start growing a client network. Build solid relationships with your customers. Be attentive to their concerns, reply to their questions or wishes, and do your work professionally. The more people leave satisfied, the more new clients they’ll bring. Be sure to also watch the development of various translation-related technologies — they could be helpful in dealing with international clients or when giving them advice in case you are incapable of helping directly yourself.
9) Engage in marketing. While word of mouth method is effective in this kind of business, nothing can top marketing. When you feel like your business has developed enough and you can handle more pressure, hire experts who’ll help you promote your services. Offer some of your own ideas because the more personal and unique your approach is, the bigger number of clients you are likely to attract.
10) Monitor reviews about your performance. Watch what people you’ve worked to write about you, both on your site and on other independent platforms. Their opinion has a direct impact on your business reputation. As an example, you could always check reviews of translation services and see which of them are popular and why. In most of these cases, you’ll find out that managers respond to customers’ reviews and address their concerns. This is something you should do as well. If there is a bad review or a complaint about you, you should react instantly. Be polite and informative. Learn from your mistakes and show others that you can be trusted to do a good job.
Do What You Love and Make Money Through It
Being a translator isn’t easy, but it’s an exciting work that can bring you a great income. Think carefully about what you want to achieve, set up your goals, and start moving forward. If you are diligent and dedicated in your approach, you will succeed 100% — there is just no other option here. Get more clients, collect their reviews, and thrive in the niche you’ve filled.