Project manager/translator dilemma
Thread poster: picko924
picko924
Local time: 14:42
Spanish to English
+ ...
Aug 21, 2005

I have been looking for full time permanent translation work for a while now but have found nothing. However, I have been offered an entry level translation project manager's position and I am unsure whether to take it or not. This seems to be a big step towards the admin. side of translation and I don't want to move too far away from what I really I enjoy which is actual translation. I've spent a while trying to break into the translation industry with no luck, should I just accept this even though its not really what I want to do or continue my search for this elusive full time translation job ?

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vorloff
Bosnian to English
+ ...
Why not do both? Aug 21, 2005

Hi Maria,

I worked as a project manager at a translation agency for a few years just out of college, and I think it gave me some very valuable experience. Although, unfortunately, it wasn't the type of experience that improved my skills in my particular language pair, it did help me to understand the business side of translation, what mark-ups agencies charge, what rates other translators charge, some of the problems that occur in projects, compilation of glossaries, the importance of multiple steps of QA, etc, etc).

Although rarely a well-paid job (this also helped me to have some understanding of what PMs go through), it does have some positive sides that you might want to consider while still searching for the "elusive" full time translator job. Since your language is Spanish, you will surely get to use it proofreading, or maybe even translating or editing for your company, so you will probably in some way gain more experience in translation as well. So why not take it, and still send out your CV in the evenings from home for any translator jobs that you might hear of? At least you will be collecting a check and getting some more experience related to language and translation.

Best of luck!

Vera


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:42
Flemish to English
+ ...
Plusvalue Aug 21, 2005

The plusvalue of translation only outside the translation-business is zilch in the eyes of many people in managerial positions.
The plusvalue of project-management outside the translation-business is higher, because you have "managed" projects, budgets,people, set time-limits...
I would most definitely take the job given that it can be a selling tool on your resume into a people-management/managerial job. Ask yourself what this job can do for you on the long term.


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Trudy Peters  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:42
German to English
+ ...
Agree with Vera Aug 22, 2005

I agree with everything Vera says. I would definitely take this job. Full-time (in-house) translation jobs are few and far between. But - depending on how many hours a day you want to work - you could do freelance translations in the evenings, and once you build up a sufficiently-large client base, you may be able to quit the PM job and devote all your time to freelancing.

Good luck!

Trudy


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A Foot in the Door Aug 22, 2005

Maria D'Silva wrote:

I have been looking for full time permanent translation work for a while now but have found nothing. However, I have been offered an entry level translation project manager's position and I am unsure whether to take it or not. This seems to be a big step towards the admin. side of translation and I don't want to move too far away from what I really I enjoy which is actual translation. I've spent a while trying to break into the translation industry with no luck, should I just accept this even though its not really what I want to do or continue my search for this elusive full time translation job ?


Dear Maria,

It sounds like a good opportunity to learn the business, expand your experience,and "get your foot in the door". It can be what you make of it.

Best regards
Linda


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Orla Ryan  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 14:42
Freelancers need to know about project management too! Aug 22, 2005

Indeed, once you get in there, you may be able to apply for linguist positions or create a niche there for yourself.

Seeing as you haven't started freelancing yet, you will learn a lot about the business side of translation (as opposed to the obvious linguistic side) - that will stand to you no matter what.

You can apply the skills you will learn in PM to a freelancing career - time management, budgeting, outsourcing, quality control etc.


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