Find me a job please! I need tips on how and where to find a job!
These are the message I’ve got from many visitors to my website. They are either beginners in the translation business, are returning after taking time off, or are considering such a career path.
Although there’s no magic pill to attracting ongoing quality translation jobs, I have a few tips to help you land your first (and second, etc.) clients.
If you want to keep your practice always busy and fruitful, you’ve got to apply serious planning, intense marketing and constantly gauging the needs of your target market, which is what I talk about on this website.
So here’s my response to their request:
Volunteering your service to a local non-profit organization is a great way to spread the word out there and establish your profile. You build up experience and make yourself known in the community.
Some of the people you meet may be immediately in your target market, others won’t be; but they are all important and could equally lead to the next golden opportunity.
I don’t know about others, but volunteering did find me a job – a regular on-call translator’s position at an immigration service society. There are tons of places where you can find volunteer opportunities.
It might be your church, a business, social or sports club you belong to, a charity group, your local Toastmasters, Rotary, or a political party. Just remember to treat these assignments as you would a professional engagement.
Ask for a testimonial or referral whenever you can. But when you take on a volunteer task, treat it as you would a paying job. When you demonstrate respect and integrity, you get it in return. And you never know who might know someone who could use your service.
2- Find a part time job
Don’t dismiss this too early. The truth is, a regular job, even if it’s not related to translation, helps you build some sort of connection and credibility.
Nobody responds to your “ find me a job ” request just because you need one. You have to get yourself known to people and build a resume before some people will give you an opportunity.
If you are waiting for your first clients, don’t! Get a job – any job. When you have some steady income coming in, you are less likely to appear desperate to your potential clients. You can build on that afterwards.
The bottom line is, you never put the basic needs of you and your family in jeopardy. But when possible, seek a position with some flexibility – where the hours allow you to set time aside for your true calling.
3- Go back to school
As a student or graduate, you have great “ find me a job ” resources at your disposal. Your classmates, instructors, alumni and college message boards are all great tools for you.
A certificate related to your service can really launch your business by adding value to what you offer. It also helps build credibility among your potential clients.
4- join social clubs or groups of your interest
When you meet whole bunch of people who share some similar interests or goals with you, you have a better chance of making a connection with them.
In fact, compared to business networking events, social networking events are usually far more effective. Nobody responds to your ‘find me a job’ request if you are an unknown stranger. But when you are a friend who shares certain things in common, you are more likely to be called. Referrals are more likely to come.
5- post your service on craigslist.org or local community board online
You’ve got nothing to lose by trying it out. Just make sure you write your ad in such a way that raises readers’ curiosity and interest. And you’ll probably have to repost it a couple times a week to start – otherwise it will get lost in the daily deluge of ‘ find me a job ’ listings.
Tell yourself this – It’s my job to find me a job! If you make all your venues clear of obstacles, market on a regular basis, get out there in a big way, the quality translation jobs will come find you.