In a daily routine as a freelance translator, many professionals end up finding out that they also perform many other roles in their professional career. Being your own boss is one of them, and whoever thinks that this is an easy task probably will have to reevaluate their opinion. When you say you are a freelance translator, you can also be proud to say that you are the boss. Have you ever dreamed of being the boss someday? As a freelance translator you certainly are the boss…and much more.
Are you thinking about bidding on a project? Great, but remember that besides being a translator applying for a job, you are also marketing yourself and the services you offer. This makes you a marketing professional or a sales representative of your own “brand”. Whenever you apply for a job, do not forget to highlight your skills and professional experience. Sometimes you may not qualify for that specific job or maybe the client decides to choose another professional, however, if you marketed yourself on that bid the client probably will remember you for a future project.
You finally got a new job. Well done! After finishing and delivering it you need to prepare your invoice and follow up with the client in order to get paid. Sometimes you need to develop your skills to negotiate new payment terms or start a dispute. There will be other times that you need press the client with a firm hand, this can be an uncomfortable situation as dealing with non-compliance is never an easy task. Paying other contractors (hello HR manager) may also be part of your responsibilities, and in the end of the year you need to pay your taxes and fill out your tax returns. Yes, you are also an accounting professional.
A freelance translator also needs to think about purchasing software and hardware that may help them performing all tasks in a faster and more reliable way. The choice between a big variety of CAT tools and other useful devices/computers is not an easy task and, besides the knowledge, it also involves the decision about making the right investment. After the purchase you will need to learn how to use them, and keep in mind that if something wrong happens with your software or hardware you are the one who will need to solve the issue. This makes you an IT professional, and purchaser as well.
There are many other roles we can attribute to a freelance translator`s “job title”: quality control manager, salesperson, customer service support, etc. The only thing freelance translators can not be and will never be is a dictionary, although many people still think that this is just what they are. Freelance translators are not a dictionary, but the dictionary is one of their best friends :-). All translations are done with professionalism and dedication, and the talent or skills of a translator is the most precious thing for success.
Besides being a freelance translator, my own boss, a salesperson and marketing specialist, as well as an accounting and IT professional, I found out another role for of us freelance translators: we are also blogger`s, and I hope you can enjoy my blog and soon I will have a chance to enjoy yours!