February 2020: A Month of Realisation
After five months of teaching languages and working around the clock to ensure that my translation business would take off sooner rather than later, it suddenly hit me at the end of last month that I had finally established myself as a professional in the language services industry - an industry that I have been desperate to work in since the final year of my bachelor's degree. Having received offers to work on more projects than I could possibly take on in the time allowed, been invited to speak to current students at both my old secondary school and university alumni events about my career progression to date, received several messages on LinkedIn from employers looking to hire me for in-house positions and long-term localisation projects on a remote basis, and been promoted from junior to senior translator by my most trusted client, February 2020 was the month that not only saw me turn 24, but also the month that saw my business start to snowball.
However, I did experience some setbacks and aspects of the industry that I do not particularly like. Since sport is one of my specialisms, I was bitterly disappointed to miss out on the opportunity to work on a large translation project for a company specialising in boxing and martial arts, having been pipped to the post by a translator whose sample was marginally better than my mine. I also feel like I am part of a conveyor belt at times in this industry when I receive no feedback on my work and cannot see the fully revised and proofread versions of my translations, especially since I would massively benefit from any comments or suggestions helping me to improve my work at what still remains a very early stage in my professional career. I am also baffled by the unrealistic deadlines set for some projects, particularly those that do not allow enough time for you to properly revise and proofread your own work prior to submission.
Despite these negatives, I look forward to what the rest of March will bring with renewed optimism. With more potential clients specialising in technical translation in the pipeline, and thanks to adding over 30 technical translation projects to my portfolio over the previous month, I may be on the verge of adding a new specialism to my offer of services. I have also been asked to work as a terminologist for one of my technical translation clients - a position of trust and responsibility upon which I would thrive. Likewise, thanks to being directly approached by a recruiter on LinkedIn, I am about to start working on an exciting year-long localisation project for a prestigious end client, which will put my knowledge of my native language to the sternest of tests. In addition, no matter how upset I am about losing one of the schools where I offer Spanish PPA Cover after the Easter holidays, this loss could prove to be a blessing in disguise as far as my translation business is concerned; I will be able to increase my availability and respond quicker to emails, and thus, beat other translators to projects that I may have just missed out on in the past.
In retrospect, February 2020 was the month that made me realise what the language services industry is all about and what it actually means to be a professional in this industry. I now intend to make March a month to remember, by adding to the steady stream of income that I currently receive and ensuring that I continue to get my name out there.