The freelance translation industry is one industry that will never go away. As the world becomes smaller with an increase in communication between companies and institutions from different regions of the world, freelance translators will always be in demand.
So how do you know if freelance translation is right for you? Well, first of all, not everyone has what it takes to be a freelance translator. Here are seven things to ask yourself before deciding if you have what it takes:
1. Do you have a command of the languages?
This almost goes without saying, but in order to be a good freelance translator, you need to have a great command of the languages you'll be translating with. Some people erroneously believe that learning a foreign language in high school or college automatically qualifies them to be translators. Nothing could be further from the truth.
2. Can you market your business?
As a freelance translation, you have to realize that the ability to market your services can be more important than your ability to translate. If you can't get any business, it won't matter how good a translator you are.
3. Can you accept rejection?
In the freelance translation business, you have to be able to deal with people saying no to your services and going with one of your competitors. This can be disheartening, but remember there are always others in need of your services, and you just have to find them.
4. Can you say no?
While you might have a hard time accepting rejection on one hand, you have to be willing to say no on the other. Many times a client will want you to lower your costs to an unreasonable level, or you may have too many jobs on your plate at one time and you won't be able to take on more jobs at that time. Don't be afraid to say no.
5. Can you manage your finances?
Translators in the freelance translation industry do not usually have a steady stream of income. Many refer to this as going through periods of "feast or famine." You have to be able to budget your finances appropriately.
6. Can you keep learning?
The freelance translation industry is constantly changing. Just like any athlete or other professional, you have to be willing to keep learning and improving your skills. By doing so, you will keep your customers happy and your business will grow.
7. Can you take a break?
It can be tempting as a freelance translator to work, work, and work without giving yourself some time to take a break. Doing this will burn you out before you ever even get your momentum going. It will take a lot of work to break into the industry, but don't keep yourself strung too tight all of the time.
These are just some questions to ask yourself if you're interested in becoming a translator in the freelance translation industry.