The Single Thing You Can Do As A Newbie Translator Is…
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Wait a minute…
“Didn’t I just spend 5 years getting my master’s degree in linguistics and translation?
Is it ever going to end?
Can I just be a translator already?”
Well… yes, you can.
And trust me, you’ll need that knowledge. So keep it.
It will help you become a pretty good translator. Maybe you’ll even become an extraordinary translator one day.
But we all live in this nasty thing called “harsh reality” and that harsh reality keeps whispering in my ear one simple truth:
[bctt tweet=”Being a good translator and a successful one is not always the same thing.”]
Here is a real-life example for you:
There was one girl and she was a ridiculously talented English-Russian translator. She was at the top of my class back in my Uni days. Teachers loved her. Her translations were the definition of perfection. She should’ve become a successful translator, she should’ve conquered the world…
But she didn’t.
She decided to work in-house at the local translation agency and 5 years later she’s still there, making something around $500 per month.
Is she a successful mother?
Absolutely! She’s raising a family with two beautiful girls.
Is she a successful friend?
Of course she is! She is an amazingly caring person and she will always be surrounded by true friends.
Is she a successful translator?
I’m not so sure about this one, sorry.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that she is a lesser translator only because she’s making $500 a month.
As far as I’m concerned, she’s still the same amazingly talented translator.
She’s very happy at her job too.
But here is something many people afraid to admit:
[bctt tweet=”Your success will always be measured by the X amount of $ you make.”]
That’s just how it is. You can hate it, you can deny it, you can argue with me, but at the end of the day, you’re not successful unless you make an X amount of dollars per year or per month or per day.
Do you want to hear something funny?
That X amount of dollars is absolutely arbitrary.
It only exists in our heads.
And it will be different for each and every translator out there.
I would even take it to the next level and say that I’m not successful because I don’t make 1 million dollars a year (which is my X amount of dollars that defines success for me).
And you probably have a completely different number in your head.
Pardon my French, but how fucked up is that?
WHERE WAS I?
Sorry, I got carried away.
The point I was trying to make is that it’s very hard to make it as newbie translator.
It sucks, I know, but you have to accept the fact that this will be the hardest thing you’ll ever do.
And it’s called… building a business.
You’re not alone, though.
There are hundreds of thousands of other freelance translators that are trying to get their businesses off the ground.
But you’re lucky, you’re lucky because it’s much easier these days. You got the Internet.
You literally have everything you need to succeed as a freelance translator at your fingertips.
So I’ll repeat again:
[bctt tweet=”The best thing you can do as a newbie translator is start learning.”]
I suggest you start writing too.
Continuous learning, that constant craving for new knowledge – those are the things that’ll help you stand out of the crowd.
Learn about business, marketing, sales, web design, SEO, customer service, client relationship, copywriting, translation.
You’ll need all those things to become a successful translator. Both in the eyes of your colleagues, your clients and your own eyes.
So What’s That One App I Promised To Tell You About?
Ok, I think 642 words later it’s time to finally get to the point.
It’s called Feedly.
Yes, I get that this blog post probably looks like one giant marketing trick by Feedly but trust me, they really deserve all the praise.
Here is a simple fact: Feedly helped me save hundreds of hours which I’ve spent on searching new content or browsing through a pile of newsletters in my inbox.
After I’ve started using Feedly I’ve learnt much more about marketing, translation industry, sales, web design, SEO than I ever learned in college (I took Small Business Entrepreneurship program at George Brown College a few years ago).
But the best thing is: it’s free.
You can add your favourite blogs and websites and start following them in Feedly.
You can even add this blog if you like:
Every Blog You Follow Has An RSS Feed That Helps Feedly Find It
You can also create collection based on your interests:
Don’t forget to add your favourite blogs to must read. That way you’ll never miss a thing.
So that’s it.
This is the app that every newbie translator should use.
Because knowledge is power.
And learning is the best thing you can do at that stage of your career.
There are so many seasoned translators out there sharing invaluable knowledge with you.
Sharing their mistakes.
[bctt tweet=”If you really want to make it in this industry start reading like crazy.”]
That’s what I’ve been doing for the past few years and it has changed my life and my business completely.