If you’re fluent in multiple languages and have a knack for writing, than you may want to consider becoming a translator. Translators can make good money, and depending on if you work for yourself or another company, you may even have the freedom to set your own hours and work on some interesting projects.
If becoming a translator interests you, the following information can help you successfully achieve your dream.
Know what you want to do.
There are so many possibilities for translators, so it’s important you know what type of translator you want to be. Do you want to translate business documents for organizations? Do you want to perform certified translations of important documents such as birth certificates or marriage licenses? Do you want to translate books and magazines? Do you want to help government organizations like the CIA or FBI translate documents to help them solve cases? Having an idea of what type of translator you want to be will help you become successful.
Get a degree.
Having a degree in foreign language or linguistics can help you find success as a translator. Most companies or individuals looking to hire a translator are in need of someone with an educated and experienced background, and having a degree proves that you have both.
Along with a degree in the target language, it’s also a good idea to earn a degree in writing or written communications. Writing is an essential part of translation, and the better you are with grammar, spelling and context, the better translator you will be in the long run.
It’s a catch 22—companies won’t hire you without experience, but you need experience to get hired. It will be difficult to do, but you truly need to get some translating experience under your belt. Check to see if your school has an internship program that would allow you to gain valuable experience as a translator. Post ads around school and your neighborhood offering your translation services. You can even try to get an online translation job through sites like Rev.com or Odesk.com. Any type of experience you can gather will help make you more qualified to be a translator. Just be sure to keep a list of references to use at a later date.
It’s possible that your school already certified you, but if not, you should get certified on your own. The American Translators Association can be a great resource to help you become certified, and this certification can be used to back up your experience.
If you plan on working for yourself as a freelance translator, you need to make smart decisions. Make sure you charge the right rate for your services. Too high will not earn you many jobs and too low will have companies taking advantage of you.
It’s also important that you provide quality work at a quick turnaround. If your translations are poor, it’s going to look poorly on you and companies will stop using you. On the same note, if you take too long to return translations, it will also look poorly on you. Make sure your translations are accurate and that you never take on too many jobs at once.
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get your dream job right away. Even Michael Jordan was cut from a basketball team. Make sure that you keep applying for translation positions and accept the one that is the best fit for you. Consider all of your work as an addition to your experience and your resume, and don’t give up hope that your dream job will eventually become yours.
For more info: Click on “Subscribe to Newsletter” and enter your email address at the tops of the page to receive notice of this weekly feature and other new articles. You may also email your Job Search related questions to Mark@MarkMontoya.com
Mark Montoya has been working in personal branding for more than a decade for hundreds of online and offline companies, small businesses and individual service professionals. His focus has been toward improving the way jobseekers find employment on the Internet. He has synthesized his expertise by helping job seekers obtain their ideal choice of employment over the Internet on his sites MyOnlineCareerSpace.com and MyOnlineCareerCoach.com, and through his books 101 Tips Every Job Seeker Should Know and The Ultimate Online Job Search eBook.
"It is the responsibility of the individual to reject the prospect of mediocrity and to strive for the betterment of society as a whole" ~ Mark Montoya