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The benefits of being an in-house translator

Is it worth getting a job in a translation agency? Yes, it is! And we will explain why.

By hiring an in-house translator or editor, the translation agency undertakes to ensure that he or she is permanently employed, paying even for the time when he or she does not have any work to do. In return, the in-house employee guarantees his or her availability at a specific time. The project manager then has to work out how to fill the translator’s time.

An in-house employee, unlike a freelancer, does not have to search for jobs and compete for them with fellow translators: he or she is guaranteed to be busy, and nobody can take away a translation once it has been assigned.

A good freelance translator, in addition to translation work, needs to learn all sorts about running a business to be successful: he or she is also a manager, marketer, seller, accountant, and system administrator. It is impossible to only do translation work: you also need to look for clients, maintain relations, send invoices, deal with payments, network, and earn a good reputation.

A freelancer is in demand only when he or she manages to combine linguistic abilities with excellent organizational and business communication skills. Up to half of his or her working time is spent doing these unpaid tasks.

An in-house linguist can focus solely on his or her translation work: all other related tasks are performed by other agency employees. In-house translators can get on with their translation or proofreading work. They do not have to engage in negotiations with clients, maintain records of jobs done, and collect debts from ‘forgetful’ clients — other people do all this work.

Also, consider the technical side of the job. The company provides a comfortable workplace, a modern computer, uninterrupted Internet, program installation, and the prompt resolution of technical issues. For this, it has a technical support manager or entire department.

A technical translator is one of the first to learn about new technologies. As they quickly emerge and just as quickly become obsolete, technical translators require continuous professional development. Knowledge gained a year or two ago may be of little use today.

So if you do not have any work experience, have just graduated or are about to graduate from university, and you are offered a job in a translation agency, do not turn down the opportunity. As an in-house translator, it is much easier to gain translation experience and acquire technical skills than as a freelancer.

In a good translation agency, you will be provided with a constant and steady workload during the trial period. The managers will help you deal with the necessary programs, and experienced editors will give reasons for the changes they make to your text.

As a beginner translator, you will inevitably make mistakes, and your main job at the initial stage of your career will be to work on your mistakes and improve. Best of all, this is all played out in the presence of colleagues who can help you on your journey. An in-house employee will receive feedback: look, you have made a mistake here and here, and in the next job he or she will not repeat such mistakes. Freelancers, most likely, will not be told where mistakes have been made, and they will be endlessly replicated without the translator ever realizing.

Numerous observations show that in a team, the speed of learning is higher than when working alone. The working atmosphere in the office (which ideally, of course, is an atmosphere of cooperation and mutual support) contributes to the development of not only new but also experienced employees.

For any translator, regardless of his or her seniority, contact and communication with colleagues is important, not only online through emails but also face-to-face.

Humans are social beings. People need to communicate with their kind. These are not pretentious ideas but scientifically proven facts.

For most of their history, people have lived in packs, tribes, and communities. We have developed instincts and social needs that cannot be ignored without harming ourselves. When we communicate with nice people, our brain produces serotonin, a pleasure hormone. A lack of serotonin leads to a deterioration in our emotional state and mental abilities.

Of course, there are offices where people do not communicate enough, and those where people communicate too much outside the office. However, people who work alone, without communicating with anyone else, run the risk of becoming isolated. Sometimes things get serious, and a person simply forgets how to communicate properly so that others understand him or her.

If you feel that office life is not for you, you can always opt for the world of freelance, but as long as you understand what this involves.

Experience shows that graduates of linguistic universities who have passed the trial period feel quite comfortable as an in-house translator. You have the opportunity to study intensively, try out different topics, and in the future, various roles in the translation agency. After all, the life of the agency depends not only on those directly involved in the translation, editing, and proofreading work.

But more about that in our upcoming articles.

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