In the previous post, “How can freelancers find new clients?“, we saw that a great proportion of translation and interpreting professionals go freelance, constituting the fifth largest freelance group according to the International Freelancers Academy. Yet, freelancing can be seen by some as a leap into the unknown or even as a roller-coster if you don’t have long-term clients, especially in a period of downturn. As a result and maybe because freelancing is just not their cup of tea, many professionals of the industry work in-house in order to find a more stable occupation and have fixed working hours.
This post is targeted to translators-/interpreters-to be and those professionals who are struggling in their company hunting strategy. As in the previous freelance counterpart (featuring Marta Stelmaszak, Xosé Castro, Valeria Aliperta, Gabriel Cabrera Méndez, Scheherezade Surià López and Pablo Muñoz Sánchez), the aim is to share the experiences and tips of other “red carpet guests” of the translation and interpreting community, namely, Clara Guelbenzu, Lloyd Bingham and Merche García Lledó.
The question they kindly accepted to answer in order to inspire you is the following:
How was your first company hunting?
Three tips for translators/interpreters-to-be or those who are struggling due to the crisis?
“I didn’t. But I got my first job because I was telling everyone that I wanted to work as an interpreter. You cannot stay at home waiting for others to call. Potential clients or employers should know what specific training and background you have and what you are aiming at.
So here are my tips:
- Don’t lose heart and keep on learning and working on your skills (“Keep on swimming”, as Nemo would say);
- knock on as many doors as possible and tell everyone about your objectives;
- and prepare your CV carefully together with good and consistent marketing material (business cards and profiles on linkedin, twitter, etc.).
- And of course, be flexible and positive.”
“I spent the Easter holidays of my last year of university applying to translation companies across the UK for an in-house position, hoping my voluntary translation work would count for something, and it turns out that it did. I think that’s what helped me to stand out from the other candidates and get the job.
So my advice is:
- get your name out there (#makeyournamexl8),
- use your initiative to find voluntary work and draw on that experience when applying to in-house translation companies or finding clients.
- Also, think of what qualities a translator needs to have and emphasise how and where you acquired those skills.”
“While I was studying I started to look for agencies in Madrid, where I wanted to live. I read in a blog about an idea that would make the searching process much easier: creating an Excel document in which I would write the agencies I was interested in (names and contact details), why (priorities) and what kind of translation they worked with (specialisation). However, I finally did not use the whole list, because I was interested in one specific agency more than in any other. I wrote a message to the CEO of the company and expressed my interest in working with them. I passed the test and I am working there since I finished my studies!
About the tips, I would say: never stop reading about our job: blogs, news, offers, etc. You never know where or when you will find a person saying something that can open your eyes or give you new ideas about new opportunities.”I thank Clara, Lloyd and Merche very much for their answers and tips, which will surely be very useful both for translators/interpreters-to-be and for professionals in their company-hunting process.
If you missed last Monday’s freelance counterpart post (featuring Marta Stelmaszak, Xosé Castro, Valeria Aliperta, Gabriel Cabrera Méndez, Scheherezade Surià López and Pablo Muñoz Sánchez), you can find it here. These two posts are just the beginning of this “red carpet” series. Don’t miss the following one next Monday. Stay tuned! As always, any comment and tips are very welcome.
I wish you all a great week and a great company hunting! 😉