The market for work-from-home translators is very competitive. Therefore, credibility and experience are the keys to success. But as is the case in many fields, it’s hard to find opportunities to gain experience when you are just starting out. Here are the top five ways to break into the area of translation by getting valuable and needed experience while earning credibility and honing your skills from home.
Apply for a Translation Internship
Many companies offer internships for translators. Most require a degree instead of experience or vice-versa. Some internships are paid, while others are not. Before you begin your search for internship opportunities, craft a resume that highlights your related experience as well as a unique cover letter that explains your desire to help others by working in the field of translation.
Volunteer Translation Services
Charities and non-profits are always looking for translators. By volunteering, you are not only gaining valuable and marketable translation experience, but you are also helping the lives of others. Translations for Progress is one such charity that specifically helps students and new graduates gain real-world experience in the field of translation. If you also like to write, Global Voices may be a great fit. They are an international community of writers who report on social issues. They are always looking for writers, translators, and proofreaders to join their community.
Check with Your Company’s Helpdesk or Call Center
Most companies have some type of customer service or IT help desk. Many are based in the US and outsource their translation services. However, if you are employed, let your supervisor know of your interest in assisting with in-house translations. If the need arises, you may land a position doing what you love —where you are already based.
Search for Entry Level Work-From-Home Positions
Conducting a job search using various filters can help you find the perfect entry level position that you can do from home, even when they are not posting for jobs. To do this use the following search terms on Google:
“translation” + “work from home” + “entry level” (or “no experience”)
“translation agency” “work from home” + “entry level” (or “no experience”)
This will give you a more targeted search result. Currently, there are pages of results that indicate a world of opportunity for remote-based translators.
Sign-up for Freelance Sites
The pay on these sites is a little off-market. However, the work for translators is plentiful. Be sure to read the fine print as fees for using these services can be steep. You won’t get rich. Still, it is a good option for getting the needed experience and improving your skills while earning some extra money.
Becoming a work-from-home translator is ideal for many who know a second language fluently. In the increasingly global marketplace, these skills are very marketable, as well. It takes some time to find the perfect opportunity, however, and may require you to offer your services at a reduced rate to gain the experience you need.