Starting a 2nd Career as a Certified Translator - Building Your Translation Business
Some people decide to be translators, while others seem to be in the right place at the right time. If you belong to the latter category and want to start your own business, you will need to come up with a plan. The first thing to do, if you can, is to complete a translator certification program. A certification program can teach you about the industry and test your language skills. You will not only get hands-on experience, but also a powerful career boost. After certification, you can begin your second career as a translator.
Getting clients will be tough at first. You will need to build your reputation as an outstanding translator before you can find work consistently. The first thing you should do is create a website for your business. Include some amazing samples of your work in addition to testimonials from past clients. Establishing an online presence can build your brand and attract potential clients. A good strategy for new translators is to under-promise and over-deliver. Always go the extra mile for your clients, as doing so ensures repeat business. Happy clients might also recommend you to others.
You should also decide whether you want to specialize. Narrowing your focus might not seem like a good idea, but specializing can actually increase your appeal to prospective clients. As you become more proficient in a given area, clients will see you as an authority on the subject and will be more willing to trust you with their work. You will also be able to complete projects more quickly as you become familiar with industry jargon. Common specialization areas include medicine, patents, law, automotive, pharmaceuticals, environmental science, software, finance, advertising, and engineering. You can teach yourself what you need to know or take classes as time allows.
Most importantly, you should always be willing to improve. This might mean taking extra courses, completing certification programs, or pursuing an advanced degree if you so choose. Your education will also involve keeping up with industry standards and best practices. Finally, you should never stop learning your target language. The funny thing about language is that it changes so quickly. You will constantly need to learn new slang, jargon, and cultural references if you wish to be successful. Do not become a translator if you do not have a passion for learning! If you put in the time and effort it takes to become successful, translation can be a very rewarding career, however.
-By Adriana Tassini
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