What is the ground floor in your career?

Note: The following post appears in the Translators & Interpreters facebook group from the group admin Andrew Morris.

Look around any major world city and you’ll see plenty of high-rise buildings, of varying shapes and sizes. But however hard you look, you’re unlikely to spot a single building that has no ground floor – an edifice that just hovers in the sky.
ProZ.com was the ground floor in my career. When I look back over the last twelve years, I see now how it ALL started there. Doing my first research into translation while I was still working in the Ministry of Education in Bangladesh, it was the first website I came across, and naturally I decided to fork out and join right away, because that’s what professionals do, I reckoned.
I got all my first clients through approaching agencies via the BlueBoard, answering ads (including one or two which paid less than I wanted). And I got my next clients based on the confidence and experience given me by my first ones. In other words, every stage of my career built on the last, and would have been impossible without it.
And even though I deal almost exclusively with direct clients these days, except for one agency that takes me on every year for just a month, during the Cannes Film Festival, I trace every client – even the most corporate – back to that first creation of a profile. It’s a direct line of cause and effect.

So has ProZ.com played a role in my career? I think we can safely say “yes”.

Now things have come full circle of course and I’m on the ProZ.com staff, and nominally in charge of this group you’re all members of, which is a service ProZ.com offers to its community around the world. So the connection for me is stronger than ever.
We’ll come on in subsequent posts to whether or not you need to be a paying member, but everyone in this group should at the very least have a profile. That’s your ground floor – your way in. And it’s free. I can’t for the life of me understand why anyone wouldn’t put in that initial effort. That would be like trying to build a career based on nothing but air…
And for reasons we’ll look at in this series, some other freelancer sites that include many industries are not ground floors – they’re more like caravans parked outside a circus tent.
As part of this series, I’ll also imagine my way back to the very beginning, and see how I would go about furnishing that ground floor today, using a few key questions, and then creating my profile on the site. Perhaps there’ll be something for you too in that journey.



Topics: freelancer, profile, ProZ.com, facebook

Mike Donlin

Written by Mike Donlin


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