On 6 and 7 March 2020, I attended the Chartered Institute of Linguists’ first two-day conference at BMA House in London. It was a very fruitful couple of days with a wide range of subjects: some very topical, such as Brexit and Interpreting at the Olympic Games, and some more practical, such as digital marketing and specialising in fields like public service interpreting.
On 7th March, I was invited to a translation round table at the University of Exeter, where I, along with two other translation professionals, took questions from the final-year Modern Languages students, who are currently in the middle of a translation business project.
As I mentioned in my previous blog post, I had some fun translation projects and events lined up for this month.
So Wednesday 26th October was a very exciting day for me, as I had not one, but two media appearances!
When I tell people that I work from home, the general reaction is “lucky you! I wish I could!” After all, what’s not to like? No horrible commute at the crack of dawn, no awkward water-cooler chat with acquaintances about how everyone’s weekend was, and you can make important business decisions without anyone but you knowing that you are, secretly, still in your pyjamas.
It’s the ultimate dream to be your own boss, but with it comes great responsibility: not only are you managing and motivating yourself, but you have to seek your own income, do your own taxes, not forgetting to put money aside for retirement….and on top of that, any sick leave or holiday that you take all adds up to time where you’re not earning.
It should come to no surprise, then, that if a freelancer in any profession feels like their time is being wasted, they may get a little….shirty.
I hope I’m not the only person who feels this way, but I find social interaction pretty exhausting.
Don’t get me wrong; I love my friends and family, and once I’ve hauled myself out of the house and into some kind of social event, I tend to have a great time. People wouldn’t guess from looking at me that inside my brain rages a storm of social awkwardness.
(What do you mean, you don’t remember asking for my life story?)
Colca Canyon, Peru. © Natalie Soper, 2015
My name is Natalie, and I am a freelance translator.
It still feels weird to say to people “I’m a freelancer” “I work from home” or “I own my own business” – but I am slowly getting used to this relatively new path in my life. Maybe one day I’ll be able to swagger into a room and flick business cards at people, one-handed, like a magician, but I’m not quite there yet (and sadly, I haven’t found any marketing training that teaches business-card-tricks).