Get a real job! I’m sure that if you are a translator or work as a freelancer in any other industry, you have certainly heard this comment from someone. It is hurtful, especially because most times comes from those closest to us, the ones we would expect to support us and be on our side. It is hard to have clients praising our great work and those closest to us putting us down. But it is what it is, so what should we do? Should we just put ourselves down, give up our jobs and live miserably for the rest of our lives, or should we use the negative comments and turn them into positive energy that propels us to achieve our goals? I chose the latter!
Lack of understanding
I think most times, these comments are the product of a huge lack of understanding about our profession, and also a huge devaluation of our work. Unfortunately, there are still a lot of people who think translation is an easy job, that anyone who speaks two languages can do. They do it often in family gatherings! So the idea of someone getting paid for such an easy task is hard to understand. I don’t blame them entirely, that perception is a product of our society and the way we see other people’s jobs.
Then there’s the working from home argument. I think covid helped create a better understanding regarding this issue, but we still have the odd comment saying we are home, so we don’t work.
Turn a negative into a positive
Although these comments are hurtful, we shouldn’t let them affect us. You know your value and your clients do too, so whatever else people may say, it’s just their opinion.
I think the best option is to turn all those negative comments into positives. I don’t hold grudges, nor do I keep thinking of those comments, I use them as energy to keep me going. I fill my heart with positivity and my mind with the reality, the value of my work and the comments from my clients. This way, I keep going strong and focused on my goals, I work even harder to get there. I also try to educate people about my work, I do understand that some of the comments may happen because of a lack of understanding, so if I do make that connection and I show them what translation is about, maybe I can help them see what I do and have a more positive view of my profession.
Great communication skills are the best, and very thick skin too. But I think if we don’t lose focus and we don’t let ourselves go with negative comments, we will end up stronger. It’s all about our mindset I guess.