Graduated! But now what?
Thread poster: Nils Vanbellingen

Nils Vanbellingen  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:42
German to Dutch
+ ...
Aug 8, 2002

Hey everybody...

Last month I graduated as a translator Dutch / English / German (Swedish as optional language) in Brussels, Belgium. But I am quite in a fog about what to do now. Should I go on studying for another year (specialization), and if so, what would be the best thing for me to study / specialize in?

Or should I immediately start working, and if so, how do you start as a newly-graduate?

Or can I do both: go on studying but meanwhile take on translation jobs (or anything else)? And if so, how & what?

I think it is clear that every piece of advice of an established / experienced translator would be very welcome and helpful to me...So I hope you are all prepared to help out a keen but inexperienced youngster on his way into the complicated world of translation.

Maybe this is important: I live in Belgium (Flanders) and my native tongue is Dutch.

Thanks in advance! Nils

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Teresa Duran-Sanchez  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:42
German to Spanish
+ ...
You have to do what you feel like Aug 8, 2002

If you are tired of studying, begin to work straight away, i.e., give your brain a break!

That\'s what I did: I started work immediately (the day after my graduation! I had the biggest hangover ever) as an in-house translator and, after three years, I don\'t regret what I did (because I had the “Nase gaaaanz voll von der Uni” and I wanted money) but now I want to improve my career prospects and I have began another degree to specialize. I am also considering going 100% freelance because I know I am good at what I do and as an in-house translator I feel I am being underpaid.

I would suggest the following: if you don\'t think you\'re good enough or feel like training yourself further, specialize in the field you like most, the weirdest the better to be unique in your field. And then don\'t work in-house unless you are very happy with your salary. As self-employed you\'ll find yourself working the odd hour but believe me, it pays off.

If you are impatient as I was, go for it, begin to work and in the meantime reconsider what you want to do next.

Maybe some colleague from your country will be able to give you more specific advice!

Good luck!

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kbamert  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:42
French to German
+ ...
hello Aug 8, 2002

I would start to work as a freelancer (less difficult to start to work).

If you like your profession (and the earnings you get out of it...) you can still specialise (as well according to your working experience). If you don\'t like the profession, you can still study another degree in a different field.

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Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:42
German to English
+ ...
In-house Aug 21, 2002

I agree with Tayfun. Get some experience in an agency or company first. You will be able to learn much better about how the business works before you strike out on your own (if you decide to)...not to mention the regular paycheck you\'ll need if you want to save enough money to try freelancing.

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