I have 6 years of experience in translation. It is not too long, I know, but I am also not a begginer. While talking about experience with a friend, I started remembering my Master’s fellows, my peers, a few renowned translators I would love to meet and myself, of course. So I started comparing all these different profiles and came up with 5 different profiles of translators. Here is it:
- Begginer –This individual wants to translate every piece of text they find, that’s all they can think of. If a translation student, they will start being more sensitive to subtitles and translations in general, and criticize everything. Downtime is maximum, exceeding the periods of work.
- Intermediate – They have some experience. They may have a website (maybe not as professional as it should look like) to market themselves, mainly because they heard that this is needed. They aim at improving their resumé and/or portfolio to present them to potential clients.
- Advanced – They have a very decent website (design and content consistent with the professional image they wish to convey). They start their social presence (Twitter and other social networks), but lacking focus on what is posted.
- Professional – They constantly research and/or master the main marketing tools available. They also know about the need to expose themselves and their presence in social networks is focused and constant.
- Successful – This is the top of the mountain, so the view must be beautiful. They’re no longer seeking actively for clients, it is usually the other way around. Their downtime is minimum, specially because they know it is necessary to spend time engaging with peers, attending events, marketing, doing their accounts (taxes, invoices, etc.). Marta Stelmaszak has a great blog post specifically on this subject (What does it mean to be a successful translator?).
I can not stress enough that there are other factors to consider, such as personality. Some people avoid social networks, and this works just fine for them. Also, the will to translate every piece of text never really goes away.
What’s your profile? Mine is somewhere between advanced and professional. I have a website (I think it’s pretty decent, but I’d love to hear your opinion about it), I am constantly on Twitter and other social networks and blog, but I’d like to be more focused. Now your turn: what is your profile?