So, if you answered yes to all of the above, let me ask you one more question; How would you like to use those “special skills, products and/or services” to create additional income and start your own business?
So many of you who already know me know that I’ve been on both sides of the aisle. I started off as a freelancer working with agencies (and still work) with a couple of agencies. After a few months working as a freelancer and seeing the do’s and don’ts and the “Good, Bad and Evil”, I decided I no longer wanted to continue to work as a Freelancer and working for “pennies on the dollar” and personally I didn’t like the process and demands of agencies especially since I was a “Freelancer / Independent Contractor” and NOT an Employee. Therefore, I decided to venture off on my own.
So as an Entrepreneur and Former CEO who’s been on both sides of the aisles and someone who started and built her business on her own, here are a few tips to get you started, learn from the voice of experience, learn from someone who started and built her business from the “ground up”.
Yes! I started my Biz 18+ years ago helping businesses tap into the Hispanic Market. I helped businesses “Break the Language Barrier in Communication”.
I built my business from the ground up, yes literally from the ground up…I built a team of 10 staff employees and a cadre of over 2,500 freelance interpreters and offered services in over 150 languages around the world. I built my services around my clients’ needs; Interpreting, Translation, OPI, Transcriptions, and Coaching…I had contracts with the State, County, City, Federal, Hospitals, Insurance, Law Firms, Nonprofits and so many more…and I can help you too!
But, in order to make my business work and grow I had to make sure I was ONLY contracting and training the best of the best; therefore I was able to help and continue to help “Bilingual Individuals” and those with “Specials Skills, Products and Services” Start their Own Business and I can help you too!
So here is what you need to know if you decide you want to venture out on your own…You need the “Basics”
Experience (gain experience as a volunteer)
Affiliations or Organizations
Now, these are some basics to learn and know if you decide to start. You can also join my list and get your Freebies and learn more about my Training and Coaching.
#BossUpandRise and become the #CEOHustler you always dreamed of!
Here is a Great Tool that I’ve been using to post jobs, manage online glossaries and network. I’m sure that you will find this on-the-go tool very useful!
Although, I no longer operate as an agency from time-to-time I receive assignments in other languages for both Interpreting and Translation and therefore I use this tool to post those jobs and provide language professionals to accept or decline the jobs.
I also, use this tool to post my online glossaries. It’s just a great tool to have on hand and when you need it.
Are you a “Good Interpreter”… After 18+ years working as a professional interpreter, many people always ask “Do you consider yourself a Good Interpreter?”…
My answer will always be the same.
I consider myself a good interpreter because:
I take pride in my work
I love what I do
I take my time in researching and learning the industry, terminology to do my job the best that I can…
So, yes I consider myself a “Good Interpreter”
After 18 years working as a professional interpreter, many people always ask “Do you consider yourself a Good Interpreter?”… My answer will always be the same – I consider myself a good interpreter because;
I take pride in my work.
I love what I do.
I love to research and learn more about the industry, terminology in order to do my job the best that I can.
So, yes I consider myself a “Good Interpreter”
Now, I know what you are thinking “Man, this woman is full of herself, she’s kinda conceded”, hahaha but its OK., that just means I’m confident of myself and I know what I can and can’t do!
Now, don’t get me wrong there’s more to this…So, for starters, the interpreter must – as our colleague would also state
Be able to communicate from one language into the target language. But don’t forget, the ultimate and “main goal is to make sure that everything interpreted was conveyed in such a manner that the person receiving the information, is able to understand the language of the speaker” The Professional Interpreter– “We are the VOICE”. So, it is VERY IMPORTANT that the interpreter understands both the source and target language. A good interpreter must be able to understand, synthesize, and have command of grammar, culture, and vocabulary” The Professional Interpreter–
Be able to interpret everything “word for word”, but more importantly that everyone is able to understand him/her. “Heavy breathing, coughing, slurping, rushing through the speech, and chasing speakers too close to what they just said makes you not only look bad” The Professional Interpreter–, but even worse sound bad, so even when you are a good interpreter, you need to make sure you keep the pace and make your speakers aware that they must keep a pace (in order for you to be able to interpret everything). “Good voice, décalage, volume, rhythm, pace, voice modulation, clarity, enunciation, are a very important part of a rendition.” The Professional Interpreter–
Finally, I strongly believe that a good interpreter who gets along with others is more desirable than a great interpreter who creates conflict everywhere.
To me a “rock star interpreter”, is one who understands a “concepts, digests it, and is able to convey it to the client in a pleasant clear voice, so it can be understood by the foreign language speaker; and does it all while being professional, good colleague, and decent human.” The Professional Interpreter–
I’ve been in this industry for over 18+ years. I started as a “Freelance Interpreter” and within a few months, I started my own Interpreting agency. While running my agency I was also Training New “Potential” Interpreters and teaching the Does and Don’ts of this wonderful Industry.
While things were running smoothly and business was great, unfortunately after years in business the economy crashed, but not only was this detrimental to the business, but also during this same time frame I was going through a bad pregnancy (I almost lost my Baby Girl) and to make matters worse my father was also diagnosed with Brain Cancer (Stage 4 Glioblastoma) who after just a few months passed away, my son was also in a body cast (femur fracture), and I was also recovering from a bad auto accident!…
With all these horrible and painful things going on I decided to close my business and go back to Freelancing, as well as Training New Potential Interpreters. And believe me, I enjoy being a Freelancer more than running an Agency 🙂 Why, well I don’t have to deal with bureaucracy and headaches that come along with running a large business 🙂 Again, don’t get me wrong it’s a very lucrative business and industry to be in, but YOU MUST BE PREPARED to work around the clock to make your business work vs a Freelancer / Entrepreneur you get to work when you want, earn as much as you want and have the freedom that you want – sounds great, right?
Fast forward; Thankfully I survived the “Economy Crash” and here I am still enjoying this wonderful industry providing services to various companies across the Globe, but more importantly I get to Train and work with New Potential Interpreters.
On another note, you will see online that there are various Training programs focusing on Medical, Legal and Conference Interpretation / Certification; however, if you don’t have the Basic Skills and understanding as to how this industry works, or how to run your own freelance/entrepreneur business then let me tell you, you are ONLY setting yourself for failure! Join my Introduction to Interpreting Training
Why, well as you may be aware there are hundreds, if not thousands of young college students who go to College for years and years and after graduating they find themselves unable to obtain a job in their industry. Why? Well, because during their years in College they never got into internships, nor did they work in a similar industry to mirror their college career goal, therefore making them Non-Competative!
Trust me when I say: Becoming a Certified Medical, Legal Interpreter is GREAT!
If you don’t have the skills, qualifications, or understanding of this industry, YOU, MY FRIEND WILL NOT GET FAR!
Although I am NOT CERTIFIED, I do have OVER 18+ years of Professional experience, as well as the skills, the qualifications to work in any industry I choose…
TRUST ME, my clients will pay my fees and will prefer to hire me vs a Certified Interpreter, why? Well, because of my skills, qualifications, and experience!
Note: I finally have the time and I’m currently working on my Certification – because it is a VALUABLE ASSET to have!
I 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.”
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