by Paula Pitkethly
In September Lucy Brooks kindly hosted us as guest post writers on her blog eCPD Webinars. We are now able to reciprocate by hosting Lucy’s informative post on CPD and its importance to succeeding as a freelance translator. Over to you, Lucy.
At the start of this year I wrote a blog post about the difficulties faced by translators straight out of an MA, degree course or paid employment as they start out on their own as a freelance translator. http://spotlightontranslation.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/investigating-gap-between-translator.html
Today’s economic situation has meant that traditional routes into translation work have become scarcer. Previously, many would-be translators left university with their degrees and sought employment with in-house translation departments where they would hone their skills. Others entered different careers and applied their language skills within their chosen career, thus acquiring an extensive background in their field.
But the market in the 21st century has changed beyond all recognition. There are very few in-house or supervised translation positions available, and the competition for those that remain is fierce. It’s harder than ever for recent graduates to get a foot on the employment ladder. An article published in the Guardian in 2014 provides some statistics. Graduates from an MA course in translating are therefore increasingly turning to freelancing as possibly the only practical option open to them if they wish to pursue a full-time translation career.
Recent graduates and practising translators at all levels of experience need constantly to update their skills and knowledge. Learning simply cannot stop once a person has left full time education. As the modern world evolves, so must we. The tools we use to do our job, the sectors in which we ply our craft, and the markets in which we operate are subject to constant change. This kind of learning is known as continuing professional development (CPD) or continuing education.
Established in 2010, eCPD Webinars was the pioneer of online professional development for translators and, while not neglecting established translators, has increasingly been developing courses and talks for new translators.
One of eCPD’s most successful courses, the Business School for Translators, developed by Marta Stelmaszak, is a fantastic resource for new (and indeed established) translators to build and expand their business and create their own niche in the market.
Freelancers have to plan, pursue (and pay for) career development, unlike those in paid employment. But on the upside, they can plan a precisely tailored career path that precisely fits in with what they want to do.
So, while ultimately it is the individual who is responsible for developing a career, I am now offering my services, through eCPD Webinars, to new and established translators in an online consultancy service to help them along the way. eCPD’s consultancy service for translators and interpreters is aimed at helping language professionals set up and work on a professional development plan and is based upon my, and my fellow directors’ many years of experience in the profession.
I will discuss with you what you are seeking, how you want your career to develop and how you can be fulfilled in your work. After the initial online interview, I will carry out research and advise you accordingly.
All advice is unbiased and will not necessarily recommend eCPD’s own courses. However since eCPD covers so many topics, it is likely that they will figure somewhere in the mix! Work-Life balance is hard to gauge, and every individual will want to work out their own balance. We will be discussing this aspect of your work, as well as ideas for directions in which to move forward and tips for organising your business and work.
My credentials to do this are set out on the information page, along with several recommendations. The service started in September 2015.
The information page also contains a video to explain how it works.
Following a career in industrial PR and IT training, Lucy Brooks became a professional translator in 1991, working from German, French and Spanish into British English. She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists, and attained Chartered Linguist status in 2008. She has always taken a keen interest in continuing education for linguists, having served on the Translating Division committee of the CIoL during which time she pioneered Internet-based training for translators. She is the founder of eCPD Webinars in the UK and works closely with the ATA, the CIoL, ITI and AUSIT on webinar training. She continues to translate for many of her longest-standing customers.