An active member can bring so much to our industry. As translators, we so often complain about things that need changing in our industry, however, some of us don’t engage with that industry and are a contributing part of it. Sometimes because we are shy, I admit I’m a bit guilty of that myself, sometimes because we may be scared of being criticized. The truth is, only engaging with our industry will enable us to make changes and achieve the success and recognition we deserve.
The principle of peer cooperation
One of the basic principles in our industry is peer cooperation. For me, is one that I love and that I strongly defend. Some may think we are all competing against each other and cooperation between us would be out of the question. The reality is way different from that and in fact, my experience is that the great majority of translators like to be in contact with their peers and share ideas with them.
Networking events are great for that. They can be conferences, meetings or any other type of social gathering between translators. These events are not only great in the perspective of sharing ideas, but they also help you build great relationships that may translate in work opportunities for you and your colleagues. You may refer your colleagues to a client who needs a translator in their language pair and they may do the same to you. Or, if you want to build a team, you can meet other colleagues and invite them to work with you.
Helping our peers is also a great thing. Sharing our experience with our colleagues and help them achieve their goals is an extremely rewarding way of engaging with our industry. When we start our career, we have no experience and may be a bit scared or shy of doing certain things. Having a more experienced colleague helping us with tips and ideas may be a big difference in the way our career progresses. For that, we have mentoring programs and professional development events.
Engaging with our associations
It’s no secret that I strongly believe in association affiliation and the role of professional associations promoting our industry and keeping great standards. However, I also believe we can actively contribute to that role, by engaging with our associations and bringing new ideas to the table. As translators working in the field, we have a deep knowledge of the challenges the industry faces and we certainly have a few ideas on ways to improve it and fix the issues it may have. By participating in that debate, we are contributing to the future of our industry which will benefit all of us.
In the end, it is the law of Karma; “what goes around, comes around”. By being cooperative and proactive we help our industry thrive. We help colleagues achieve their goals, we participate in the decision making and contribute to the future of our industry. All that will come back to us as it will make us feel great for our contribution, but it will also give us a great reputation and that may also mean clients.