A lonely job. A lot of people may think translators live a very lonely life. Most of us work by ourselves and I agree, it can be a bit lonely, or at least in pre-covid times. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. Even working alone, we can have great connections with people and build great relationships.
We connect to our clients
Part of that connection is established with our clients. It is essential to our business that we have great communication with clients. We must gather all information about the projects we do, we also need to know about our clients, so we can assess the best way to help them. For that, we need to ask plenty of questions and communicate effectively with our clients. That communication will also help us build a great professional relationship with that client. They know our level of commitment to their companies and help them achieve their goals and we know they will be there to answer our questions and help us do the best job we can do. This can never be lonely. We need constant communication and if we are in a continuing working relationship we end up feeling we are part of their team. I certainly feel that way with my clients.
We connect with our peers
But we also connect with our peers. We connect to our peers in many ways. We may be on social media groups or translators portals. We may connect to them at networking events. In this case, we are not gathering information about them or projects, but we are exchanging ideas. It doesn’t matter what stage in your career you may be at, you will always have something to share and your wisdom will always be extremely valuable to everyone. That is the purpose of these events. We connect, we exchange ideas, we learn and that will ultimately help us keep great standards in our industry and of course, create great relationships. So, we are not alone!
In the covid era
2020 came and everything changed. Before covid, people thought we had an easy life, we didn’t work or we could work from the sofa and only a few hours a day. It was a misconception that was crushed by covid. If anything, the pandemic helped people understand what is working from home and how demanding it can be, if you are really serious about your work.
So, out of a sudden, our lonely offices became their offices too. We are not part of their team, nor their companies, but somehow we share the same space and it looks like we are in the same company, because we are sharing the same space.
It is great because we no longer work alone, we have someone to talk to and share ideas with. But it can have its downside too. If both have to attend a meeting or a phone call, it is complicated to have both talking at the same time. For example, I need to reconcile recording my YouTube videos with my husband’s meetings, because it cannot happen at the same time. In the last couple of weeks, he has also been a permanent feature in the background as I cannot record anywhere else, and he cannot leave his desk for me to record.
In the end, it is a very positive experience I guess. People are now understanding the rules of working from home and embracing it, and we are not alone anymore. But again, we have never really been alone anyway.