From journalist to translator
I loved being a journalist. When I began my career I was young and keen, willing to work long hours for little pay just for the love of the job. I liked getting to the bottom of a story, clarifying a situation and writing it as concisely and interestingly as I could. I had ambitions, most of which ended up unfulfilled as my time as a middle manager ended in failure and frustration. But in the middle of all that I learned one of the most important lessons of my working life: those who are promoted are not always, or even usually, those who are best at the job. I realised that the really wise journalists I knew were the ones who had stuck to what they enjoyed and avoided the temptation to think, just because they were capable of running things better than those in charge, that it was a good idea to try to do it.
All that experience has been invaluable to me since I became a translator. Now, of course, I get to the bottom of the meanings of words rather than researching news stories, but I still love to get a clear understanding of a situation and produce the sharpest, most interesting text I can. The other lesson my time in journalism taught me is equally important. I’m never again going to allow myself to be distracted from the work I like doing – translating – and everything is aimed at allowing me as much working time as possible to do just that. Being responsible for other people’s work is not for me. That’s why I’m not a translation agency and I’m not going to become one. I don’t like adminstration and accounts, so I outsource as much as I can. I’m not a web designer, so I’ve got a professional to create my website. What I do is produce the best translations that I can. And that’s much more satisfying than any job I’ve ever had.