Professional subjects from a personal perspective

Happy birthday, blog!

When I started this blogging journey almost exactly a year ago (time flies!), my main aim was to share my experiences and, hopefully, provide some food for thought for other translators and freelancers. Since then, I have written on a wide range of topics, from marketing to professional development and from productivity to client relations. I’m delighted with the response to my blog, in what is already a pretty saturated field. When I started out on my own (I had already blogged for employers), I never imagined that I would be invited to give presentations and interviews on blogging – not a bad start!

In order to say happy birthday to my blog (I think maybe it needs a name – what do you reckon?), I thought I’d run through a few of the most popular posts so far:

The 1 Linguist, 3 Questions series – this has been amazingly popular, with a lot of my translation role models agreeing to take part. There are still one or two to come, so keep your eyes peeled for them! If you want to catch up, have a browse through the series so far.
The Freelance Translator’s Reading List – another collaborative effort, receiving suggestions on my Twitter and Facebook accounts. If you have anything to add, please get in touch and I can add your favourite(s) to the lists.
Dealing with the quiet times – despite being one of my more recent posts, this has proved one of the most popular. I think everyone can relate to the feeling you get when things have a been a little slower than normal. In fact, Judy Jenner has recently posted some great tips on dealing with famine periods over at Translation Times.

The past year in blogging has been very successful (and enjoyable!) for me, having been invited to contribute to the ITI Bulletin, do presentations with colleagues, write guest posts and do online and audio interviews about blogging and my business – all on the basis of this little blog. Here’s a quick round-up of what opportunities blogging has resulted in for me:

Articles for the ITI Bulletin (more to come soon!)
Presented with Marta, Valeria and Meg at the Language Show in London
• Invited to write a guest post for Dana Translation
Interviewed for Sharp End Training’s Blogging Toolkit, along with Judy Jenner and Corinne McKay, and hosted a giveaway of a free copy
Interviewed on Lloyd Translates about how I got into translation
• Included in the blogroll of 10 colleagues’ blogs
Interviewed on Sara Colombo’s blog about work/life balance

If you’re considering starting a blog, or you have let yours slide somewhat, I’d definitely recommend going for it – who knows what it could lead to?

Where do you see yourself in x years’ time?

Ok, so you started 2013 with bags of energy and the determination to progress and make this your (and your business’) best year yet. But energy has this way of draining after a few tough days (or weeks), and bad experiences with new clients or suppliers can get you down. It’s easy to lose your way on the path to your goal.

That’s why Katie Anderson’s latest blog post really spoke to me. Career progression comes down to choices. Your choices. Whenever a new opportunity comes your way, or you have a new idea, ask yourself whether the step will bring you closer to your ultimate goal. Yes? Go for it! No? Maybe it’s time for a rethink. Thinking of your dream career, or the place where you want your business to be in 5 years’ time, as a destination can make it all seem that little bit more achievable. Most things in life can be equated to a journey, and it takes a lot of time and effort to get to the end of that road and achieve your dreams.

Freelance careers map

Are you a bit lost?

Of course, the first step in all of this is establishing exactly what you’re aiming for. I sat down with a big piece of paper and a set of coloured pens (stationery – I can’t help myself) and mapped out my path. If you have a spare 30 minutes or so (longer if you really get into it), I would really recommend this – it was a great help for me to physically see where I want to be and how I can get there.

If visual techniques aren’t your thing, there’s always the age-old question: where do you see your business in 5/10/20 years’ time? Be clear, though. You need to set, or at least identify, real targets, or it becomes a wasted exercise.

How are you feeling about your business at this potentially deflating time of year? Personally, I’m cheerful, busy and in need of a holiday!