I’ve run a translation business for 20 years. Here’s what I can share
Language professionals working in-house and freelance: the added value was the subject of the webinar I presented to the Chartered Institute of Linguists earlier this month.
We looked at how much recruiting businesses in the UK value foreign language skills based on the results of some surveys, including the Skills for an Inclusive Economy survey most recently conducted by the Confederation of British Industry. We examined several case studies identifying what recruiters look for in candidates speaking other languages and what such companies can offer in return. Hiring multilingual staff doesn’t come without challenges, and we explored some of the difficulties staff may face, e.g. doing extra duties beyond their remit with restricted knowledge and under time constraints.
In the second part of the webinar I talked about business aspects language professionals should consider if they decide to go freelance either after working inhouse or at the very beginning of their language career. I spoke in detail about different approaches to setting translation and interpreting rates and why translators need to be flexible but fair on themselves. The impact of price increase and decrease was also quite revealing!
Working freelance is all about value: the value we, translators, provide to our clients, plus how we should value our own work and time to run our language business. At the webinar I shared with the attendees specific examples of how by demonstrating their professionalism, on the one hand translators can show value to customers and learn self-worth, on the other.
We should try to understand every client’s needs and offer a service that would meet them, sometimes exceeding their expectations, as we strive to do at Talk Russian.