Just Starting: How to get established
Thread poster: Linda81 (X)

Linda81 (X)
Mar 6, 2013

Hello all,

I am beginning a career as a translator. My language pair is English German. I already had a few jobs from friends but I am looking for regular jobs. Can I work from home or should I better apply to a translation office. What about the online agencies. Which one can you recommend to me?

Regards,
Linda from Heidelberg

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2013-03-06 06:14 GMT]


 

Anna Hellgren Farren  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 20:25
Member (2010)
French to Swedish
+ ...
Starting off in an agency is a good move. Mar 6, 2013

Hi Linda,

Congratulations on your choise of career!
I wouldn't say translating is the most lucrative job there is, but it's can certainly be interesting and rewarding!

Starting off as a freelancer immediately after graduating can be daunting and you may not be able to charge very competitive rates in the beginning. Depending on your financial needs, you may not be able to support yourself financially as an independent without any previous work experience. So, unless you already have professional experience to draw from and have built up expert knowledge from another non-linguistic domain that you can use as a translator, I would strongly recommend finding an employment in a translation agency.

Working in-house will give you a smooth start in the business, and give you time to learn the basics of the profession and the translation industry in general. You may have a chance to focus on, and build up a knowledge base in a certain field of expertise, and will have the possibility to familiarise yourself with useful work tools (CAT tools and other software), without having to make any personal financial investments.

Once you have worked with an agency for a couple of years (or more) you will be more experienced, you can apply more competitive rates and will be more interesting for potential clients.

This is one way to go about it!

Good luck!icon_smile.gif
/ Anna


 

Rolf Kern  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 20:25
English to German
+ ...
My recommendation Mar 6, 2013

First enter your profile in all details.
Besides, I doubt that there are any Agencies hiring translators as an employee.

Rolf


 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 02:25
Chinese to English
Brush up on your Google skills Mar 6, 2013

Research is one of the key skills for translators. Get Googling through these forums and see what answers have been given to similar questions in the past. Then tell us what's different about you. No-one can offer meaningful advice unless we know a bit more about you.

 

David Friemann, MA  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:25
English to German
all true... Mar 6, 2013

Hi Linda, welcome to the business.
I am in largely the same position as you, except that I have some years of sporadic experience already. I started as a freelancer in earnest only a few months back, though.
First of all, you should complete your profile, have your identity verified and become a member.
My membership is two weeks old and has already paid off with a wonderful job I got here.
Second: get references, credentials, write a "Lebenslauf" and a CV, scan all your physical diplomas and all of that and upload them here. Potential clients need something to work with when deciding whom to hire.
Third: If you have a specific field you want to work in, approach companies or individuals working in this field, offer your services, show them how they would benefit from your participation - include all your relevant documents. Even if only five out of a hundred companies reply and show an interest, you will still have five new customers.
Be persistent: sending out applications often gets you no reaction at all, so get on the phone after an appropriate time and ask what is going on with your application.
Also, keep yourself informed at all times and never stop learning about the topics you want to work in.
That is basically what I found to be helpful these past months.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:25
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Welcome to ProZ.com, Linda - all the answers are here! Mar 6, 2013

You just have to help us to help you.

If we don't know whether you have qualifications, other work experience, why you feel you can be a translator... it's very difficult to give any advice. The answer is probably the same as an adult would give to a kid who wants to be an astronaut: "Everything is possible, but it'll take a lot of hard work and it will take time". How much work and time it will take you will depend on all those things about you that you haven't shared.
Phil Hand wrote:
Research is one of the key skills for translators. Get Googling through these forums and see what answers have been given to similar questions in the past.


 

Anna Hellgren Farren  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 20:25
Member (2010)
French to Swedish
+ ...
What makes you say that? Mar 6, 2013

Rolf Kern wrote:

sides, I doubt that there are any Agencies hiring translators as an employee.

Rolf [/quote]

[Edited at 2013-03-06 16:41 GMT]


 

Anna Hellgren Farren  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 20:25
Member (2010)
French to Swedish
+ ...
Finding employment in an agency... Mar 6, 2013

Sorry something when wrong when I tried to quote. But why shouldn't a translator be able to find a job in an agency. I did this myself after graduating, but maybe it is unusual?

[Edited at 2013-03-06 16:45 GMT]


 

David Friemann, MA  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:25
English to German
free webinars Mar 7, 2013

Hi again,

you could also try to get onto the free webinars offered over the next few weeks and starting today - I'll definitely attend one or all of them.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:25
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
ProZ.com webinars, et al Mar 7, 2013

David Friemann, MA wrote:
you could also try to get onto the free webinars offered over the next few weeks and starting today

Yes, the free webinars are well worth attending. I would advise all those new to ProZ.com (whether or not they're new to translating) to visit the Site Guidance Centre here: http://www.proz.com/guidance-center
Visit not only the "Overview" screen with all its information and links to various parts of the site, but also the other screens, i.e.
My directory ranking
Additional resources (where you can sign up for those webinars, and find advice specific to your situation)
Mentoring program
Get help

I'm glad to see you're already doing all of this, David, and that it's paying off. You sound like a good role model for others, and I hope you'll continue passing on your findings.icon_smile.gif


 

Linda81 (X)
TOPIC STARTER
helpful posts Mar 8, 2013

Thank you all for your helpful posts inspite of the little information I gave
I will update my profile here. The main thing to becoming established as a translator, I gather, is research and persistence. I will also have a look at the webinars.


 


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