While it might be a slight exaggeration to call this the dawning of a new era, it certainly is the beginning of a very new way of life, casting off the shackles of stability to fully join the gig economy. Today marks, the official launching of my freelance business, Latham Sprinkle Translation and Editing, as my main profession. No longer am I debating, like Hamlet, whether to “be or not to be”, I’ve passed the point of no return and have succumbed to both the struggles and joys of being my own boss.
This is a very special post as it marks the beginning of my business launch and unlike my previous blogs, this will be more of a freestyle piece and less academic in tone.
For years now, I have been debating what direction I want for my professional career and after several ups and downs, within the language industry and outside of it, I have finally made up my mind. Ever since finishing college, I had sought out my golden goose, a stable salaried job involving translation, which exist but are usually interpreting jobs in disguise, in addition to another office role. After landing such a role only to discover technical interpreting was not for me, I thought my translation career was over.
While I had nearly given up on pursuing my dream of being a translator, much like my on-indefinite-hold dream of being a fantasy author, for the first time in over a year it feels like I found my calling and I’ve found my passion for the language industry anew. My failures have been learning experiences. I still need professional interpreter training and more training in CAT tools; and I still need to get a proper specialization to set myself apart and market my skills. Yet by recognizing these deficiencies, I can work on them and eventually turn them into strengths. I’m both young enough that I still have time to work on specializations/certifications in order to hone my craft while I gain more experience, and experienced enough that I have an understanding of various professional industries and have the sales/marketing and translation skills to run a freelance business.
In the last few months, I have joined many professional translation organizations; through them I’ve met so many lovely translators and interpreters and attended professional workshops and webinars to learn more about aspects of the industry. In the end, freelancing is both about writing and translation skills, but also a business and must be operated as such. I have gained insights from both established professionals and other struggling newbies about how to perfect my abilities, market myself, and perform HR activities. My list of professional development activities: readings, webinars, classes, and the like are endless and it’s exciting that I have finally have time to really sink my teeth into it. I still feel like a diamond in the rough, but I’m determined to polish my skills in order to become a successful professional translator.
So with tempered optimism, I look forward to what the future brings.