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Why I Chose to Work as a Freelance Translator

Just like most full-time translators working for well-known firms worldwide, I did not start my language professional career in the field of translation or interpreting. As soon as I graduated from university, I started teaching English at a secondary school. It was both challenging and fun, as working with a wide variety of students of all ages and backgrounds provided me with good knowledge of the human brain and heart.

 The Internet can help!

As much as I liked the subject and the students I taught, at some point I felt like expanding my area of expertise. Not for one moment did I contemplate giving up my (then) current job, but the idea of bringing in some variation seemed quite appealing. So, one day I set off browsing the web for job opportunities. I did not focus on translation jobs, as I wanted to see what else I could do with the language knowledge I possessed at the moment, in the limited amount of time that my regular job allowed for.

It didn’t take me long to spot one of the most popular websites available, based somewhere in the USA, which enabled language professionals like me to find a rich selection of available projects and get in touch with the ones who needed them done: translations from English into several European languages (including my mother tongue) or the other way round, keyword based articles on a thousand and one topics, product descriptions for advertising purposes, and many more. 

Don’t be afraid to take risks! 

Paradoxically, instead of picking one of the above-mentioned projects and staying on familiar ground, I felt like dipping my finger into something I had never done before – a recording job meant to enrich the existent database of an online English dictionarywith new words and phrases. It was the very thing I had been looking for –completely different from what I did on a daily basis and challenging enough to bring extra ‘salt and pepper’ to my teaching career. And guess what: my first contribution outside the familiar school environment, which was instantly rated high and rewarded accordingly, not only boosted my self-esteem in a flash but also laid the foundation for a successful future freelance activity. 

The bottom line...

No matter what you do on a day-to-day basis, at some point in your life you are likely to feel that something is missing. If you are a bi- (or multi-) lingual secretary working for the manager of a big corporation from behind a desk with your headphones on 24/7, one day you may discover that your language knowledge can be exploited outside your office and start writing a book about business skills. A full-time translator may find it interesting to get involved in education and devise an optional professional course for teenagers who would like to study languages and become translators. Teachers are free to explore their language abilities outside the classroom and prove to themselves and to the world that foreign language skills can open more than one door in contemporary society. The market is loaded with opportunities, so whoever is looking for variation will eventually find a way to spice up their professional career.

It’s up to you to decide what makes you really happy. There are enough translation companies looking for more staff (and we always welcome new applications at Inbox Translation).If that sounds appealing to you, do not hesitate to contact them with your CV –you might be their next choice! 

Photo source snigl3t and ginnerobot

About Alina
I am a former teacher, translator and interpreter with over 8 years’ experience, now Managing Director at 
Inbox Translation. I am a language geek who likes to keep up to date with what’s happening in the industry. When I am not writing on my own blog, I am writing on other people’s. You can get in touch on TwitterFacebookGoogle+ and LinkedIn.


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