6 New Year’s Resolutions of a Translator

As we now see all the pretty lights and tinsels being taken down from trees and houses, we finally come to realise that the festive season is over for good. While it’s getting colder every day, the good old days when we just wore our pyjamas all day long, drank hot chocolate and watched ‘Home Alone’ sadly won’t be back for another 12 months. In fact, the only thing that still reminds us of Christmas and the fact that it is now 2016, are our New Year’s resolutions. Despite ‘Blue Monday’ approaching rapidly, we still hold onto them strongly, truly hoping that 2016 will finally be the year…

Statistically, some of the most popular resolutions include losing weight or saving more money. Although these may apply to translators too, I have personally created a list of my very own ‘translation-work-related’ resolutions and would like to share them with you all!

1.       Relax more

For some reason, my family and friends seem to think that working as a translator must be one of the most relaxed jobs in the world. Just because I freelance and do not need to travel across the city to get in an office by 9am doesn’t mean it’s relaxed! In fact, out of all the jobs I have ever worked in my life so far, being a freelance translator is perhaps most stressful. Managing my own work, following deadlines, marketing etc. at times it can get truly hectic. Thus, I have decided that I need to relax more. Whether it’ll be by taking an extra day off and spending it with my friends or taking a long break and going swimming – it needs to be done. Not only this will be beneficial to my overall health, but also my productivity and concentration will improve – helping me when I work.

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2.       Be nice to everyone

We’ve all been there – a person or agency we have never worked with before expects to translate an urgent, complicated document within 24 hours and ‘expects a 50% discount’ to our usual charge. Usually, I am very tempted to reply with a chain of swear words explaining why this offer isn’t as good as they might think it is, but I often simply don’t reply at all. In 2016 however I will do my best to politely reply to each and every of those messages, saying thank you, but no thank you.

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3.       Get in touch with new agencies

No doubt about it, last year was an extremely busy one for pretty much everyone in our industry. By simply looking at the amount of work I have received I can see that the potential for work is truly great. Therefore, I believe that it’s important that I utilise the potential which lies in our industry and market myself professionally to some of the agencies I haven’t previously worked with.

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4.       Travel more

The love for travel and languages is why I decided to become a freelance translator in the first place. This year I really wish to take advantage of the freedom my job gives me, the fact that I am my own boss and can not only work whenever I want, but also pretty much from wherever I want.

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 5.       Be more organised

As a translator, being organised was never my strength. Random papers lying all over my desk, emails I never responded to, coffees I didn’t finish – you get the idea. That’s how my life looked just 2 weeks ago. I know what you’re probably thinking – unprofessional. But with the new year comes the new me. I’ve realised that keeping everything organised will seriously speed up my work. Being able to find what I’m looking for instantly, whether it’s a hardcopy or a digital document on my laptop, will allow me to spend more time doing what I actually love – translating.

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6.       Explore new territories

Although this might be the most difficult of my new year’s resolutions to achieve, at the same time, it’s the one I am most enthusiastic about. Having previously worked in the marketing industry, as a translator I have consequently only tried working with marketing materials and documents. This year, I’d like to change that. Working with documents from a variety of business sectors, such as for example legal, can also be extremely rewarding.

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So, these are my ‘translator’s resolutions’ for 2016. Have you any of your own? Let me know on social media!

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