Here is my list of things all freelance translators would ideally do to keep current in good times and in bad, inspired by Rowan Manahan‘s post So your job is under threat?
The idea behind this is that we shouldn’t wait for work to dry up before assembling the materials we need to showcase our skills, tempting as it is to let non-translation things slide when the words are flowing.
- An up-to-date website. As Céline Graciet recently pointed out, as service providers and remote workers, our websites are our shop windows.
- An up-to-date list of training and events attended to prove your skills are current.
- A well-maintained network of colleagues in your field. The best time to build a network is well before you’re looking for business.
- A list of client testimonials and references. Again, the best time to build your reputation is when times are good. (Plus they’re nice to review for a pat on the back every now and then.)
- A clear view of your financial situation: what’s coming in, what’s going out, and what’s in the pipeline.
Interestingly, job-seeking expert Jason Alba said he felt like he was “cheating on his employer” if he tried to work on this safety net when he was happily employed. Maybe as freelancers we’re cheating ourselves if we don’t?