Well, I don’t regret much actually. I have a positive mind and I don’t like to dwell too much on “if only”. My basic philosophy is that everything that happens adds experience (good or bad) to your backpack, and that experience makes up the person you are. I don’t consider myself fatalistic, but believe things that happen shape who you are which in turn shapes your future.
But if I try hard I can probably come up with a few things I regret. Not staying in Finland where I was an Au Pair girl a thousand years ago. I left after only three months because of a boy, and my knowledge of Finnish is still non-existent. How great it would have been to have Finnish in my combination. Not too late you may argue, true, it’s never too late, but I don’t think I’ll take up Finnish now.
A few assignments when I did not prepare enough. Rule number one, you can never prepare too much! But yes, I too went into the trap and thought that I knew enough, which ended up in some rather embarrassing situations. There’s actually a difference between not knowing because you didn’t prepare, and not knowing because something completely unknown came up that you could not have prepared for.
That time when I, for some incredible reason, did not ask for my colleague’s name. Needless, to say there was a reason that I did not get it. I ended up working with somebody who was not an interpreter. Never again! It was such an utterly unpleasant situation. The person was so sweet, but completely incompetent and it was just awkward.
No, I don’t have too many regrets, luckily. How about you?
This post is part of a list, 30 days of interpreting. The whole list is here.
Great post and very interesting insight. Finnish, huh? I am trying hard to come up with some regrets for myself here, but I guess the only one I have is not leaving my corporate translation job sooner to join my twin in our freelance business. I think I waited a bit too long and missed out on a few wonderful years of twin entrepreneurship! Other than that, I have the tendency to turn down projects if they don’t feel like a great fit, and I have, perhaps, missed out on some really good ones throughout the years because I am too cautious.
A wonderful colleague once said to me: You have to learn to say – “let me check my agenda and call you back.” That way, she said, you’ll have the time to think before you answer. I’m still struggling to learn that though, hope it’ll come with age 🙂
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