What should a Novice Translator do in the Early Days of their Career?
Through this post, I wish to share certain primary 'weapons' that my newbie colleagues need to be accoutered with in order to forge their way up in freelance translating.
Be Active at Professional Websites:
The first thing that a you, as a newbie, need to do is to get yourself registered on a professional website, whereby you could find relevant jobs and meet colleagues, a good many of whom may be in the industry for years and whose experience may be quite beneficial to you. The two top websites for this purpose are http://www.translatorscafe.com and http://www.proz.com. These websites are the largest online job portals with reference to translation, transcription, interpretation, and the like. A newcomer can find several job opportunities on these websites. There is, however, one thing that one must bear in mind: At the initial stages, when you are not equipped with necessary translation experience, you may not be able to get hold of some job, because you are confronted with competitors who have better experience in the field. There is, nonetheless, no reason at all to lose heart. What you need to do in the early days of your registration with these websites is to pay close attention to the requirements that are demanded by the job posters. This will give you a workable idea as to what areas you need to target in order to become a successful professional. What is even more important for you is to read forum posts and take active part in ongoing forum discussions. The forums on TranslatorsCafe and Proz are a great source of learning several basic things, including:
- Nature of translation jobs
- Translation tools to learn
- Standardized rates
Populate your CV:
Do mention whatever linguistic skills, experience, certificates, and degrees (such as Master's in Linguistics, language learning courses and diplomas, ability to speak and write more than two languages, etc.) you already have gained, and remember to keep adding to this detail any further achievement, certificate, etc. that you gain along the way.
I hope that this account of preliminary translation requirements will be found useful by translation newbies. I will take up this topic further in my next post, and will talk in a bit more detail about the various strategies that you, as a newbie, may adopt to establish a firm reputation for yourself in translation profession.