It’s time to say goodbye to 2014 and welcome to 2015. I celebrated the arrival of the New Year in style – or shall I say, in the style of the busy mother of two, i.e. I went to bed as usual and got woken up by a hungry baby a few times. I’ve really learnt to cherish my sleep!
Looking back at 2014, I come to see that I worked on some brilliant projects and also on some others that taught me a lesson or two. Here they are:
2 valuable lessons that 2014 taught me
- When working with others, always remain professional. Never forget your etiquette. (That’s after a few unpleasant emails from a collaborator of mine – it took some cold blood and very dry responses from me to bring this person down to earth, though I might have been cursing away at my desk.)
- When quoting on projects, do it ONLY after you’ve seen the documents that need translating. Never give a discount on the basis of a “large volume” if you don’t know what the client means by that. It’s up to you to determine what large volume actually is – I say, no less than a few months’ worth of work. And it’s also worth knowing whether you’re closely familiar with the subject and the terminology used in those documents. (That’s after making the very mistake of giving a discount for a text that should have taken me a few days and took me a few weeks, because it was so difficult.)
I guess they are no-brainers, yet I consider them very valuable. Thank you, 2014.
As I mentioned in my 2014 New Year’s resolutions, I was on leave for a large part of the year. That’s because I was expecting. My second daughter was born in June and has been growing… and growing… and growing. This year I will definitely be writing on the topic of parenting and working from home (something that I yet have to master, because when mummy is needed, mummy is needed and work can wait.)
A look back on my 2014 resolutions
These were: to read more on running a translation business, to do more voluntary work and to go back to learning other languages.
When it comes to books, I’ve done quite well – mostly in terms of acquiring them, a bit worse with the actual reading part – but I’ve skimmed through them and intend to spend a bit more time on them. In any case, I really recommend the following three:
- “101 Things a Translator Needs to Know” – WLF Think Tank (compiled by I. Hinchliffe, T. Oliver & R. Schwartz)
- “Thoughts on Translation” by Corinne McKay (and if you don’t read her blog, you really should)
- “The Marketing Cookbook For Translators” by Tess Whitty
When it comes to the other two resolutions, sadly they were wishful thinking: I assumed I would have a lot of free time on my hands. I was intending to go on maternity leave around March but a client asked me to work on a project until the end of April and I said yes. Then the baby was born in June and from August onwards I’ve been doing small projects here and there virtually every week. I never worked for a whole day, usually it was an hour or two when both children were asleep. The drawback is obvious: I never really had the time to rest, let alone think about doing more work of any kind. Enough said.
4 resolutions for 2015
I’m expecting quite a few unknown quantities in 2015, but it’s impossible to act without any goals. So I’ve decided to set myself four SMART targets (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely).
- I have 10 books on working as a translator or running a translation business but so far I’m only really familiar with one of them. By the end of 2015 I want to have read them all.
- By the end of 2015 I’d like to have translated two books. As one is underway, the trick is going to be to find another author/publisher that would like me to work on their book.
- I want to post at least 12 times on this blog – that’s once a month, which is perfectly doable.
- I’ve had this website for several years, yet I’ve still not produced a Polish-language version of it. It’s high time I’ve done it!
By the way – Marta Stelmaszak’s January business camp
In case you’ve not heard of this, Marta Stelmaszak of Want Words is doing a free business development “camp”. I’ve already received two emails (one yesterday and one today) and it’s simply great. Marta provides you with ways of approaching and thinking about your business in an organised manner and setting yourself on the right track for the coming year. You can sign up for free here.
Happy New Year to all of you!
What are your plans for 2015? Do you make New Year’s resolutions? Do you look back on them, like I do above? Please comment below!