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Mentoring a New Translator

I have a background in mentoring, having led the Woman to Woman Mentoring program and personally mentored other professionals along the way, but I was quite pleased when a young colleague asked me to mentor her a couple of months ago. She is a recent graduate and lives in a very cosmopolitan European city, but she, like many translators, finds the work can be isolating and that it's hard to get started and maintain motivation.

What I like about mentoring is that it's a two-way street. The mentor usually gets just as much (if not more) out of the relationship as the mentee does. In our meetings (via Skype) so far, we have held each other accountable for maintaining a schedule, researching new market opportunities and reading in the translation literature. I fully expect that I will grow as a professional through our mentoring relationship, and I hope that she will, too.

Mentoring another professional keeps both parties on their toes and keeps them accountable. In a profession where work is often done solo in front of a screen (or two or three), it's good to have someone who understands the challenges and is willing to share ideas.

Do you have a mentor or are you mentoring another professional? If not, you might want to give it a try: you may find it's one of the best ways to grow in your career.

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