8 Reasons why you should work in translation
Are you ready for a career change? If you’re bilingual, creative, and fiercely independent, a career in the translation industry may be just what you’ve been looking for.
You probably aren’t aware that everything around you has been or will one day be translated – the text on that expensive French shampoo bottle for example, or your German car’s owner manual; your hospital records, the subtitles or dubbing of favourite TV show and your phone’s latest software update.
In our globalised world, translation has become an absolute necessity. From medical and automotive to legal, IT and marketing, virtually all industries need translation to reach out to customers around the world in their native languages. So, here are eight reasons why you might consider pursuing a career in translation.
- You’ll enjoy a flexible lifestyle
Translation is right up there with travel blogging and copywriting as one of the dream jobs of pajama-loving homebodies and country-hopping nomads. As a freelance translator, you can be your own boss. You’ll get to choose your office space, hours, and rate of pay.
However, the beauty of this industry is that flexibility is available to all involved in the translation process. If you join a translation agency, you may be able to work around your deadlines or your clients’ schedules.
- You’ll find limitless career opportunities
The high demand for translation presents many opportunities for career growth. While you can find decent work as a general translator, many choose to become specialised. This means that you focus on translating texts that are relevant to your past work experience or academic background. A former pharmacist may specialise in pharmaceutical translation, for example.
You can also develop a specialisation over time, through years spent translating for a specific client. The benefits of becoming specialised are clear – a steady flow of projects, loyal clients, and higher pay.
Working at a translation agency also presents opportunities to mould your career path according to your interests. If you find that you enjoy talking to clients, you could eventually become a project manager or salesperson at a translation agency.
Lastly, many translators and project managers go on to build their own translation agencies, thereby becoming the CEO of their own company. The fact is, no matter where you want to be in the next few years, the translation industry can take you there.
- You can free your creative side
As a translator, your job will be to effectively convey the message of the source text in the target language. While this obviously has to be completed to the client’s expectations, you can find opportunities to let a little creativity flow. To ensure clarity, you’ll have to use creative writing skills to change word choice, verb tense, and tone and voice. Finding the exact right word and the best way to reach the intended audience can be a thrilling process for the creative at heart.
And if you’re particularly skilled in creative writing, you could choose become a transcreation specialist. It would be your job to perfect the copy in marketing translations by adapting the text to suit the cultural demands of the target language.
- You’ll leave your comfort zone
Becoming a translator and honing your skills isn’t easy. It demands a level of discipline and professionalism that may not have been required of you before.
It will test your work ethic, your devotion to accuracy and your overall dedication to producing quality work. You will have to leave your comfort zone to find new clients and learn new translation skills, tools and processes.
Leaving your comfort zone is not only a healthy step toward personal growth, but a big step toward success – your hard work will pay off in the end.
- You’ll gain valuable new skills
Ask any translator what they’ve learned along the way, and the list will be a mile long. Every facet of this job asks you to learn something new.
Your efforts to build your client base, maintain a relationship with loyal customers and juggle multiple projects and deadlines will boost your skills in marketing and sales, communication, conflict resolution and project management.
What’s more, you’ll become a technology wizz! Get ready to learn how to use the latest CAT (computer-assisted translation) and terminology tools!
- You’ll met people from all over the world
While you’re building your client base, you’ll be making strong friendships with your network of translators and project managers. Many clients and agencies are glad to meet their translators face-to-face. Visiting your clients is also highly recommended in strengthening your business relationship and gaining invaluable insight into their processes and translation needs. Imagine the places you’ll see when visiting loyal, friendly clients!
And that’s not all! Translators are encouraged to attend the many translation conferences that take place throughout the world every year. You can visit San Francisco, London, Barcelona, and Budapest to name a few, as you network with other translators and learn more about your industry.
- Your day will never be boring
Say goodbye to monotonous work! In translation, no two projects are ever the same. Each new day will bring a new project with a new subject and new requirements. You’ll learn to readily adjust to constant change – ever ready to adapt your translation skills to suit the project at hand. On top of that, you’ll find that you enjoy learning from your projects, whether they be about innovative software or a new restaurant in town.
- Your work will make a difference
The ability to speak a second language is a gift that should not be taken for granted. As a translator, you’ll use your language skills to help companies and communities communicate across language barriers. Whether translating for local businesses or volunteering with Translators Without Borders, you’ll find countless opportunities to use your translation powers for good. At the end of the day, you’ll rest easy knowing that somewhere, somehow, your translation has made a difference.