Within a month of starting out in the world of translation, I was certain that I wanted to make that a career. So I approached it as a career. I was new in town, but I wanted to get to know the place, settle in, learn and contribute. I was standing before a profession, and I was determined to act professionally.
I believe this is a key concept. There are plenty of translators out there - good, bad and average. I am convinced that I am a good one, but there are other possible classifications where I want to do well too. There are professional translators and unreliable ones. There are those who are proactive, keep their eyes on the ball and are always keen to learn and those who treat translation as a mechanical, static job.
I knew the kind of translator I wanted to be, so I asked myself how to get there. This, I soon found out, would take a lot of hard work, plenty of reading, some investment, and generous time. It turned out that professional translation is broadly speaking about languages... but not only about that. There is technology, on-the-job training, bookkeeping and the ever-present search for clients. Fortunately, I found out all that and still felt fully prepared to do it.