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Poll: Is specialising in one field a good strategy for achieving a high level of income?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 22:05
SITE STAFF
Feb 16, 2006

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Is specialising in one field a good strategy for achieving a high level of income?".

This poll was originally submitted by Fiona Peterson

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 01:05
SITE FOUNDER
Note: I rewrote this poll substantially Feb 16, 2006

Please note that I rewrote Fiona's sentence in an attempt to make it more nuetral, so that results would not be affected. I hope you don't mind, Fiona.

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Juan Jacob  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 00:05
French to Spanish
+ ...
Of course! Feb 16, 2006

That's why I'm a millionaire!

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Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 07:05
Member
Italian to English
Unfortunately.. Feb 16, 2006

the new version of the poll doesn't really express what I wanted to ask. I guess it'll just have to keep for another day...

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xxxBrandis
Local time: 07:05
English to German
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I hadn´t always the choice to specialize Feb 16, 2006

I went along with the best paid or long term projects, mainly due to financing part of my education during college and University. Today I still cannot say I specialize in a particular field, it is like a free growth, one concentrates on subjects of interests or the project types that keep coming back, I guess this leads finally to some degree of specialization. But one never knows, there is always someone better with faster reactions and various other factors play a big role, while SPECIALIZING in a field or a group of subjects. I think it has more to do with the comfort level, and given time and opportunity along with the resources one could be comfortable in a given field. But the best of specialists would not be very comfortable at very short turn arounds and large volumes of work. So what is specialization? Best Brandis

[Edited at 2006-02-16 21:12]


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:05
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
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This is a great question! Feb 16, 2006

The best advice I ever got was from a mentor in graduate school who advised me to find my little corner of expertise and "make it shine." We can't be good in all areas; it's much more powerful to be really good in one. This approach has paid off for me many times over.

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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:05
Spanish to English
+ ...
good Q! Feb 16, 2006

Yes, for 2 reasons, you really become expert in an area (with all the advantages), AND you end up - logically - speacialising in an area you like, which is important to surviving as a translator.

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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 01:05
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What did you want to ask, Fiona? Feb 16, 2006

Fiona Peterson wrote:

the new version of the poll doesn't really express what I wanted to ask. I guess it'll just have to keep for another day...

What was lost? Write here, if you think it would add to this discussion, or write offline if you want to save it for a future poll...


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:05
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yes, but more than one Feb 16, 2006

Being good in any field is vital for success, but I don't think just one field will do it, we have to be good in a number of fields and in both directions in order to make a living. It does not seem realistic that we can depend on getting enough work in just one field.

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xxxBrandis
Local time: 07:05
English to German
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at the back of my head Feb 16, 2006

Henry Hinds wrote:

Being good in any field is vital for success, but I don't think just one field will do it, we have to be good in a number of fields and in both directions in order to make a living. It does not seem realistic that we can depend on getting enough work in just one field.


that was precisely what I had while having posted earlier. One field is not enough and one can not be the specialist in multiple fields. A limited number is good. Brandis


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Cecilia Civetta  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 07:05
Member (2003)
Italian to Spanish
+ ...
Curious Feb 16, 2006

Hi, Fiona. I'm curious to hear what your original question was. Could you tell me?

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Dyran Altenburg  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:05
English to Spanish
+ ...
Not really Feb 16, 2006

Henry Hinds wrote:
Being good in any field is vital for success, but I don't think just one field will do it, we have to be good in a number of fields and in both directions in order to make a living. It does not seem realistic that we can depend on getting enough work in just one field.


Depends on the specialization.

Medical, Finance, or Legal can keep you more than busy for the duration of your career.

They're very profitable too.

Add a language specialization (like Mexican Spanish), and you're set.

--
Dyran


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Cilian O'Tuama
Local time: 07:05
German to English
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Kind of reminds me of the Irish farmer who won the Nobel Prize... Feb 16, 2006

... he was out, standing in his field.

Sincerest apologies.


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:05
English to Spanish
+ ...
Good, Dyran, but... Feb 17, 2006

What you've mentioned is good, and I can handle all you've mentioned with no problem, but in order to make out I have to handle even a lot more, and well. Just having those specialties alone is still not enough.

We can never know what will be coming along, and we always have to prepare for more. At least that is how I've always found it to be.


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Julio Torres
Mexico
English to Spanish
+ ...
Different specializations Feb 17, 2006

One specialization is not enough. In fact, there are many translation jobs that don't fit in a specific area. I have been contacted by agencies and clients who told me: "We have seen you specialized in x and x, and we have a project related to both areas".
Additionally, a translator can start a medical translation, then there is a legal part and finally the end is related to marketing.

I agree we need to know "a little bit of everything". And we need to specialize in two, three, four areas... but not too many.

[Edited at 2006-02-17 01:58]

[Edited at 2006-02-17 02:02]


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