This little business has me doing fantastically interesting and varied work all over Dallas/Fort Worth and sometimes beyond. And it just keeps getting better. This year was off the charts and I am thankful.
Inspired by this article in the Harvard Business Review, rather than specific goals I’m going to look at what I want to spend time on in 2013:
- Continuing education. From a course on advanced legal editing to a workshop on improving my speaking voice, regular continuing education has been worthwhile both to improve my skills and, best of all, to get to know more people. Interpreting is solitary work most of the time so these relaxed learning days are refreshing and a great way to keep improving my game.
- Pro bono services. This year I got to provide almost four weeks of conference interpreting and bilingual multimedia services for nonprofit groups.
- Mentoring. I believe that we are all able to reach back and help someone who is not quite as far down the road as we are. This year I got to help two local interpreters improve their skills and earn higher rates, share advice with a translation student at my alma mater, and continue providing real-world practice for my intern.
- Criminal cases. Although I’ve interpreted hundreds of hours in administrative courts and almost as many in civil cases, so far I’ve been timid about criminal matters. But the criminal cases I have taken have gone great, with very good feedback from defendants, attorneys, and judges, so for 2013 I’ll stop giving preference to civil cases.
- Translation. Interpreting is exhilarating but even after extensive preparation you always drive home from an interpreting job thinking about things you could have expressed better. Translating documents, on the other hand, affords me the chance to be a writer, mulling over the best way to phrase a sentence, researching a little more, sleeping on it and tweaking the text till I’m totally satisfied.
- Non-work. As I ease back from my habitual emphasis on productivity and advancing toward goals, I want to spend more time on spiritual edification and personal interests like photography, guitar, Crossfit, and homemade ice cream.
Does your outlook for 2013 look similar? Is there anything you definitely want to spend more time on this year?
Hat tip to Catherine Christaki, Greek translator, for sharing the Harvard Business Review article on LinkedIn.