Everything Translation
Goal Setting for Translators
Everything Translation

Goal Setting for Translators – Part 1

Gene Donohue: ‘The difference between a goal and a dream is the written word’.

Gene Donohue: ‘The difference between a goal and a dream is the written word’.

Before you can set your goals you have to take the time to consider what it is you actually want to achieve in your life. Once you’ve set your life goals then you’ll have an overall perspective with which to shape every aspect of other decisions you make.

It’s very important to have a career goal, but we must always remember we have many other aspects of our lives and we should have goals there too. The following are some of the most important areas in our lives, so ask yourself the following question in each area: ‘Have you set goals, and if so, what are they and have you written them down?’

  • Artistic: Do you have any artistic goals, and if so, what are they?
  • Attitude: Is there something holding you back: perhaps something in your behavior that you know works against you? Set a goal to find a solution to this problem.
  • Education: Are there particular skills you wish to acquire for your translation career? Is there a course or class you need to take in order to achieve other goals?
  • Family: Are you a proactive member of your family? Are you a good parent? How do you want other members of your family to see you? Do you put your translation work ahead of your family’s needs?
  • Financial: Do you have financial goals for your freelance translation business? What are they, and have you written them down?
  • Physical: Are you getting enough exercise? Are you taking the necessary steps to ensure good health as you age? We know that sitting at a computer all day long is bad for your health!
  • Happiness: Are you happy? Is there enough joy and playfulness in your life?
  • Public Service: Is the world a better place having you in it?

Your Translation Career Goals

The two types of translators who may benefit from answering these questions are people who are considering a career in freelance translation and those who are already working as freelancers but have forgotten why they initially thought it was a good idea.

Ask yourself the following questions, and from your answers, you should be able to determine what your career goals are. Remember that it’s not a goal until you’ve written it down.

  • What made you decide to become a translator in the first place? Were you excited about the prospect of freelance translation as a career?
  • Write down the best things about your job.
  • What motivates you on a daily basis?
  • In what way is translation challenging for you?
  • Have there been times in your career when you wished you were not a freelance translator?
  • Do you have advice for others in the translation business?
  • Do you have future plans for your translation career?
  • What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Our Tips for Setting Career Goals

The most important thing about any type of goal in any area of your life is that it’s not a goal until you write it down. You probably have many dreams and aspirations but, until you write them down, they’re not achievable. Writing your goals down gives them more force and crystallizes them: it makes them achievable.

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Liraz Postan

Liraz is an International SEO and Content Expert with over 13 years of experience.


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