7 tips on how to find a job after getting a degree in Translation
Sooner or later, we all find ourselves in front of that wall. For some, it’s a distant memory, for others, not much time has passed. A few got a leg up from Lady Luck and made it to the other side without scraping their shoes. Some of us, on the other hand, crashed into it head first at 100 miles per hour and we’re still reeling from it. Many haven’t even reached this wall yet, but they can make it out in the distance. You may find yourself in this very situation.
University is over. You’ve got your degree in translation and now you’ve got to make a living for yourself. Especially if you want to move out of your parent’s house before you hit 30. Luckily, there’s a high demand for translation and interpreting, but it’s also a very competitive field. The first steps are probably going to be confusing for you. But don’t worry, that’s normal.
So, to help you take the first few steps down your professional career path we’ve put together a list of 7 tips on how to find a job after getting a degree in Translation. Trust me, these will help get the ball rolling!
Spend some time thinking about what you really want:
It sounds obvious, but not obvious enough. Maybe you’ve known what you’ve wanted to do for a long time, or maybe you’re still finding yourself. But one thing that’s for sure is that we don’t put enough time into thinking about what our next steps are going to be. While you’re waiting for the last season on Game of Thrones to come out devote an afternoon to seriously think about what you want to do. Not what your friends are going to do, or what your family wants you to do, or what you’ve had in mind until now. This is your chance to decide. If you have an idea of what you want to do, you’ll know more than Jon Snow.
Research all possible routes and options.
There are hundreds of paths to take that you haven’t even thought about; some didn’t originally catch your eye, others no one told you about while getting your degree in translation, or many just seem unreal and distant. But these options exist and it’s a matter of looking a little closer to find them. Get out your magnifying glass inspector gadget. It’s a long and confusing process, but the hidden treasure you might find along the way could change your life. Do some research on anything that interests you. Afterwards, go back to step 1 and devote a good chuck of time to thinking about it, it never hurts.
Consider what steps you need to take to reach your goals:
As well as those that you should avoid. A master may be beneficial for your career, but it could also be a false step. Sometimes a bit of work experience is much more valuable than another degree in translation to hang on your wall. You may want to consider something in-between, like a course on CAT tools or a specialization in a specific field that intersts you. In reality, anything that makes you stand out from the rest could make the difference.
Talk with your friends and professors, search on the internet, send emails, make phone calls or simply ask around. As translation professionals we’ve all been through the same thing you’re going through now, so we’d be more than happy to help you out. Another great strategy is to attend translation and language conferences and talks, as many as possible. Not only will you learn more about the field, but you’ll meet a tons of people who work in it. If you do go this route, make sure you have some business cards handy.
Don’t create false expectations:
It’s pretty clear that you’re the crème de la crème and that everybody’s dying to work with you, but you don’t become rich and famous overnight (or maybe you do, but let us know your secret). We all start at the bottom, we work long hours, and we have to struggle to get ahead. Be patient. Good things come to those who wait.
Know your worth:
You’re sure to come across a lot of offers that look ripe for the picking, but are actually rotten on the inside. Snow White had the same problem. Sometimes you’ll just have to suck it up and deal with it, especially in the beginning, but don’t let anyone take advantage of you. If you see that your situation isn’t working out, slam the door on that witch and open a different one, there are plenty of opportunities waiting beyond.
Take it easy:
And we mean it in more than one way. First off, don’t rush. You’ll probably spend some time in strange limbo in between stages of your life, so once again, be patient. Many people take advantage of this stage in their life; after getting their degree in translation they go on adventures or undertake personal projects. Who knows, maybe you’ll find the answer right away. Secondly, don’t get stressed out. Your friends and classmates may get ahead faster, make more money or be less confused than you…for now. Everyone goes at their own pace, don’t get discouraged. Surely it’s just a matter of time before you end up where you want to be.
This is the first part on a series we are making to help you find a job in translating. Stay tuned for upcoming posts with more detailed tips. For now… Good luck!
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