I want to apologize for my absence, it has been ages since the last time I have shared my thoughts and ideas on this blog.
Status Update: Calm After the Storm
It has been very difficult to launch into the job market in Argentina. I have spent the last three years applying to paid jobs, voluntary jobs and internships.
After my graduation from Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, I have started working as a Graduate Teacher Assistant in the subject Theory and Practice of Translation, an English- Spanish interpreter for some companies, an English Teacher in language institutes and Argentina’s Immigration Office, a Spanish Teacher, a language coordinator and as a Sworn Translator. Little did I know that getting a job as a Sworn Translator would be hard.
Although thriving in the translator’s job market is difficult, there are some field related work posibilities where you can make contacts and get connected to the correct people, be in contact with the English language and learn specific words. These are the following:
College Voluntary Work
Although teacher assistantships are unpaid jobs, they are win-win situations. Working as a Teacher Assistant in Universidad Nacional de Cuyo during two years has helped me appreciate first year college subjects from other perspectives and make professional contacts. Being part of the chair of “Theory and Practice of Translation” made me analyze texts I have read years ago thoroughly before applying translation techniques, while doing research about cultural contexts. In fact, freshman don’t really to approach to texts in this manner because, at the beginning of the career, they do not have the knowledge tools to do so. Moreover, I have met professional teachers and colleagues which I admire and I was able to learn from them to be methodic and detail-oriented. Some of these people would later introduce me to potential employers and clients.
Teaching any subject boosts your language skills and may lead you to potential clients. Being an English teacher allowed me to get in touch with the English language while learning technical words about the specific topics I taught. Of couse as a translator I am always reading news, reaserch articles, books- sometimes because I want to learn new topics and out of sheer curiosity-; however, as a teacher I was forced to study and to do research of different fields I taught, besides grammar. In addition, at least half of the people I have met when I worked as an English or Spanish teacher, have recommended me to a client.
Working from home as a language coordinator in an online language services company, helps you to also learn technical words, exercise short- term memory and improve your listening and speaking language skills in your second language. I have worked several months in Language Service Associates as a language coordinator, where I learned some specific medical language and I had to pay special attention to clients for information intake. It is in this fast-paced job where I had to come up with some medical and marketing terms and I had little time to look up for words.
These jobs are not your specific field; nevertheless, they are field related. In fact, they are a good way in which I was introduced to different clients which still contact me. Not only the paid but also the voluntary work has improved my networking skills, while also help me improve my language skills. It is like the saying, what does not kill you, makes you stronger. In hard times you have to find the path that will lead you to connections.
I would like to know about you. Can you please share your experience from the first years after you became a translator? How is your job market in your country? What languages do you offer translation services for?
Future post: current job situation and specialization. Lost in translation and specialization.