Chartered Institute
of Linguists

Top tips for staying positive and proactive

By Joanna Ramsden






It goes without saying that recent work circumstances have been even more challenging than usual for everyone.

On the one hand, freelance translators generally work from home on our own most of the time, so the transition to working online has been easier. However, on the other hand, it can be easy to get ‘stuck in our ways’, maybe also become a little ‘too used to’ our own company all day, just being on the other end of an email from our clients, and ‘trying to find time’ to work on our very important Continuing Professional Development.

On the upside, I have been fortunate to continue to receive decent translation projects, and have also managed to transition my in-person language teaching online, which has been an interesting learning curve. Personally, I have been able to view this time as an opportunity for personal and professional growth, even if it has meant being more ‘ejected out of my comfort zone’ in a cannon, than slowly eased out, but then, that’s what catalysts for change do for you, which is what the events of the past six weeks unfolding has definitely been.

The outlook has been positive in many ways, the support offered recently in the world of translation, teaching and business has been incredible, and I have recently been on-boarded by new agencies, the source of which was the CIOL Find-A-Linguist site. I have received the majority of my agency work since becoming a Member and being listed here, which, in addition to the other services available, makes my membership extremely worthwhile.

I would therefore like to share the following 10 tips with you, based on my own recent experiences, with a view to helping you to continue to be positive and proactive during these challenging times:

*Adapt to new work challenges by becoming better at using technology, eg. Zoom for meetings, and continue to maintain good interpersonal relationships with your agencies/PMs/direct clients.

*Maintain your professionalism during stressful times by ensuring that you are not working when overtired – take a ‘mental health’ day break to catch up on some sleep, if necessary.

*Ensure your translations are 100% perfect by always being an excellent editor and proofreader too.

*Work on getting new agencies and/or direct clients to maintain/increase income;

*Learn to use, or get better at using, new or current software;

*Invest time to work on a new additional potential income stream for now and the future;

*Participate in online training webinars – each piece of useful information will lead you to the next;

*Improve or learn new digital marketing skills, to raise your profile and increase your digital footprint, for example, update your website, write a new blog, add to LI bio, connect via fb, Twitter;

*Connect with other translators in CIOL, business organisations, and networking groups online - continue to share useful tips and keep up to date with current trends by reading ‘The Linguist’;

*Log your CPD, including mentoring, for a CIOL CPD Certificate, and add to your email footer.