I often have to translate numbers in the documents I work with – whether it is currency, time, percentages, or simply large numbers of entities – but not all languages write these in the same way. Today I came across this interesting article on how to tackle this problem – see http://tinyurl.com/2u7hgu for more information!
Having had most of my social media, banking and other internet sites hacked by *someone* – it seems I have been inadvertently sending out spam messages to all followers and friends. I have now deleted and re-booted all accounts and it really does feel like the title of this post – reinventing the wheel. Trying to think of a new username/password/public name is quite a task, but at the end of the day I need to make sure everything is secure. This is how I run my business and now someone has violated it.
A while back I was contacted by a known scammer for translation work – I did not know who he was and entered into communication with him. Luckily I found out who and what he was before starting any work, but now I think that this person has access to all my sites.
It just shows, it’s not just in real life that we need to be security conscious.
After months of intense translation and proofreading, I have hit a famine period. I find that this is a bit like going through a grieving process…first the disappointment, then the anger (of no longer getting work) and then the depression sets in and the doubt…am I good enough? What did I do wrong? Am I actually a bad translator?? But there are two ways to look at this situation. I managed to dust myself off and rethink the situation. Either I could wallow in my misery (and empty bank account) or I could do something positive. I opted for the latter. I began to look at this as a gift – a gift of time. So I have been using my time constructively (I think), updating social media, rejigging my online presence on twitter, facebook, linkedin; making new contacts, networking, updating my CV and enrolling in courses to improve my skills.
The old adage of ‘it’s not what you know, but who you know’ is starting to make sense to me. I have found work through networking, I have applied for jobs online and created relationships with companies I would not have encountered previously, and slowly slowly things are starting to pick up.
So the important message here is, dont hide behind your desk (laptop/big cup of coffee) – spend time each day or each week networking, making your name known, being active in the community. How else is anyone going to know who you are and what amazing skills you have?
So I was sitting at my desk pondering the effects of being a one (wo)man band and the difficulties of competing against big companies, sliding into the depths of ‘why would anyone hire me?’ ‘what have I got to offer that’s better than what a big company has?’ when I came across this excellent article from Sarah Dillon http://www.sarahdillon.com/about “The Royal We, why Small is the new Big”. This was my lightbulb moment, I realised that I do have a lot to offer - personal service, a one-to-one relationship with the client, control over all aspects of my work, and it just made my day. Thanks Sarah! http://www.sarahdillon.com/2008/08/the-royal-we-why-small-is-the-new-big.html
Having worked in the translation industry for 8 years, it may seem silly to be blogging about starting up in the business – but as a freelancer and a linguist, where things are constantly changing, new issues arise every day, it is important to treat every day as a fresh start. Working for yourself means that you cannot rest on your laurels, freelancers do not have the security of knowing that at the end of the month, no matter how much or how little work has been done, there will be a paycheck in your bank account. We have to continually improve, update, upgrade and be flexible. With so much competition out there, we need to constantly strive to be better, different, outstanding. This is my space where I am going to talk about my experience in this business and how to keep at the top of my game.