In the previous post, I mentioned a few reasons for giving up on a translation career. Now, I will mention a few reasons for staying in this profession. So the translation defeat has a cure! This cure is called passion.
Let’s go back to my two friends. The Pharmacist worked as a translator for about 5 years. She always worked in company, and added to that a few freelance gigs. So, freelancing was pretty much a hobbie, never her intention. While working, she found how much she loved clinical trials, and chemistry, and formulae. She decided to deepen her knowledge (and paycheck) taking a few classes specifically on clinical trials. This specific course ends with internship in a pharmaceutical company. Eventually, she started working there.
My second friend… She tried freelancing, but as most human beings, she could not find the strenght to keep up with the long work hours in order for her to pay her bills. She got a part-time job as reviser, but had to work in the other part of her day to increase her wage. Eventually, this became too much and her tendinitis warned her about it. Reading the paper, she found out a large multinational company was hiring a secretary and one of her duties would be translating.
Not many of us are fit for freelancing. There is too much involved, and it is hard. Besides the passion for translating, you have to have business running in your veins. Please do not mistake passion for translating for a romantical view – you alone with your text, creating a brave new world, playing with words and changing the world as we know it with our texts. This may happen, but most of us are technical translators, making sure that if someone is going to use that machine, the manual will be understandable.
We change the world through actions. Acting as professionals is a start, and letting newbies aware of this is much important. They have to know that we run our business most of the time solo – although this does not mean we are alone.
Not knowing how much you will earn for sure at the end of the month is tough. Nonetheless, we keep on going for the passion. Does it mean these two friends had no passion? Certainly not for freelancing, my friends. They were professional translators, very skilled and critical, and their new professions allow them to use their skills as translators – although not all the time. This is unthinkable for me. But not unbearable – unbearable would be not to be able to pay what I owe.
What would be unberable for you?