Taking on New Roles15 Aug 2017
When I wrote my reflection on the ATA Conference last year, I talked about discovering a drive to help build the networking and professional development systems offered by the ATA in general and the Slavic Language Division in particular. Those were not empty words. Since then, I’ve been helping administer the Division’s practice group for the ATA exam on Slack, which has been a challenging, but rewarding experience. (It’s not too late to join! Email me if you’re interested.)
A few other opportunities have taken a little longer to play out. A month or so later I was invited to the Leadership Council for the Division; a few months after that I was nominated for Assistant Administrator, then found out that I was running uncontested and was elected by “acclamation” well in advance of the ATA Conference. Just as I was starting to wrap my head around that new role, the new Division website went live—and it turned out that the Division had not forgotten my willingness to help run it. Now suddenly I’m the new webmaster (and comment moderator!), the blog editor, and soon-to-be Assistant Administrator.
Have I bitten off more than I can chew? I hope not! Juggling this volunteer work and my full-time job as a freelance translator will be a challenge, but I’m sure I can make it work. And I’m excited to see where these opportunities and responsibilities can take me. When I was starting out in the industry, and even when I was starting to get my bearings, I kept wishing there were more resources, more human connections among translators working with my languages or my subject fields, and I want to help make that happen. Each of these roles is a step in that direction, if I can make good use of them.
One of my favorite parts of translating is being able to provide a service to my clients—to serve, to create value, and, at a very fundamental level, to be useful. Now I have the chance to also serve my fellow translators and language professionals, to make my mark on the Division. I hope that my service will be worthwhile, and that I can inspire our members to make their own contributions, connect meaningfully with their colleagues, and make the most of their Division membership. Full steam ahead!
I Need Your Help
Do you have any ideas for the blog, website, or Division events? Do you want to be profiled? Do you have some experience or expertise that you would like to share? Please comment or contact me!
In particular, I am looking for perspectives on:
- CAT tools: have you invested in one (or several)? How often and in what kinds of contexts do you find yourself using them?
- Working with Division languages other than Russian
- Maintaining your second language and finding language resources
- Niche and off-the-beaten-path specializations (added bonus: you get profiled automatically!)
- Advice for newbies: things you wish you’d known when you started, or, if you’re a newbie, topics you want to know about
- ATA or other professional organization resources that you wish more people were aware of