As a professional translator, do you often feel part of something that transcends national borders – an industry that goes beyond individual countries to create something truly global?
If you do, you’re far from alone. In fact, the translation industry is of such size and stature that it regularly ignores local and even national economic circumstances. In the US, for example, despite political upheaval and economic uncertainties, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projected that the employment of translators and interpreters would grow by 18% between 2016 and 2026, in this set of statistics on interpreters and translators.
Have you been a part of the industry’s growth, either in the US or elsewhere in the world? If so, have you turned that growth to your advantage?
When any industry is growing, it gives rise to opportunities for individuals to harness that growth and benefit from it. In the translation and interpretation industry, there are plenty of ways that professionals can grow their careers.
Which of these strategies have you already employed, and which will you try next?
As the translation and interpretation industry grows, so too does the range of services that customers are seeking. If you already provide marketing translation services, for example, why not expand your offering to include video translation or desktop publishing services? Both of these are highly prized by clients looking to translate their marketing materials for use across a range of platforms.
If you’re a business meeting interpreter, why not support your clients to deliver networking lunches, presentations or other events? Sometimes, customers don’t realise which services they need until you suggest them!
In the same vein, how broad is the range of services that you deliver? If you spend your life translating business strategy documents, are you in a position to branch out and help international business to develop those strategies, as well as translate them?
Providing a company with easy solutions from a known partner is always easier than finding new clients. As such, if you’re already interpreting for a company or translating for them, make sure that you are supporting them in every way you can.
In our increasingly global marketplace, much of the reason for the translation and interpretation industry’s growth is the expansion of business empires. Migration patterns and the often multicultural nature of our societies, where not everyone living within a country speaks the same language, are also fuelling the industry’s expansion. Growth figures like 18% mean that there are plenty of new opportunities for those who seek them.
When did you last update your marketing strategy or email pitch? Are they everything you need them to be in order to win new business?
And if you’re great at finding new clients already, and have work to spare, is it time to start your own translation agency in order to meet the demand for work that you’re experiencing?
Another way to feed into and benefit from the language industry’s growth is to blog about it. A successful blog takes time to establish but can be a great way to demonstrate your expertise to potential new clients. It can also become a welcome additional income stream if you manage to find a niche and establish yourself as enough of an authority.
Setting up and running a blog does require you to have decent tech skills and a true passion for the subject matter, so it’s not for everyone. However, those that opt to do this and manage to do it well can find that blogging leads to some interesting new connections and opens doors that would otherwise have remained closed.
If you don’t feel you have fully benefitted from the increase in demand for translation and interpretation services, then there’s no time like the present to get started. Before you do, be sure to take a structured approach that means that you can track your progress. Define which ideas you will try, how you will enact them and how you will monitor your progress.