Being a translator is not an easy job. You have to undergo a lot of things to become a successful translator. You have to be a very attentive, reactive, receptive, and diligent person. People who can’t bear pressure or work under strict deadlines are less likely to be successful. Some translators learn from it and put more effort in their work, while others give up. There are many reasons why some translators fail in their early phase. If you are new to this field, try to avoid the points mentioned below to save your career.
They assume the initial phase is momentary
Your startup phase should last at least a year. Being a translator means, that you should have patience. Translators who expect that two to three months should be enough for their startup phase need to get a reality check. When you are working as a freelancer, you should think about everything with a broader perspective. Some freelance translators even take three years to start getting work at the right speed.
They expect too much and perform too little
New freelance translators make less or no marketing effort due to which they hardly get any work, no matter how many companies they apply to. This why they become discouraged and leave the profession. If you want to be a good freelance translator, you shouldn’t feel dispirited in your initial years. In fact, put more effort into your marketing from day one. Whenever a company responds positively, send them your business card with a note, letting them know that you are looking forward to giving them your services in the future and thank them.
They have weak linguistic skills
The most important skill a translator has is speaking, writing, reading, and understanding language. It is not necessary that you should know and master every popular language, but you should at least be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in languages you do know. Weak linguistic skills mean that your career is going to be dead sooner or later. Try to be proficient in at least your native language so that you can translate without any language barriers.
They have weak communication skills
Being a freelancer means you will work for customers around the globe. If you have poor communication skills, especially in the English language which is spoken and understood around the world, this is a huge pitfall because you might not be able to understand your clients and they might not be able to understand you. Also, if you feel hesitation in communicating with strangers, this will create hurdles in accepting work from them.
They anticipate a higher pay
Most translators in the early stage expect a higher pay and don’t like to be underpaid. If they receive less pay in a row, they start thinking that this profession might not get them anything and that they should leave. The truth is that getting a low pay is better than not working at all and earning nothing. They should give their profession some time and then decide whether their pay is agreeable.