9 months ago

14438_ITI_Career_Bulletin_2017_v2 (5)


ITI Fiona Snook, Freelance Translator, Japanese to English What made you do the SUFT course? I had already worked for ten years as an in-house translator for an engineering company. I decided to go freelance, attracted by the flexibility of working from home to fit in with family life. I knew nothing about running a business, so I enrolled on the SUFT course hoping to find out more about the business and marketing side. How has your first year been? After a slow start, I’ve had a successful first year. I was in the fortunate position of having a fairly unusual language pair and a specialism thanks to my in-house job, and I passed the ITI exam at the same time as doing the SUFT course. Most of the agencies I work for now contacted me after finding my details on the ITI website. The plan of working part-time to fit around my family is working out well. Recently I have had to turn down a few jobs when I’ve been too busy. How has the SUFT course helped so far? For me, the most useful parts of SUFT were the sessions dealing with the practical aspects of running a translation business, like Andrew Leigh’s seminar about due diligence and contracts, and Lucas Vogt’s advice about pricing and invoicing. It was great to get CV feedback from Gillian Hargreaves, and the exercise of writing a business plan was extremely helpful. What’s next? I am happy working with agencies for now. Once my children start school, I want to expand and possibly move towards direct clients. I am looking out for CPD opportunities to enhance my skills. Would you recommend the SUFT course? Yes, absolutely. The advice from the experienced tutors is immensely valuable, and the course provides a friendly environment to ask questions and share ideas with other newcomers. Contact Fiona at or email 24 ITI BULLETIN CAREERS SPECIAL

ITI Life after SUFT: Insights from our ‘Best newcomer – freelancing award winner Claire Turner Why did you decide to embark on a freelance career? Having worked as a solicitor in private practice and then in-house for many years, I wanted a change of career that would enable me to work for myself and utilise my German language skills. I felt that working as a freelance translator and legal consultant would be a good way to do this. What do you see as the biggest challenges of freelancing? After many years in full-time, paid employment it is challenging not to know how much work you will be doing or money you will be earning on a month-to-month basis. One of the reasons I wanted to have two income streams to my business was so that one could subsidise the other if necessary. I also realised that I would need to incur some costs in order to set up the translation side of my business (for studying, exam costs and networking events) and that it could take some time to recoup these. Doing part-time legal work has made this less of a risk financially – but has also presented some challenges at times, in terms of juggling the two elements. And the biggest rewards? I have relished the freedom and flexibility that comes with working for myself. It has also been great to take my career in a new direction and make contacts in a new sector. I have also been able to travel abroad to conferences and events, which has been fun. Passing the Diploma in Translation exams and then winning the ITI Best Newcomer award in the same month confirmed that my decision to change direction was the right one for me. Why did you decide to take the SUFT course? I wanted to put myself in the best possible position to launch my translation business. I had never worked as a translator or run my own business and knew that new skills would be needed for this. I was attracted to the online course as it gave me the flexibility I needed to fit around my consultancy commitments and was much more cost and time effective than travelling to London to attend courses in person (I am based in Devon). I also felt that the range of topics covered was broad enough to ensure that I would not miss anything key in my business planning. Claire Turner is a German-English translator and qualified solicitor. She holds a IoL Diploma in Translation and has been an ITI Career Affiliate since 2016. Through her translation business, CTLC Translations (www., Claire offers translations and proofreading of legal documentation. She also works as a legal consultant. Claire recently won ‘Best newcomer - freelancing’ award at the ITI Awards. ITI BULLETIN CAREERS SPECIAL 25

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