My 2nd year T&I students are about to graduate. I spoke with them during their last “Translation and Interpretation as a Profession” class today. This is my “send-off” message as their Career Advisor:
In the last two years, you have spent thousands of hours honing your professional skills and you are ready to be strong contributors to our profession. Here are some lessons I have learned in my professional career and would like to share with you.
First, speak your gratitude. A simple “thank you” goes a long way AND it makes you feel good saying it.
Second, I can guarantee that you will encounter setbacks in your career. When I encounter a stumbling block, I tell myself I am going to use it as a stepping stone. Rather than allowing it to block my way, I step on it.
Third, make your communication actionable and precise. Minimize adjectives and adverbs. Discipline yourself to use verbs, nouns and numbers.
Fourth, when you are in meetings and see people talk round and round in circles. Remind yourself of this question: “What problem are we trying to solve?” If it is appropriate, ask this question respectfully. You will stand out as the voice of reason.
Fifth, Be nice to people. The best thing to do is to be nice always. This way you don’t have to expend mental energy to remember: Am I being nice on my way up or on my way down now?
Sixth, when my team comes to me all flustered because we have encountered a problem. This is what I say: “No one is going to give you their good money if you can’t make their lives easier. Problems are job security. Be the solution.”
Seventh, don’t gossip. Eleanor Roosevelt said: “Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events and small minds discuss people.” Stay away from small minds and strive to have great minds.
I wish you the best of luck.
Career & Academic Advisor