Day 11 My colleagues

In a comment to my post on my best colleague, Translatology wrote: “In my experience, not enough emphasis is placed on teamwork in interpreter training”. I very much agree with him on this. I would once again like to put forward my colleagues. I am blessed with working in a very open and welcoming environment.

When I studied to take the court interpreting certification for the second time (which I embarrassingly enough have failed twice and still not passed), one of my colleagues suggested that we study together, and for several months we met regularly to discuss terminology and the topic.

Your colleagues are also the ones you can debrief to. They are under the same secrecy as you are, they have most likely been in more or less similar situations. They may even know the agency or the client in particular.

Usually, when I come to the booth my colleagues share word lists and knowledge with me. And they write notes when I’m not sure of the terminology. For me as a freelance often working with staff interpreters it’s worth a fortune. I do prepare, but I will never (at least not with my current level of working-days) get up to their terminological ease. I cannot compare to them who work every day in the same environment and regularly at the same meetings. I do not aim to be compared with them either of course, but I am truly grateful that they share their knowledge so generously.

Another golden rule among freelancers is the referral. I refer jobs to you and you refer jobs to me. It’s very discouraging to refer lots of missions to a colleague and you never get anything back. On a more professional level I find it more correct to answer a potential client that “I’m unfortunately already booked on the date in question, but please contact my colleague so and so”, rather than just a plain no.

So, as a colleague: Share your knowledge, be supportive, take some time to listen, remember to distribute jobs, make sure the work runs smoothly on the team, and remember: What goes around comes around.

This post is part of a list, 30 days of interpreting. You can view the whole list here.

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