Business Services

How to Contract a Virtual Assistant

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Hiring a Virtual Assistant, what you need to do before you decide to hire/contract/work/invest on a VA for you and your business.

Question: Your business is growing, right? Great!

 

But do you have the tools, processes, and procedures in place to hire/contract people in order to continue that growth without overwhelming yourself?

 

Well, now’s a great time to take charge and see where you may need help, as well as what processes and procedures you need to put in place to get this process started!

Here are somethings to ponder...

So, if your thoughts are to grow your business (today or in the future), you have to understand that it’s going to require lots and lots of work, if you want this contracting/recruiting process to work!

 

Things you must consider before you decide to hire employees, or recruit freelancers because (trust me), they will either “make you or break you”…YES, I SAID IT!

 

Also, keep in mind that it’s your responsibility not only to hire/contract employees, freelancers, contractors, management, etc., but it’s also your responsibility to train, mentor, but more importantly to have processes and procedures in place, because otherwise instead of moving forward you will be taking steps back!

 

💡TIP 1: Don’t line people up without having the right procedures in place.

💡Tip 2: Really understand your Biz growth and what you need and where you want to go.

💡Tip 3: Set your processes in place; recruiting, HR, administration, etc.

 

 

  • Lining people up before having processes in place will ONLY create chaos, confusion and in the long run problems.
  • Many of use don’t have an HR degree, or experience and therefore we may not be good in the whole recruiting and training process and that is why creating these processes and procedures will come in handy. (I created my own internal processes and procedures and therefore have been tested and proven to work effectively for all business sectors)
  • So, if you decide and envision your business growing, it is very, very important to have these procedures in place for each department, each staff member, etc.

These are just some basics to ponder, but it requires more than just this…

 

I hope you find these growth strategies helpful when you decided to hire help. These three simple tips make such a huge difference when it comes to getting the right person for the job, trust me, I’ve been there!

 

For more guidance and specific tips for your situation, that’s where my coaching can be even more useful – so contact me today, let’s chat and see how we can work together and get your processes and procedures in place, so that you can #BOSSUPANDRISE and be that #CEOHUSTLER you’ve always dreamed of!

Daily Life

Your Voice; Keeping it Healthy

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If you work as an Interpreter, Dispatcher or even in a call center, your job depends on your “voice”, and you are considered an occupational voice user.
Meaning, you are “The Voice” and that is your tool and the most valuable tool you have in order to convey and get your job done.
So, whether your an Interpreter, Conference Interpreter, Dispatcher, or work in a call center, or as a scheduler, your voice is your only link with the customer, correct?
So, it’s important that you take care of your voice and that you maintain a healthy voice in order to get the job done.

Because just as neat professional attire is essential for face-to-face interactions, having a clear voice is essential for your day-to-day business operations.
A hoarse voice from an Interpreter, or call center agent (CCA), dispatcher carries the same negative impression as a worn-out outfit and can detract from building credibility and or doing your job the right way, do you agree?

 

Little Story: A few years back I was doing a Conference appointment for the State, I actually had a team interpreter (who was sick) and was coughing up a storm.  Having a sick interpreter onsite who’s unable to do his/her job (use their voice to speak) not only did it affect the overall assignment, but it was a major distraction and also put on more stress on me, because I had to complete the job myself because my partner was sick with laryngitis.

 

So a healthy voice is crucial, but because you are constantly talking and using your voice to do your job and if you don’t take care of your voice, you are at risk for damaging your voice and developing hoarseness.

 

A 2002 study on voice problems among CCAs reported voice problems in 31 percent of CCAs, with several negative outcomes, including:

  • Increased sick days
  • Fewer calls per hour
  • More breaks away from the phone
  • Needing to repeat themselves
  • Needing to force the voice out

Overall, Interpreters, Dispatchers, CCAs with voice problems are bad not only for the CCAs, Interpreters, Dispatchers, Schedulers, and those who use their Voice to work but at the end of the day it’s bad for business.

I’ve learned from some Voice experts who now think that voice problem is a form of repetitive motion injury because the vocal cords are being injured by overuse, similar to the way data entry personnel may develop carpal tunnel syndrome.

Did you know that when we talk, the vocal cords vibrate about 200 times a second for women and about half that for men? That can add up to more than a million cycles of vibration during a workday at a call center causing vocal injury this is also true for singers, interpreters, dispatchers, call centers, etc.

 

As a professional conference interpreter who’s constantly working and who uses her voice to work, it is so important to take care of your voice!

True Story: About 4 years ago (I was a major workaholic) 🤔😊working all day, every day and would not take breaks in between and didn’t like working with other colleagues (I had bad experiences with other agency interpreters), so I was working for a whole straight month non-stop during the Winter months and around November while working at a conference my Voice literally starting squeaking, I could NOT Speak, my voice started sounding horsy like, my chest started to hurt, my throat was just feeling horrible, I started to sweat, got dizzy and literally passed out! Apparently, I had walking pneumonia and laryngitis and was in the hospital! I failed to listen to my body, I was just so excited about the work, I love what I do and was just “Go-go-go” non-stop that my body finally gave out in the middle of an assignment!  This little scenario ended up costing me months being out of work until I was able to get my Voice back and recuperate from this horrible experience!

So yes, dear interpreters, dispatchers, CCAs, Schedulers and all of you who use your work to fulfill your responsibilities TAKE CARE OF YOUR “VOICE”!

Here are some recommendations and things that I do and have done so since this episode.

Posture

Taking frequent breaks and being able to move around is so important because it reduces the tension in your body and will prevent you from having other joint/muscle problems.

Breaks

Taking frequent breaks will give your voice muscle a rest, so try to rest your voice – meaning no talking, or drinking cold drinks.

Voice Pacing

Voice scientists advise those who use their Voice to work “to think of voice pacing on three levels:

  • Breaks within phone calls
  • Breaks between phone calls during the work day
  • Breaks between work days”

Tips

Besides posture, breaks, and vocal pacing, you must also practice good voice hygiene. These tips have helped me keep the throat moist and free from irritation so that my vocal cords are less likely to be injured:

  • Drinking lots of (room temperature) water (or non-caffeinated liquid) during the day.
  • Keep water with you at all times.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which are drying to the throat.
  • Avoid excess coughing and throat clearing.
  • Don’t smoke! Smoking causes irritation and can lead to cancer and other health-related problems.
  • Don’t work if you have a hoarse voice due to a cold or upper respiratory infection.
  • Seek medical attention to manage any medical conditions that can cause throat irritation including acid reflux, postnasal drainage, allergies, asthma, and endocrine conditions, etc.
  • Avoid dry interior climates
  • Avoid high-rise areas they are known to cause damage to your voice.
  • Eat good and moist meals and avoid spicy foods, they cause acid reflux or GERD
  • Use a humidifier in your room or home, especially in dry climates.
  • Avoid mouthwash (it contains alcohol), if you need to gargle use lukewarm salt water
  • Take vitamins or eat fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamins, A, E, and C
  • Drink lemon tea with honey (instead of  coffee)
  • I made my own paste that I add to my teas and helps with phlegm and it also has helped me from getting sick; it includes:
    • Ginger
    • Honey
    • Coconut oil
    • Pepper, etc…I will include the paste recipe in my next food meal article.

Get Help Early; Listen to Your Body

Seek medical attention early don’t wait until you have lost your voice to seek medical help.
Pay attention to the signs that your voice is getting tired such as– dry throat, raw or tired feeling in the throat, increased mucus in the throat, feeling like talking takes more effort, feeling throat strain — in addition to a raspy or hoarse voice.NIDCD-TakingCareOfYourVoice-Figure1

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Interpreter Training

The demand for Interpreters and Translators is skyrocketing-Become an Interpreter Today!

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High Demand for Interpreters and Translators

Are You Bilingual?

Want to Become an Interpreter?

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Kind words of my loyal clients

By Faviola Valencia "the CEO Hustler"

Love helping People?

Want to Start a Rewarding Career?

 

Well, STOP WANTING and LET’S GET STARTED TODAY!

 

The world is growing.

The industry is growing.

The demand for Interpreters and Translators is growing.

 

Don’t let your skills go to waste, use them and start helping people by Breaking the Language Barrier in Communication.

 

A report done by CNBC shows that the demand for interpreters is growing and that rather than replacing us “Interpreters and Translators” with technology, technology is actually helping us improve our skills and performance.

WHY ME

  • I started my own agency in 2000.
  • I have over 18+ years of professional business experience.
  • I have trained hundreds of Bilingual Interpreters and helped them get into this wonderful industry. Download my FREE informational documents and don’t forget to Join my Blog >>> Join Them Today!

 

“citing information from CNBC The number of people employed in the translation and interpretation industry has doubled in the past seven years, and the number of companies in the industry has jumped 24 percent in that same time period, according to the ATA, citing data from the Department of Labor. Through 2024, the employment outlook for those in the business is projected to grow by 29 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.”

Are You Ready to #BossupandRise and ready to Invest in You and Ready to Start Your #InterpretingCareer or Ready to Start Your #Business the right way?

 

Sign Up for my Exclusive

WORKSHOPS: www.faviolavalencia.com/entrepreneurship or if you are ready to Get Trained and Interested in my 1:1 coaching programs, then check this out! www.theceohustler.com or my Group Trainings www.BossupandRise.com

Looking for Interpreting Gigs?

Business Services

What is the difference between Certified and Qualified Interpreter?

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What is the difference between certified and qualified?

understand that many businesses and corporations that require interpreting and translating services are not aware of specific qualification requirements or contracting laws; there are many interpreting agencies that do not follow strict guidelines in providing professional and proficient services.

A report done by the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics for 2008-2009 (old report) found that 22 percent of interpreters and translators are self-employed.

If that is true, are agencies requiring them to verify a business license, qualifications, and certifications?

I would like to explain a few things about this particular industry in order to help potential clients make the right choice in choosing an interpreting services company.

What is the difference between certified and qualified Interpreter?

When I was operating as an Agency I had established a contract, with characterization for these terms that correlate directly with a definition given by the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Certified interpreter is a person who has passed the California Court Interpreter Certification Examination and who have fulfilled the corresponding Judicial Council requirements are referred to as certified interpreters. The state personnel board also provides a certification test for medical and administrative hearing interpreters for California. Qualified interpreter is a person who is not a certified interpreter and who speaks the language to be translated into English fluently and who speaks English fluently and that poses a minimum of 2 years of interpreting experience.”

Interpreting and Translation
Business Coach

Different rates are established by the court system and interpreters themselves based on their experience and the number of years they have been in the industry.

Unfortunately, many interpreters will increase their rates based on a fellow interpreters increase. Businesses must recognize rates should be based on NOT ONLY certification, qualifications, experience, type of appointment and also whether or not the client requires a certified interpreter vs. a qualified interpreter.

In most cases a certified interpreter is not required; therefore businesses should NOT have to pay a certified rate.  More importantly, businesses need to realize that many “Certified” interpreters are NOT DEEM QUALIFIED for all Venues.  Note: I’m NOT YET CERTIFIED, yet I’ve had to replace many “certified interpreters” that have been excused from their assignments due to the “Lack of Experience, Qualifications with the terminology”…

I have over 17+ years of Professional experience in a variety of venues – from Legal to Environmental, Political, Medical, etc…

I also have experience in both Consecutive and Simultaneous mode of Interpretation vs. many interpreters who ONLY have experience in one or the other.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics wrote: There is currently no universal form of certification required of interpreters and translators in the United States.Although different states have implemented oral and written tests to verify capabilities, there are still many interpreters that base their experience and qualifications from translating for family members and having grown up in a bilingual household.

I would also like to point out that the term “certified” can be misused by the interpreters and many will claim they are certified to gain a higher rate of pay or more assignments.

Believe it or NOT! When I used to search for their information in the databases to verify certification, sometimes I was unable to locate their name(s) on the Judicial Council websites.  Note: There is a list available to the public with the names of persons who are deceased, retired, or de-certified – no longer certified to interpret in the court systems.

Often times interpreters will continue to claim they are certified to maintain a high pay rate or to get more assignments and agencies are unaware that they are using an interpreter who claimed to be “Certified” when indeed they were either no longer certified, de-certified, or ONLY have a Certificate, etc.
As the industry continues to grow with the diversity of our nation, so do the problems, processes, and procedures when it comes to the contracting and hiring of interpreters.  Therefore, I had to implement a strict screening process for interpreters and translators that pushed this industry into level professionalism that it deserved.

A teacher within their first year of teaching does not have the same experience or rate of pay as a tenured instructor; the same should be established for interpreters and translators.

Now on another note, if there are counties that require a business license for independent contractors then it should be implemented and not overlooked by agencies, businesses, doctors, lawyers, etc. – Why? Because just like employees, there is more and more “Independent Contract Interpreter both Certified and Qualified”, claiming to be Employees of the agency or the contracting party, meaning that more and more Law Suit abuse is occurring within this industry. That is why setting standards is very important to our agency, although management takes high measures in implementing these steps “employees” will not always adhere, causing problems for the agency.

We try our best to be an agency – who will NOT overlook requirements just to attain an interpreter for an assignment, or just to cover an assignment. We go the extra mile to ensure that our clients receive what they deserve.

If you are looking for a Qualified, Professional, Experienced Interpreter / Translator for any of your events, documents, or venues – please don’t hesitate in contacting me

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Business Services

"Day in the Life of an Interpreter"

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Entrepreneur Interpreter

20160510_093553

Are you like many who are bilingual and would like to start a career in Interpreting, but don’t know how?

  1. What are the hours of an interpreter?
  2. What type of settings?
  3. Is this Freelance or Employee?
  4. Is it professional, casual?
  5. How do you find jobs as an interpreter?
  6. How long does it take to become a professional interpreter?

Some of the many questions that I’m asked on a daily basis…

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Now, the question I ask you – are you ready to become “Self Employed, Freelancer, Entrepreneur?…

Becoming a “Professional Interpreter” doesn’t happen overnight!  It takes a lot of hard work, training, skill building, dedication, etc…

TRUST ME!!!

I’ve been doing this for over 16+years and every day I learn something new!

Don’t get me wrong this industry is very rewarding, but also very challenging, but it has its perks!

For me, I love the flexibility, the challenges, the experiences, enjoy working and meeting people, love to travel, love the rewards that come with it!

  1. I pick and chose which hours/days I want to work
  2. I’m skilled in all settings #medical #legal #conferences #investigations #hospitality #generalbusiness #state #county #federal and much, much more!!!
  3. I do Freelancing work, although there are many employment jobs who hire in-house interpreters
  4. It’s a professional job!
  5. Many ways, methods to find jobs as an interpreter
  6. It all depends on your skills, qualifications and basic experience

Find out more about this wonderful industry TODAY!

Visit me TODAY FOR YOUR ONLINE TRAINING

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Business Services

Simultaneous Interpretation requires a highly skilled Interpreter and NOT everyone can do it!

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How many of you fully understand or know how difficult Simultaneous Interpretation can be?

Well, let me tell you its difficult for some, but NOT for me, I love it and it’s my favorite mode of interpretation. 😍

I have over 16+ years of experience working as a Simultaneous, Consecutive, Conference interpreter for all areas, such as Medical, Legal, Government, Hospitality, Investigations, General Businesses, State, County, Federal, and much more!!!

Simultaneous InterpretaionSimultaneous interpretation is a highly specialized area of interpreting, which not only requires accurate and complete oral interpretation, but also the interpreter must interpret at the same rate of speech of the speaker, with only a few seconds of lag time, therefore requires a lot of concentration and usually requires a “team of interpreters” for any assignments over 2 hours.

Many organizations and companies think that Simultaneous or Conference interpreters are high priced, and yes they are.

Why?

Because of the skills needed to successfully get the job done, but also because there aren’t that many interpreters who are skilled, qualified and/or able to interpret in this mode of interpretation.

Throughout my years in business, I’ve met a few “Court Certified Interpreters” who have years of experience working ONLY as Court Interpreters but have NEVER worked as Simultaneous Interpreter, moreover, they have never used the specialized interpreting equipment.

So, my point is: When you are in need of a Qualified, Experienced, Simultaneous interpreter for your event – make sure that you provide the agency, or the interpreter as much information about your event, so that they can be prepared and/or locate an interpreter experienced in this mode of interpretation, because again…

“Just because you speak a second language, does NOT mean you can become a Professional Interpreter” and “Just because you contract a Court, Medical or Administrative Certified Interpreter” DOES NOT MEAN they can interpret in all modes of interpretation or all industries!  20160510_102052

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