What does a normal work-day look like for a translation professional?
This depends a bit on whether you choose to work as a freelancer, for an agency, for a governmental organization such as the EU or the U.S. State Dept., or within a translation department of a corporation.
Let’s say you’re a freelancer with multiple clients, as that’s what I’m most familiar with. If you live and work on the West Coast—as I do—you’re getting up just as Europe is going home from the office, and you’re roughly half a day behind Asia. So as you’re thinking about breakfast you might be wise to power up your computer or laptop—or check your smartphone—to see if anything urgent is waiting in your email.
Once you officially start your work day, you’ll spend some 60-70% of your time actually doing your work of translating/ proofreading/ editing/ etc., another 20-25% prospecting for work (bidding for projects, sorting through offers, etc.), and about 5-10% of your day doing paperwork and billing. In the evening, you might do some reading to keep up in your field, internet research on new software, peruse some translation blogs, and so forth.
All of this will vary from field to field, and also where you are in your career cycle, of course.
-By Adriana Tassini
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