Turn-of-the-year Reflections and Resolutions

DSCF3406In many respects, 2013 was quite a good year professionally. After spending many years chained to the house as a result of childcare duties, I was finally allowed a pass to attend my first ever conference (although that probably had a lot to do with the venue only being a few miles or so up the road). The conference also inspired me to get around to writing something for the blog at long last (my take on the IAPTI event in London). I had such a good time and found the experience so rewarding that I cannot wait to find an opportunity to escape again in 2014. There are quite a few events to choose from, and which one (or ones—I can live in hope) I end up at will no doubt depend on family circumstances, since we have quite a lot in the pipeline this year. Under consideration so far are:

  1. Budapest (Hungary) on 2 and 3 May. There is a possibility of taking the ATA exam the day before it starts.
  2. FIT World Congress in Berlin (Germany) from 4 to 6 August.
  3. IAPTI Conference in Athens (Greece) on 20 and 21 September.
  4. 55th ATA Annual Conference in Chicago (USA) from 5 to 8 November

Meeting more colleagues in person is definitely one of my priorities this year. Last September I organised a powwow in Cambridge and very much enjoyed chatting to the two colleagues who were able to come along (given that I arranged it rather last minute when I decided to go to a do at my old college). There is another Cambridge powwow on Saturday 29 March at lunchtime. Do sign up if you can manage to join us.

Based on advice received from Anne Diamantidis, I increased my Internet presence in 2013 by adding about.me and vizualize.me pages, signing up to Google+ and spending some more time on my business Facebook page. However, the main purpose of the webinars given by Anne was to convince us of LinkedIn’s usefulness and how to take advantage of the site. Since then, I have not only improved my profile considerably, but also joined a fair few industry-related groups which provide access to interesting posts and stimulating debate (the groups I am a member of are listed in my LinkedIn profile, and there is a link to the latter on the left).

I must admit, though, that most of my ‘social media’ time has been spent either on Twitter, which can be dipped into whenever you have a spare five minutes (or when you are the taxi driver hanging around waiting for a child to finish an activity!), or on Facebook. My blog post Why you might regret not being on Facebook largely explains what I get up to on the latter.

More CPD is high up on my to-do list in 2014. Thankfully, eCPD Webinars* offer a number of courses that can be purchased after the event, because it’s always difficult for me to take part in them live. Proz.com also has on-demand options, besides live webinars, and the Alexandria Project is creating a library of videos in addition to hosting live events.

There are several books on translation I want to find time to get my teeth into, especially an early Christmas present to myself, Diversification in the Language Industry. Authored by Nicole Y. Adams, it has more contributors than you can shake a mouse at (perhaps I won’t be needing to attend any conferences this year after all!).

Top of my CPD list, however, is refining my knowledge of editing so that I can become a better translation reviser and reviewer. I have been looking at courses offered by the Publishing Training Centre and the Society for Editors and Proofreaders. On the subject of diversification, when I’ve finished all the courses I’m planning to take, I should be able to add copy-editing and proofreading to my skill set.

This brings me to another resolution: becoming a member of more associations and organisations. Associate membership of the SfEP is a must in order to diversify. I have also had my eye on Mediterranean Editors and Translators for a while (and they should be hosting a conference in the last third of the year to add to my options). There are many others to consider, so I guess it all boils down to which ones I think will be the most useful for the direction I wish to go in.

With all the many things I hope to achieve in 2014, time management will certainly be an issue, especially as I fully intend to keep on blogging as well. It’s a bug I have well and truly caught, and I’m hoping I’ll find a space in my schedule to finish the drafts I’ve been working on sooner rather than later.

933949_10202815170518682_1643004984_nOne of those posts I have in mind concerns the very last resolution I have for 2014, which is no doubt shared by all my colleagues: earning more money. I hope to do this by tweaking prices and offering to do translations for lump sums rather than getting into discussions about rates per word, discounts for repetitions and matches, and extras for fiddly formatting and fast turnarounds. And that brings me neatly back to where I started. Because, as we learned at the very first IAPTI conference, and proudly emblazoned on their mug, translation is not a commodity.

This post was first published on 01/01/2014 on my previous blog.

* eCPD Webinars no longer exists. The back catalogue of webinars was taken over by CIOL and can only be accessed by its members.

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