Keep Calm and…Build Resilience!

Resilience

Here at TransTeach we’re all about supporting the next generation of translators, and writers, and bloggers – indeed any young person starting out on their professional journey. Consequently, we’re keen to provide a platform for them to articulate their experiences and the realities of the working world that they currently face.

This month, we’re doing just that, with the first of our posts from younger guest bloggers who have something they want to share with others, supporting TransTeach’s focus on cross-discipline education. 

This post was written by James Hewlett (https://twitter.com/JPHewlett), a recent masters graduate in Translation and Interpreting from the University of Nottingham. Now employed as a linguist for a large translation company based in Warwickshire, his route to securing his current role involved a whole host of time-consuming applications and interviews, a few false starts, some raised hopes and a number of dashed ones. This is what led him to want to write about a very pertinent topic and one which has undoubtedly helped him arrive at where he finds himself today….

Starting out in the translation industry, or starting any new professional endeavour for that matter, is never easy, and our first few steps will always be fraught with difficulty. For all the effort and work you may have put in to get you where you are today, sometimes it feels that Lady Luck is really just not on your side. If only instant success were as easy to achieve as Bradley Cooper in the film Limitless. Alas, the only place that success comes before work is in a dictionary, at least an English one anyway. But what happens if you haven’t achieved those goals within the time period you wanted to achieve them? What happens if your translation career still hasn’t taken off? Should you throw in the towel and just give up?

It’s safe to say that in my limited professional life, I have been faced with a number of challenges, setbacks and rejections, but there are two important life skills that have got me through these challenges and have led me to finally taking my first steps in the translation industry: perseverance and resilience. Continue reading

Lessons in business (and life…)

It’s the end of another working week and as anyone running their own business knows, there’s always at least one nugget of new knowledge that’s been acquired, however big or small. This week, TransTeach’s learning curve has come on in leap and bounds and despite starting out over 7 years ago, we never stop being a student when it comes to finding out more about the (business) world at large.

So what key lessons have been on the timetable this week?

Firstly, resilience is probably the most underrated skill in business, and in life! Without it, you don’t stand much of a chance. With it, you can conquer the world (at least metaphorically speaking.)

Once again, recent months have seen us face many challenges, from unexpected slumps in work requests to the usual stresses and strains of deadlines when trying to re-brand/launch a new website. The only thing that has got us through, as it always does, is a firm belief that all will eventually work out for the best. That’s easier to conjure up on some days than on others, naturally. However, it’s one trait/skill that is something we try to pass on to every single one of our students just starting out in the translation industry. See the positive in everything and believe – in yourself, in successful outcomes, in everything coming good in the end. It pretty much always works. The opposite view, one of pessimism and dreading the worst, generally only causes misery and makes dragging yourself through each day all the harder. Which leads us on to our next lesson…

Secondly, team/community/family, call it what you will, is vital, nay, ESSENTIAL, if you are to remain sane in business/life. When remaining optimistic is hard, having the right people around you can ensure you don’t succumb to the quagmire. Instead you can laugh, put things into a bit of perspective, and even come up with much better and more creative ways to overcome difficulties. When you’re a freelancer/sole trader, you need to seek out team/community/family wherever you can, so whether they’re physical, online (or evening imaginary!), locate them, share with them and watch how much easier it feels to face everything you’re going through.

When TransTeach relocated from London to Yorkshire this time last year, one of our biggest fears was leaving much of our support network behind. In reality, the wonder that is the Internet and the ease with which you meet people (when you’re walking the new canine member of the company!) has meant that there’s never been any dearth of help, assistance and downright championing of what we do. For that, we are immensely grateful. Over the year, we’ve extended our virtual and physical network considerably, by joining new groups, both locally and online. This week, when we actually had to call on people to show their support quite explicitly (Facebook likes and shares, Twitter retweets etc), every single person stepped up to the mark and made us realise how fortunate we are. So, on behalf of TransTeach:

THANK YOU, for being part of our virtual team, wherever you are…