Ideal job for translators getting established
Thread poster: Attila Piróth

Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:18
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Jun 24, 2009

As the numerous threads of this forum show, getting established takes a lot of time – and getting the first job offer is usually a milestone. So, if you were in the position to create an ideal first job for a translator who is getting established, how would you proceed?

Here are some ideas – please add yours.

    Organize a sufficiently long project or internship (hereafter internship), where the intern’s work is supported by an established professional who provides feedback – much like in’s mentorship program. A team of professionals would be even better.

    Make the internship program decently paid. Internships are sometimes available at translation agencies but they are often paid considerably less than what an in-house position. Having a decent monthly income is a very important ingredient for an ideal job – even for career starters.

    Provide a work setting that focuses on collaboration. Let the intern get into contact with many professionals. Shared work is probably the best basis for that.

    Provide training. Leave sufficient time for the intern to get hands-on experience with using the appropriate tools, learn the best practices in terminology research, etc. Provide a toolkit of useful freeware that the intern can keep after the internship. Make sure experts are available to help with any questions.

    Provide a fairly complete view of the industry. Let the intern get experience in various tasks, translation, editing, proof-reading, terminology management, etc. with the help of one or more professionals. Try to make the subject fields diverse – but basically within the fields in which the intern is competent.

    Let the intern feel that his/her work is important. Try to include website translation or other published material in the task.

    Teach best practices in communicating, and in how to ask questions and help. is a great place to start.

    Provide references to the intern, showing the skills learned during the internship and listing the projects completed. Make sure he/she can use some of the completed translations as samples.

    Let the intern help others: let him/her write up the internship experience so that others can learn from it. Let the intern be part of the helping team next time such an internship is offered to another newcomer.

What (other) aspects are the most important in your opinion?



Sara Senft  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:18
Spanish to English
+ ...
Another idea Jun 24, 2009

I thought of another idea. My idea is to find a job with a flexible schedule that (ideally) is related to your specialty area. For example, some who specializes in Education (like me) could provide tutoring services or go in to substitute teaching. People who are looking to specialize in something like Accounting or Finance could look for something in their fields with a compatible schedule.

Knowing and being able to properly use the correct professional techniques is an essential part of being a translator. We can't forget our mastery of our specialty areas.


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