“New” Translators Are Good For Business Are translators with less than 3 years of experience actually good for business?

Greater than 3 minutes, my friend!

Before reading: the term “newbie” translator is used throughout to describe translators that are newly entering the field of translation. This refers to translators that have less than 3 years of experience translating in a professional setting (i.e. translating as their main source of income).
As many organizations and agencies require their translators to have more than 3 years of experience, it can be hard for those new to the field of translation to find their first clients. That’s where I come in! Below are 5 reasons why you should make a newbie translator the newest addition to your team.
1. They have more time
Having time on your hands isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Most newbie translators have a lot more free time as they work towards building their business. This means that they have more time to commit to translating for YOU! Seasoned translators who already have a steady stream of clients can’t commit as much time to translating for your company or organization. I would argue that when hiring a new translator for your team, it is important to consider availability. When assigning a translator to a new project, you want to be confident that when reaching out to them that they are ready, willing and able to help you out. Newbie translators are a great choice, as they can more easily help you meet the needs of your clients by being at the ready.
2. They are raring to go
Newbie translators are especially enthusiastic and ambitious. They possess a high level of personal drive towards future achievements and are eagerly seeking their opportunity to shine. In order to get noticed, newbie translators are often willing to take on weekend work, rush jobs or long-term collaborations. The world of translation is constantly evolving and in order to be successful, you have to be willing to push the envelope. Newbie translators, entering an already saturated market, know better than anyone that playing it safe is not how you get ahead. If you are looking for translators that can think outside the box, that are up on the latest trends and technology and that are in it for the long-haul, I strongly urge you to hire an up-and-coming translator.
3. They can handle criticism
Simply put, newbie translators are not stuck in their ways. They are open to change, are willing and ready to follow instructions and welcome guidance. New translators are often more receptive to feedback and can therefore evolve and progress alongside the growing needs of your company. A new translator will never forget their first client or the first agency that gave them the time of day; they will reward your choice by being a dependable and trustworthy counterpart. By building this reciprocal relationship with a newbie translator, you are building the foundation for a successful and loyal partnership.
4. They have experience
You may be thinking that this point doesn’t make any sense. However, stick with me! New to translation doesn’t necessarily mean no experience. I would argue that most translators have quite a wealth of work and life experience. Most translators aren’t usually fresh out of university or jumping into translation as their first job. They have, more often than not, had another job or many other jobs, before they decided to enter the field of translation. That being said, many newbie translators are NOT new to the workforce. As an employer, it is important to consider how previous work experience, whether in the field of translation or not, can ultimately shape very competent, capable and qualified translators.
5. They are necessary for growth
Whether you like it or not, newbie translators are necessary if you want to breathe new life into your business. Hiring a new translator could mean a long-term commitment for your company or organization, therefore, if you are looking to grow your business by developing new ideas and innovative approaches, bringing a newbie translator on board could be just the push you need. Boland Jones said it best in his article The Importance of New Blood to a Startup: “Bringing in new creative blood to an organization instantly grants you a fresh set of eyes: someone who may be looking at your problems for the very first time. He or she is not choosing an angle based on months or years of prior experience. It’s tough in any industry to keep yourself distanced enough from a product or problem that you’ve spent years tackling to stay objective and see the big picture. A new addition to your company brings that distance.”
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
Disclaimer: I am by no means discrediting or putting down seasoned translators. I wrote this post to highlight the underdogs in the industry and help reshape the way we think about newcomers to the field of translation.
Jasmine Heesaker

About Jasmine Heesaker

2 thoughts on ““New” Translators Are Good For Business Are translators with less than 3 years of experience actually good for business?

  1. These are such good points! I am new to professional translation myself (a bit under two years as a translator and under two months as a freelancer) and I can definitely relate to these points. I certainly have the time to take on work (short-notice and otherwise) and am super eager to please new clients and make sure I’m giving them exactly what they need so they become regular clients.

  2. Really enjoyed your post Jasmine! There’s a fine line to draw in any industry between someone who does and doesn’t have “enough” experience for a particular job but transferable skills are often overlooked. I come from a background in law, where the firm I worked in made real progress in its policy around recruitment of trainee solicitors. More and more we were hiring people for whom this was their second career and who brought lots of transferable skills like client service and project management because we recognised that it’s a service industry. These are the sorts of things that translators need to have too…it’s not just about the words. And your points about enthusiasm really struck a chord too; enthusiasm and a fresh perspective can really go a long way to providing a good service.


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