|Careers & Employment Information|
How to Become a Successful Freelance Translator
After completing their translation training programmes at higher professional education or university level, many students can't wait to set up as a freelance translator. However, gaining a foothold as a freelancer in a very competitive translation market may turn out to be a pretty complicated business. Translation agencies are not usually keen on contracting inexperienced translators, business clients are difficult to find without commercial tools, and the tax authorities won't just accept anyone as a self-employed person. So what do you need to do to set up shop as a successful freelance translator?
Most translation agencies are wary of admitting new freelancers into their networks. After all, it takes a while before it really becomes clear whether a freelancer can live up to their expectations: does he/she stick to agreed deadlines, offer a consistent level of quality, consult relevant reference resources, deal effectively with various registers and specialisations (commercial, technical, medical, financial, IT, etc.)? Many translation agencies begin with a 'trial period' in which they closely monitor the work submitted by new freelance translators. To reduce the risk of a fiasco ? and avoid the associated costs ? translation agencies normally only accept applications from freelance translators who have had at least two or three years' fulltime experience in the translation business.
In their attempts to introduce themselves directly to companies, freelancers usually find it difficult to gain access to the people that matter and, once they are there, to secure orders. Companies tend to prefer outsourcing translation services to partners that are able to offer comprehensive solutions. They look for agencies that can fill their translation needs in a range of different languages, are always available, can take on specialised texts and have the procedures in place to ensure that all deadlines are met. In view of their need for continuity, capacity and diversity it is hardly surprising that many companies select an all-round translation agency rather than individual freelancers. An agency may be more expensive than a freelancer, but the additional service and quality guarantees justify the extra investment.
Tips to achieve success as a freelance translator
What steps will you need to take after graduation to develop into a successful freelance translator?
1.After completing your studies, it's best not to present yourself on the market straightaway as a freelance translator, but first to find employment at an all-round translation firm and spend a couple of years there to gain the necessary practical experience. As a salaried employee your income will be less compared to what you might potentially earn in a freelance capacity, but don't forget that without experience you're never going to be successful in the first place. In many cases, you will be assigned to a senior translator who revises your translations, monitors your progress, and makes you aware of your strengths and weaknesses. This will enable you to acquire the skills and baggage you need on your way to becoming a professional translator, and will give you the opportunity to experiment with various types of texts and disciplines.
2.If you can't find a position in paid employment, try to find a post as an (unpaid) trainee. A translation agency may not have the capacity or resources to take on new staff, but it may still be able to offer you an excellent training post to help you gain practical experience in a commercial environment. A traineeship may serve as an effective springboard for a career in the translation business, perhaps even within the same agency that offered the traineeship.
3.After having whetted your skills at a translation agency for a number of years, you may decide that the time has come for you to find your own clients. Ideally, you should move on to a part-time contract so that you have enough time to recruit clients and work for them, and enough money to live on. It is important to make clear arrangements with your boss at this stage, to avoid a conflict of interests. The best strategy is to send your personal details and CVs to a selected group of professional translation firms and translation departments within companies and governmental institutions, explicitly referring to your work experience. Don't forget to highlight your willingness to do a free test translation.
4.Make sure to register as a self-employed person with the relevant tax authorities and seek their advice if necessary.
5.Once you have managed to find enough freelance work to keep yourself busy for around 20 hours a week, you might consider terminating your employment contract and devoting the extra time to attracting new business. In 20 hours most experienced freelance translators tend to earn around as much as a full-time translator in salaried employment.
These are obviously very general guidelines, and your personal career may evolve along quite different lines depending on your preferences, skills and personal conditions. Whatever your circumstances, however, you will find that experience and a certain amount of business acumen are the things that matter most in a successful freelance career.
Fester Leenstra is co-owner of Metamorfose Vertalingen, a translation agency in Utrecht (The Netherlands). After having worked for several translation firms in paid employment, he took the plunge in 2004 and incorporated his own company.
For further details about Metamorfose Vertalingen, visit VERTAALBUREAU.
Students Discover Your Niche By Using Career Assessment
In our ever changing world where job competition is rampant it can be difficult to understand one's strengths and what one wants to do in life.
Four Simple Steps To Better Results With Your Resume
Is every job description you read the same? No.
Workplace Violence - 8 Tips For Spotting Early Warning Signs
One of the greatest threats facing both employees and the companies they work for, is workplace violence. It has become the leading cause of death for women and the second leading for men, following closely behind motor vehicle accidents. In fact, the best estimates now being reported show that 1-in-4 employees will be the victim of workplace violence this year alone.
Employment Under A Microscope
A certain amount of oversight is involved in almost any job. The more important, the more highly skilled, the more successful the position, the lower the degree of oversight. At the bottom rung of the economic and social ladder - the laborers, the maids, the easily replaceable positions - the more watchful are the powers that be, the less secure are the workers, the more personally vulnerable are they to any mistakes made.
Telecommuting Interview Tips
Telecommuting Interview Tips- By Nell Taliercio
Retirement: Is It A Career Change Option?
Retirement might be the answer when you ask yourself "why do I want to make a career change" and you decide that what you actually want is not so much a career change as to stop what you've been doing altogether.
Outsmart Other Job Seekers by Showing These 5 Key Strengths
Getting an appointment for an interview these days is an accomplishment. It indicates that you have a good resume, and/or that networking has paid off. Bravo. Now for the all-important in-person phase of the process.
Competency Based Interviews - 6 Steps to Success!
Competency based interviews are intended to get the best from you, the candidate, whilst also fulfilling the needs of the organisation to get the very best person for the job. There are some easy steps to make the most of yourself and have a much better chance of success.
Invest in Your Career Change--Put Your Money Where Your Dream Is
You say you want a new career, you say you want to start your own business, you say you'd love to be a freelance writer and travel more but are you serious? Can I really believe you? Are you investing in your dream?
Unemployment Blues: Staying Afloat
The unemployment checks are running out and there is no potential job in sight. The wolf is knocking at the door and you need to survive.
Skills Make Labor More Valuable
As you know by now, if you have been a long time subscriber to our weekly E-zine, I'm a very big proponent of activity, labor and discipline. In fact I devoted one of the five major pieces to the life puzzle (in my book under the same name) to the subject of activity and labor. But now let me add another key word to the labor equation - skillful. Yes, skillful labor.
Big Job Sites Vs The Small Ones
There is much to say about posting resumes on the big job sites online. There are many positives and also negatives to doing this as well. Posting your resume is a way to get you exposure to recruiters and employers. There really isn't any specific criteria for posting your resume... Only get it out for everyone to see! The more you post, the more exposed your resume.
3 Resume Secrets the Pros Use
You don't write a resume every day. Not even every month or year, most likely. So you can't be expected to do it flawlessly every time, right? After all, you're not a professional.
Minding Your Own Business
Think you have gone as far as you can in your present job? Instead of looking around for a similar position in another company, you may want to strike out on your own as a consultant.
Preparing For An Interview
When preparing for an interview, you need to know your skills, experiences and achievements, and how to answer interview questions.
Get Your Dream Job!
Anyone who is a jobseeker knows that looking for a new job or career is a job in itself. Once you have completed the laborious task of writing your resume and submitting it to various companies, you now have to pass the screen test to get the job. Interviews are the gateway to landing your ideal job. These five tips will help you get own your way to making that job yours.
Would you like to have more energy and synergy in your job and career? If you are not enjoying work the way you used to and if you would like to contribute in a manner that produces more results with less effort, then Energizing Synergy is what you need to cultivate.
Are You Winning the Talent Wars?
How many times have you heard or read, "Our employees are our greatest asset"?
Ten Great Careers For Single Parents
The challenges of raising a child by yourself, whether you're a mother or father, can be very difficult. Add the burden of having to be out of the home for 40+ hours per week to work and raising a child at the same time can be nearly impossible. This article describes ten careers you can train for that will give you the money to support your child and the time to be there for them.
Business & Career: Know Your Ruling Star!
"Know your Ruling Star. One man is better received by one nation than another, or is one welcome by one city than another. He finds more luck in one office or position than in another, and all though his qualifications are equal or even identical. Let each man know his luck as well as his talents. Follow your guiding star and help it without mistaking any other for it. Know how to transplant yourself. There are nations with whom one must cross their borders to make one's value felt."- Balthasar Gracian, (Spain, 1600's)
|Home | Site Map | Careers | Australian Domain Names | UK Domain Names | Investment Property | Sydney Web Hosting | Email Hosting | NZ Website Hosting | NZ Domain Names|