Outside The Box

The increasingly hectic pace of the translation industry forces many translators into a box where they are blinkered by wordcounts and lose sight of how they want to work and what they want to achieve. “Outside The Box” wants to encourage the audience to take a more holistic approach to their career and their professional development. The speaker draws on her own experience of over 20 years in the translation industry, her experience as a tutor on the ITI SUFT course, and the insights gained through her new hobby of motorcycle photography and journalism.

The talk will centre on the 3 ages of translators’ careers: Getting started (in this section Matthew Walker will share his experiences of setting up as freelance translator and juggling childcare and work), the “middle age” where Annika Schmitz will recount why she chose to embark on her recent studies for a further degree and how this has enriched her life, and in the “3rd age of a translator”, main speaker Heidi Kerschl will share how she hopes that branching out into travel journalism will complement and “lift her game” in this advanced phase of her career. The audience will be encouraged to share their own experiences to demonstrate how activities seemingly unrelated to translation and interpreting may not only improve work-life balance but can also directly enhance translation, interpreting and business skills. This will lead to a look at premium areas where translators and interpreters can leverage their “extracurricular” skills to break free from the wordcount-based box and transition to more fulfilling hourly and assignment-based charging structures. The aim is to give the audience a chance to participate and encourage them towards a more rewarding long career in the language industry.

The speaker will unashamedly promote networking, ITI CPD courses and workshops, and is particularly pleased to be joined in this panel by 2 graduates of the ITI SUFT course who have not presented at an ITI Conference before. This session will be lively, informative and entertaining, and strongly encourage audience participation. Expect to see many photos and visual content, animated discussion, inspiring ideas and of course the destruction of the ubiquitous box.

Matthew Walker is a Spanish to English freelance translator based in the south of Spain. After teaching English in Spain for many years, he decided to study a Masters in Translation online at the University of Portsmouth. Upon graduation from this course, he began his career as a full-time freelance translator. This has involved a lot of time management skills during these fledgling years, as he has two small children to look after at home. Straight after the Masters, he signed up for the ITI SUFT course which was extremely useful in teaching him the business side of things and helping him get started.

He began getting experience doing varied volunteer work and before long, with the help of skills acquired on the SUFT course, he was able to get on board with a handful of translation agencies in Spain. After several years doing varied agency work, he is now looking to take his career to the next level and start to specialise in certain areas and work with more direct clients.

Matthew will be presenting with Heidi Kerschl and Annika Schmitz.