A Year In Review
As we move forward into 2022, I realised it had been exactly a year since I became a member of the North West Translators’ Network. It was time to reflect on being a member of the NWTN and how it helped me personally. This article will look at what you can gain from joining a local or national translation network or association. I will talk through 4 key areas:
I officially joined the NWTN as a full member in January 2021 and one of the first promises I made myself (a late New Year’s Resolution if you will) was to make it a priority to join one of the Working Lunches I had seen advertised on the NWTN website. You see back in January 2021, I was still quite new to the translation community and hadn’t really met many people in the industry (thanks Covid!). The NWTN seemed like a great place to start to learn about the industry and do a little networking along the way – it was also a bit less scary than the Institute of Translation and Interpreting or the Chartered Institute Of Linguists in my eyes!
The topic of the first Working Lunch I attended was all about setting goals and tracking progress for the year. I had no idea what to expect, but it was a reassuring experience. The meeting was held on Zoom and most of the members present seemed to know each other and be very comfortable with each other. In a normal setting this could feel intimidating, but the group was very welcoming and open to any contributions I made. My experience was so positive that I joined the next 3 Working Lunches in a row, soon feeling more at ease and like I knew a few faces at least.
After a few discussions around my background in sales and marketing during the Working Lunch sessions, I resolved to contact Kate (NWTN Events Team Leader and the amazing lady who kept everyone so nicely in line during the Working Lunches) and I offered my services as a volunteer in any way the team would see fit. I was delighted to open an email a few days later to read “We’d all welcome your input and an extra pair of hands … so consider yourself hired!”. A month or so later, I was elected to the NWTN committee.
My role in the NWTN was to work together with Kathryn Slater on the communications and marketing side of things. Now, I’m biased as I have worked with Kathryn for a year now, however getting up to speed and learning the ropes with Kathryn was such an enjoyable experience. Right from the off, Kathryn was open and approachable and someone I instantly felt at ease with. Over the last year, we have worked together to provide social media updates, email campaigns, website event information, we created a new LinkedIn company page for the NWTN and any other marketing material the team needed.
When I consider how much I have learnt and how many friends I have met over the course of the last year, it is clear to me that the NWTN are responsible for a great deal of my progress. If I hadn’t joined a year ago, I would have missed out on some real high points: going swimming in Lake Windermere with fellow translators, attending and subsequently hosting Working Lunches, writing blog posts for the NWTN website, raising awareness of the NWTN in the translation community, being mentored by the very knowledgeable Sue Leschen, and finally, attending an in-person Christmas NWTN social event!
If you’re a newbie to the industry or looking to develop your network, I would highly recommend joining your local or national professional association.
So what can you gain by joining a translation network or association?
- Expand your network, make useful connections for your business
- Learn about the industry and stay up to date with the latest developments
- Meet like-minded people so you feel less like a one (wo)man band
- Gain access to CPD, training events and mentoring opportunities
- Develop your skillset, expand into new areas of your business based on what you’ve learnt
- Build a support network of fellow translators who you know and trust and can ask if you have any pressing concerns or need advice
If you’re still not sure, here’s my little kick – go for it! You have nothing to lose, but a great deal to gain.
Where do I look for an association?
Here in the UK, we are privileged to have access to some great organisations, the below being a just a few:
The ITI also have many regional networks which are definitely worth checking out Geographical Networks (iti.org.uk)
North West Translators’ Network (NWTN)