The terrible twos
The terrible twos is a stage in which toddlers begin to be more independent, restless and sometimes, for their parents, this phase can sometimes be quite hard. This is why this stage is called “the terrible twos”. In my case, I am not a mom, but this is my second year working as a freelance translator in the UK, and like some parents with two-year-olds babies, at some stages, it has been a tough year.
Last month, my business turned two years old, after a first year full of learning, accomplishments and failures (you can read here my thoughts on my first year as a freelance translator in the UK).
After that first year, I had quite a lot of work (which was amazing), with so many good opportunities, I and learned a lot, I had my ups downs (but, who hasn’t?) and I was determined to keep growing as a professional. So, just like parents who had survived the first year of their babies, I thought things will start to calm down (although I knew I had to keep learning a lot and falling), but nothing could be further from the truth.
I had a lot of work, which I was very happy about and why not saying it, proud of myself. I started to see that my efforts to get a higher volume of work and be a better professional were starting to bear fruits. Unfortunately, I came across with some problems that probably every freelancer (translator or not) face every day and which no one prepares you to deal with.
No matter how many books you read about how to deal with non-paying clients, irregular workloads, taxes from overseas clients, etc. You will know and really learn how to act, when you experience these situations. Like everyone at some points in their life, I learnt some of these things by facing them, experiencing them and learning to solve these types of problems. But, as I just said, like everyone else.
Although after a general overview of this year, it has been probably tougher than the first one, I must say that it is helping me to know myself better and to grow as a professional. I have been on holidays and I came with renovated energy, wanting to start again and to face my business with a different perspective.
No one is perfect and we all learn from our mistakes and our experiences. Why would this be different for a freelance translator? As two-year-old toddlers, I started to walk on my first year as a full-time freelance translator. I thought that I could do anything, I was more independent, but what I am eventually learning now is to fall and stand up again to keep learning and growing.
Why two-year-oldd babies can fall down and stand up and nothing happens, but for adults is more complicated? Do we need to learn from them? Probably is that we have a great fear of failure, which is normal, since for freelance translators (and freelancers in general) we put so much energy, effort, money and expectations on a business that entirely depends on us and our lives depend on that business.
So, I am very excited to see what this next year can bring to me both professionally and personally. I have learnt from my mistakes and my experiences and this year is going to be another challenge for me, but I am prepared for it and looking forward to it!
As I said in a previous post, I am trying to go back to publish a post very two weeks, so hopefully next month you will have two posts from Be Global Translations’ blog! 🙂
Did you experience something similar in your second year as a fulltime freelance translator? How did you deal with it?