In general, the criteria used by translation agencies and end clients for choosing the appropriate translator or interpreter for a given job are well-known: specialization in a given language pair and field of expertise, years of experience, rate range, availability, credentials and client feedback, among others. But outsourcers are not the only ones in a position to set the parameters for a given job and working relationship. Translators and interpreters too can –and actually should– have their own set of parameters to decide when to accept a job offer made by a new client or decline it.
There is currently a survey running on general trends in translation. You can see it at the top of the ProZ.com home page, http://www.proz.com/ (be sure you are logged in to your ProZ.com account). If you are a full-time professional translator, your input will be appreciated. The results of this and other surveys will help shape this year’s State of the industry report for freelance translators, and a few blog posts here on the T.O. along the way, I suspect.
While we’re on the subject of trends, what concerns you most about translation or the business today? What change(s) do you find the most positive?
Something that cannot be said about the translation or interpretation profession is that it is a static one. Translation and interpreting –and the way these two activities are performed– have evolved throughout the years and continue to evolve, allowing language professionals to seek new challenges, inviting them to review their career plans from time to time.
Even if most language professionals feel good about what they have achieved, they may also feel compelled now and then to take their careers a step further. However, this step further may not always be that clear, and there are several options available that go beyond translation and interpreting.
One option translators and interpreters have if they feel like taking their careers a step further is the expansion of the services they offer. Expanding the list of services you offer to clients may involve learning a new language, adding a new field of expertise and even learning additional techniques such as subtitling or desktop publishing (DTP). Of course, adding a new service, like investing in anything else, means devoting time –and usually money– to getting it ready.
This month I interviewed Certified PRO and ProZ.com professional trainer Konstantin Kisin on his upcoming workshops on improving essential business skills. Konstantin’s background in the psychology of communication and human behavior, as well as his extensive experience in the language services industry, give him unique insight as to how freelance translators and interpreters can improve their negotiation skills, be more productive, and achieve a better balance between work and life. These workshops will be held on November 17th, February 16th, and March 30th in the London area: http://www.proz.com/conference/group/8
I begin this interview by asking Konstantin which characteristics make someone an effective negotiator. In his response, Konstantin dispels the notion that a good negotiator must necessarily be tough or confident – but focuses instead on the value of exhibiting what he refers to as “behavioral flexibility.” According to Konstantin, behavioral flexibility is “doing the right thing, at the right time, and for the right reasons.”
Konstantin continues by saying that negotiation skills are essential in allowing freelance translators to put themselves in control of their businesses. These skills are largely what help freelancers determine how much they are paid, when their deadlines will be, and what their working patterns will be like. In short, he explains that negotiation and communication skills are key in fostering successful and healthy relationships with clients.
Later in the interview I ask Konstantin what makes his workshops on productivity different from the rest. He explains that while most productivity courses or training sessions deal with this topic from a general business standpoint, his workshops focus specifically on what freelance translators can do to improve their productivity. As a successful freelance translator himself, Konstantin offers some unique advice focused on what language service providers can do to cut procrastination and be more productive.
Finally, I ask Konstantin to sum up what makes the content of his workshops so valuable for freelance translators and interpreters. He says that, simply put, the topics covered in this three part workshop series are aimed at helping language service providers be in control of their businesses, increase their productivity, and achieve more balance between work and life.
Think these workshops might be right for you? Be sure to check out what others have said about Konstantin’s training courses in the feedback section of the workshop pages:
Negotiation & Communication Skills - Saturday, 17 November 2012
Boost Your Productivity Now! - Saturday, 16 February 2013
Work | Life Balance - Saturday, 30 March 2013
You can listen to the interview here: http://blogproz.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/proz-com-podcast-2012-11-7.wav
I hope you enjoy the podcast. Feedback, comments and suggestions for future podcasts topics can be directed here or via Twitter @ProZcom
The ProZ.com Certified PRO Network, an initiative of the ProZ.com community that has the purpose of identifying qualified translators and providing them with the option of networking and collaborating while distinguishing themselves as professionals, is now open to translation companies willing to demonstrate their unique capabilities in keeping with published industry standards.
Allowing translation companies to apply for inclusion into the network is expected to have, among others, the following benefits:
- Network expansion.
- More successful service provider-outsourcer working relationships.
- More room for direct communication and collaboration between service providers and companies.
- A better understanding on the part of outsourcers of what being a Certified PRO means.
- Extended network promotion.
Translation companies willing to enter the ProZ.com Certified PRO Network will be required to prove that they meet or exceed minimum professional standards in two screening areas: (1) business reliability and (2) good citizenship.
Information that screeners will check when reviewing company applications includes Blue Board record history and payment practices, number of years in the translation industry, client feedback, standards or certifications, quality processes followed and ProZ.com activity. Other data, such as services offered and capacity, may also be taken into account.
If you run a translation company, consider applying for inclusion into the Certified PRO Network by completing your online application.
More information about PRO certification is available in the Certified PRO Network FAQs section (recently updated).
Application from freelancers are also being reviewed on a daily basis. So, if you are a freelancer and you would like to enter the network, apply now.
The ProZ.com moderator class of 2011-2012 is coming to an end, but before this happens, ProZ.com would like to thank all of those members who have given of their time to help maintain a positive, results-oriented atmosphere on the site. Each person in the class has made valuable contributions to ProZ.com, and some of them even beyond the moderator program.
ProZ.com moderators are volunteer members who have benefited from ProZ.com and have chosen to give something back by playing their part, in turn, in a system put in place to ensure fair play. Their role is to foster and protect the positive, results-oriented atmosphere that makes ProZ.com possible, by:
- Greeting and guiding new participants, and helping them to properly use and benefit from what is available to them at ProZ.com.
- Enforcing site rules in a consistent and structured manner to maintain a constructive environment.
The moderator class of 2011-2012 is certainly a very good example of the role. Thank you mods!
The moderator class of 2012-2013 is scheduled to begin in August. So, if you are a ProZ.com member and would like to volunteer for a one-year term as site moderator, please visit http://www.proz.com/moderators or contact site staff through the support center.
Looking forward to receiving lots of applications!
The ProZ.com Certified PRO Network, an initiative of the ProZ.com community to provide qualified translators and translation companies with an opportunity to network and collaborate in an environment consisting entirely of screened professionals, has reached 3,000 members and more and more applications are being submitted every day.
Members of the ProZ.com Certified PRO Network have the benefit of networking with other screened professionals while distinguishing themselves as PROs. Many program participants view this also as an opportunity to make a positive contribution to the industry. Other benefits members of the program have include:
- a distinguishing Certified PRO seal shown next to their name throughout the ProZ.com site;
- a printable and downloadable certificate available in their ProZ.com profiles;
- a special search option in the ProZ.com directory of freelance translators and interpreters, ProZ.com’s main source of jobs;
- exclusive access to a personal workspace and to a Certified PRO Network private forum;
- special discount on selected ProZ.com training sessions and events;
- a distinguishing Certified PRO seal in in-person event name badges;
- access to periodically organized virtual powwows for members of the network;
- a Certified PRO logo to be used in personal websites, email signatures, blogs, etc.;
- full access to ProZ.com virtual events;
- the possibility to join Translators without Borders without going through their screening process;
- the option to share glossaries with other members of the network;
- the possibility to become ProZ.com mentors;
- and more!
To enter the Certified PRO Network, ProZ.com members must complete an online application and submit it for review to prove they meet or exceed minimum professional standards based on the EN15038 standard for quality in translation and in three screening areas: translation ability, business reliability and online citizenship.
The ProZ.com Certified PRO network is being provided as a service to ProZ.com full professional members only (non-members can still complete and submit their applications for review). If admitted, members pay no additional fees.
More information about the ProZ.com Certified PRO Network is available here.
Congratulations to the over 3,000 ProZ.com members who are further differentiating themselves professionally and taking networking and collaboration to a new level!