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  • Writer's pictureKaren Pérez Herrera


Updated: Feb 9

As you may know, the career path of a translator is not quite similar to other professions. Typically, most recent graduates start working immediately in the same place where they did their internship, in an office, with a boss, with fixed hours.

The benefits of the translator profession are diverse: they allow great flexibility and availability of your time to determine the workload, when, and where. But such wonder couldn't be easy, not at the beginning at least. No pain, no gain, right?

So, we come to the initial topic of this entry: I studied, I learned, I graduated, and now what? The first thing I can say: don't cut the thread! You've invested many years learning about translation, being immersed in this world, translating, practicing, and discovering. Many recent graduates make the mistake of cutting the thread of learning and experiences about translation once they graduate and don't immediately find a job. Yes, I understand, debts won't wait, or maybe you're already eager to buy things with your own money, not depending on anyone. While it's natural to explore other avenues while establishing yourself in the translation field, it's crucial not to disconnect entirely.

Well, let's get straight to the point. Below are some tips on what to do once you have graduated.

Stay in touch

You've recently completed your degree program, where you were equipped with the fundamental tools for your profession. Don't underestimate the value of these connections; maintaining relationships with both your former classmates and instructors is crucial. Your professors, in particular, are eager to address any new questions you may have as you navigate your career. They take pride in knowing what their students are accomplishing and appreciate your engagement in the field, including sharing your experiences and insights that they may not have encountered themselves. Your former classmates can also offer valuable support and camaraderie, reminding you that you're not alone in this journey, and providing opportunities to exchange advice and perspectives.

As a personal example, during my first year post-graduation, I remained connected with my university through teaching assistant roles. I assisted professors in their classes, supporting aspiring translators by reviewing their work and offering feedback for improvement. These engagements not only allowed me to give back to the academic community but also provided me with ongoing learning opportunities. Each year brings new developments in translation tools, strategies, and ideas, and being part of these classes kept me abreast of these advancements. While the income from these roles was modest, it was nonetheless appreciated and contributed to my professional development. Overall, it was time well invested.

Harness the power of the Internet!

We cannot underestimate this powerful tool! The world is literally at our fingertips, with an infinite amount of information and multiple ways to communicate with people from all over the world. Make the most of its benefits. I won't enumerate all the possibilities that the Internet offers to start your career as a translator, I'll just mention some that will surely inspire you.

Online specialization courses: Just open your favorite browser and search for "online translation courses". There are plenty available, covering various areas! Some are paid, and others are completely free. Webinars: These are essentially online seminars (hence their name, which combines the words "web" and "seminar"). Similar to the previous case, some are paid (usually offering a participation certificate) and others are free, such as one I shared on my Facebook page a few years ago: "Is freelance translating right for you?"

Social media: Nowadays, social platforms serve as a mass communication tool and a means for self-promotion. Share content related to your profession, useful information, ideas, intriguing images, and engaging and accurate content to attract a broader audience, including potential clients.

Translator's website: It's highly recommended to create a website where you can showcase your services, explain each one, and provide information about your professional background. Make it visually appealing, informative, and distinctive. While there are many translator website templates available online, be creative, avoid plagiarism, and craft your own unique content.

Here concludes the first part of my article "I just graduated as a translator, what now?" I hope you found it entertaining and useful. Stay tuned for the upcoming second part that I'll be sharing with you soon. I look forward to your comments. If you enjoyed it, feel free to share.

Happy translating!

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