When it comes to landing a job, you may have heard that “it’s not what you know, it’s WHO you know.” Networking can be helpful in developing a career in any industry, including translation, but it gets a bad rep. For those just warming up to networking, here are a few starting points for meeting new peers and mentors in the industry.
Get back to your roots: Reconnecting with your alma mater can be a great starting point for networking, as you already have a major shared experience with other alumni. Many universities are also eager to promote alumni participation in events, both virtual and in-person, related to your professional interests. Ask attendees what they’ve been up to since graduating and compare notes.
Especially for linguists and business development managers, it’s important to think outside the box. Using your (or your translation company’s) specializations as a guide, look for events and groups that could use your services. If your boutique translation industry excels at creative translations, you may be able to come up with some much-needed solutions for participants at a marketing agency meet-up.
It’s no wonder that the translation industry, focused on words and language as it is, offers so many conferences, roundtables, panels, and other opportunities to talk and listen to one another. Join the conversation! You can thank a presenter for sharing their expertise on an interesting topic, or take it to the next level by asking a (genuine) follow-up question. Conferences like SlatorCon are a great place to start.
Happy hour or lunch with new friends? It’s up to you, because meet-ups with working groups can be either. The common interest bringing attendees together can range from industry (such as the international LocLunch events) to life experiences (think expats or working moms). Get the conversation going by asking around for thoughts on, say, a recent question that popped up at work.
If you’re on LinkedIn (or Facebook, or Twitter, or Instagram…), you may already be networking without even realizing it. Professionals who actively share their thoughts on the industry appreciate your “likes” and “shares,” and welcome others to chime in with their own questions — and there’s your opening.