Wouldn’t it be great if you could have someone to speak with who was doing the exact same job that you do, but who’s a little further down the road than you? Well, the good news is that these sort of people do actually exist!
In case you didn’t know, they’re referred to as mentors and you should seriously consider finding one for yourself. However, before you decide to look for one, let’s discuss why they’re so important to have..
1. Tailored help to your specific needs
Whilst we try and include as much helpful advice in our Translators’ Hub posts as possible, this sort of informational help is only ever going to be generally applicable. With a mentor, you get a 1-on-1 meeting that’s suited to your specific needs, requirements and difficulties.
2. A fellow traveller and guide
You’ve probably already considered this, but freelancing can be an incredibly lonely career if you’re not careful. Moreover, it lacks the developmental structures that are part of a traditional workplace and that help to form their employees’ professional growth.
With a mentor, you’re able to find someone to empathize with you when it comes to living the freelance lifestyle, and who’re able to help shape your independent, professional development.
3. Learn from someone else’s mistakes
If learning from your mistakes is an important part of life, then learning form someone else’s — so you don’t have to make them yourself — is even better! An honest mentor will try to guide you around some of the pitfalls they encountered when they were in your position, saving you both time and money.
4. Get general business assistance
Whilst you might be an especially gifted translator, it’s possible that the practicalities of running a business aren’t so apparent, or are even something you find to be incredibly difficult. A mentor will help guide you through these practical matters, leaving you with peace of mind and the ability to get on with what you enjoy doing.
5. Get sector-specific advice
A mentor that operates in the specific sector or niche that you focus on is ideally placed to help keep you up-to-date with recent developments in your field. They’ll also be aware of the particularities that go along with working in this sector and be able to offer advice accordingly, making them an invaluable source of information and potential work.
After you’ve had a helpful meeting with your mentor and identified some goals to pursue, it’s helpful to know that they’ll be expecting you to follow-up on those points and let them know how you got on. You might find that this expectation helps motivate you in a way that your own willpower can’t.
Has this Hub post made having a mentor seem like an appealing thing? Perhaps you already have a mentor that you meet with regularly?
If you’re inspired by this article and want to find a mentor for yourself, then stay tuned as we’ll be releasing a Hub post detailing how to find one very soon.