Tuesday, March 18, 2014

On Paying Your Dues

We received a lot of reactions about our previous article on the exciting career opportunities available to young professionally qualified interpreters. Many of them came from #Boomers who had run out of their hot flash medication; we did, however, notice a common thread. They all underscored the importance of…
Paying your dues!
Always looking out for you, our team at Become an Interpreter!  has compiled a list of tips on paying your dues:
-       To be successful, you have to pay your dues. No question about that, no way José!
-       In the age of overnight millionaires and billionaires, it seems that everyone wants it now. However if you dig down into a lot of these stories and bios, you will see a common thread peaking through. It did not happen overnight. Why just look at Mark Zuckerberg, Marissa Mayer, Kim Kardiashian, Paris Hilton…oh wait, they either went to Ivy League schools or made sex tapes.

- So you made it in and out of an EMCI with minimal PTSD symptoms, got an accreditation test date, and passed. They even offered you 80 days your first year! Félicitations, but don't get cheeky and run out to replace all those cosmetics you bought at DM during your EMCI exchange in Heidelberg four years ago just yet. Once you hit 100 days, you become more expensive, and you will be summarily shunned. Don't even consider attempting to remain at the débutant rate and keep working- that's undercutting, and you will (also) be summarily shunned. 
-       Young interpreters need to make themselves available to chief interpreters at all times. This means buying a smart phone with a data plan (but not a démodé Blackberry). It also means diligently following euronews.com and working on your Danish, and moving your domicile to Brussels, where you've heard that even the toilet water is infused with diamonds, and not those off brand synthetic ones either. It means being understanding and not whining when the chiefs tell you that those diamonds were cubic zirconias all along, and there is no demand. No one needs Danish! Everyone added that C 18 months ago! They need Maltese!  Pay a fortune teller to tell you what the language needs will be in 2019- Bulgarian? Or Lithuanian? (Free tip- it won't be Ukranian, so kiss your Odessa dreams goodbye, son)
-       Cancellations are our daily bread and butter. If a client cancels on the morning of a meeting or while you are getting on the plane, stay classy and thank them for the opportunity and wasted time. Don’t forget flexibility is key to success in our global village!
-       Younger female colleagues are often the targets of sexual harassment by older more experienced male colleagues or chief interpreters. If such uncomfortable situations arise, act like nothing is happening and let him touch your junk. Nothing upsets our older colleagues more than bright young things rocking the boat. As our French host father would say: Laisse-toi péloter un peu…ça ira mieux.
-       Never ask for documents or background information. Do not demand fancy ISO compliant equipment or to share the assignment with a colleague. No one likes a diva!
-       Adopt all mobile technologies and sign up for online translation and interpreting platforms. Provide your services for free. After all, it shows that you are onboard with disruptive innovation and global social networks. It is the future after all!
-       Sometimes major companies from the Fortune-500 and the CAC-40 need budget language services too. Build your prestige and reputation by volunteering for them!

These are only some of the main tips to pay your dues on the long winding road of success! Please feel free to add your own insights and tips in the comments section. Remember: the longer the journey, the sweeter the taste once you arrive. Except for social safety nets and retirement benefits, please don’t count on those!

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