Now that your career in the military has concluded, it’s time to start your chapter in life as a civilian. This, of course, means that you have to seek employment opportunities.

It’s a good thing that the U.S. military is arguably the best-trained workforce in the whole world. Any military personnel after service will have the appropriate skills and discipline that can translate well into virtually any career.

If you consider yourself to be creative, fiercely independent, and most importantly, bilingual, a career in the translation industry might just be a good fit.

In the modern globalized world, language translation has become an absolute necessity. Are translation jobs a good fit for someone from the military?

What Does a Translator Do?

So, what entails a job in language translation?

Simply put, a translator’s job is to translate documents from one language to another. A translation career usually involves working from a foreign language that one is fluent with and translating it back to their mother tongue.

Translators are not to be confused with interpreters since the latter translates a language verbally as it is being spoken in real-time. Translator jobs generally entail writing instead of speaking, although modern technology enables translators to use features like voice recognition.

A job in translation is almost always varied and interesting. Examples of the documents that you will be working on include scientific and technical material, financial, legal, and commercial documents. There are also translators that specialize in translating literary works.

This is all up to you to decide which works for you best. This can all depend on your personal interests and ability to work or study in another country.

Top Reasons Why You Should Consider Translator Jobs

Here are the best reasons why you should consider pursuing a career in translation.

Having a Flexible Lifestyle

Language translation is right up there with copywriting and travel blogging when it comes to dream jobs for country-hopping nomads. A career in translation will enable you to be your own boss. For starters, you have the liberty of choosing your working hours, office space, and pay rate.

However, the real beauty of pursuing a translator job is the flexibility that it allows you. You can choose to work in-house or sign up with an agency. Regardless of your choice, you should have no problem working around your schedules and deadlines.

And speaking of your office, what office?

If you’re a freelance translator, you can work from your bed, the beach, the park, and just about everywhere you want. Those who love to travel will surely love working as a freelance translator since you can satisfy your wanderlust without sacrificing your career.

Limitless Career Opportunities

Believe it or not, the demand for translation is very high which means opportunities for career growth are abound.

You can choose to be a general translator and will likely get you a decent amount of work. However, many folks choose to become specialized translators. This basically means focusing on translating content that are relevant to a prior academic or work experience. For instance, a former pharmacist may specialize in translating texts related to pharmaceutical topics.

By doing translation works for a specific client, you will also most likely develop a specialization over time. It’s clear why people choose to specialize – loyal clients, a steady flow of work, and a higher pay rate.

If you work under an agency, you will also be presented with opportunities that will shape your career based on your interests. For example, if you enjoy dealing with clients, you can develop the right skills for becoming a project manager at a translation agency.

Variation in Between Jobs

The typical 9 to 5 job will usually have you dealing with the same thing each and every day. In a translation job, you could be translating varied documents with each work day. You could be translating a medical record one day, an employment contract the next, then a marketing brochure on Wednesday.

However, you do have a say about which area you choose to translate in.

For example, if finance, fashion, and food are your things, you can choose to prefer these categories and do the bulk of your work in these areas. This way, you actually get to enjoy what you’re reading and writing about. Each time you do a new translation, you can potentially learn new things from reading and researching that topic.

Let Your Creative Side Take Over

As a translator, your core responsibility is to convey the message of the source text into the target language, in the most effective way possible.

Although it’s expected of you to cater to the client’s expectations, you should have more than enough wiggle room to let your creative side take over. Obviously, clarity is the top priority when translating. However, you will need to employ your creativity to change word choices, tone, verb tense, and many others. Finding the right word that will best reach the target audience is always a fun and thrilling process.

Go Outside Your Comfort Zone

It might seem easy but becoming a translator is far from an easy gig. The job requires a high level of discipline and professionalism. Also, your work ethic will be put to the test. In order to produce work of the highest quality, you need to be highly accurate and have the right amount of dedication.

In order to find new clients and learn new skills and processes that are related to translating, you will have to leave your comfort zone. For a person in the military, you should have no trouble going outside your comfort zone which is a good thing.

Opportunities to Learn

Many translators work in industries like medicine, law, finance, technology, and many others. If you want to be up-to-date with the developments in these fields, learning and improving your personal knowledge is a must.

The job isn’t just about translating texts to another language, you should also have an intimate knowledge of what’s happening in these industries. For example, there may be innovations or changes that are happening in your field of specialty which can only mean a whole new set of words that need to be translated. This entails a great deal of reading and researching on your part.

This is a must if you want to have a professional career in translation. This is why pursuing a career in translation is a good fit for people who love to learn new things.

Often Highly Paid

In this modern age of global business and worldwide English competency, many people wonder why one should pursue a career, especially when language translator software are available in one’s fingertips.

Well, the answer is very simple. The demand for high-quality, accurate translation work is still very high.

In industries like business, politics, and science, translators who can put out excellent work are in high demand. Therefore, such jobs can command high rates of pay.

This is especially applicable when you’re working with a traditional obscure language like Mandarin. China is on a rapid emergence as a global player, so if you have the skills in Mandarin, you can expect to be paid highly for your work.

How to Qualify for Translation Jobs

So how does one become a professional translator? There’s no one path to success but here are some great guidelines:

  • Get a Certification – One of the first steps to becoming a translator is to get some type of certification or accreditation. With a certificate or accreditation, you can provide documentation that you have what it takes to translate on a professional level. With that said, many universities provide advanced degrees and professional certifications for translation.
  • Get Some Tests – Another way to bolster your translation resume is to take language proficiency tests like the Defense Language Proficiency Tests. If you pass these types of tests, you are showing potential clients that you indeed have the fluency required in a specific language.
  • Gain Experience – The next step, of course, is to gain translating experience. A good place to start is to do internships or take entry-level jobs. From here, it’s all about climbing the ladder. Experience is crucial as you can show your portfolio to potential clients.
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    Market Yourself – With enough credentials and experience, you can proceed to market yourself to hospitals, police stations, government agencies, and language companies in your area that may need your skills. A good way to market your services is to create a website or join a translating community in social media.

Success in Translation

If you have the passion and skill for languages, getting translator jobs is a great way for veterans to secure a post-military career. To be a successful translator, make sure that you are someone who’s always willing to learn new things and work hard.

Do you think a career in translation is a good fit for those who have done military service? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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