Job posters — how to make projects more exciting

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 »  Articles Overview  »  Business of Translation and Interpreting  »  Business Issues  »  Job posters — how to make projects more exciting

Job posters — how to make projects more exciting

By Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz | Published  03/30/2015 | Business Issues | Recommendation:
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Quicklink: http://wiki.proz.com/doc/4118
Author:
Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz
Poland
English to Polish translator
 
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I am writing this from the perspective of a freelance translator who reads a good many job postings but skips most of them, and I'll be somewhat direct. This is to help you through helping translators or to help translators through helping you — toss a coin to find out.

Many of the myriads of jobs posted on this are introduced as 'exciting projects', sometimes even in the title. My immediate motivation to write was that I tired of all those 'exciting projects' and decided to do something.

By way of tough love, let's start from a hard truth: Simply calling job exciting when it's not will not make it exciting. Accept this truth, and it will help you move on and get better. The good news is that a translation job does not have to be exciting to be wanted.

And let's face it: translating financial statements or localizing yet another GUI for a typical phone application is not going to be exciting. You don't have to pretend that it is, and you shouldn't expect translators to pretend that it is.

Faking enthusiasm — as popular as it in some parts of corporate world — is not part of the job, and for someone like yours truly it would be too emotionally draining a pretence to keep up. It costs too much energy. Yours too.

You can make the ad appear either more actually exciting or more comfortable, either of which is good.

You can make it more exciting by giving some examples of what really is exciting about it. For example poverty relief is exciting. Saving rare species is exciting. True breakthrough tech (not the gazillionth cloud of something this or other) can be exciting. Again, financial statements, utility application UIs, vital statistics, certificates and diplomas and anything entitled 'Terms and Conditions' is not.

And, importantly — though I'm sorry that this sounds a little cruel, but it had to be said — just like you can't make a project exciting by simply calling it exciting, a project doesn't become exciting simply because it is for you and your company.

Let's face the truth: just like there are thousands of translators, yours is probably one of thousands of agencies that are neither very well known nor particularly distinguishable from the rest. It may in fact be an exciting company to work with, but you can't realistically expect translators to know that from first glance or just take your word on it.

And if 'exciting' doesn't work as fact that has some meaning, you might as well skip it as the obligatory marketing buzzword that has no meaning and only wastes people's energy by putting their emotions in an unnecessary state of alert and drives disappointment by promising what everybody knows is not there.

... Which brings us, finally, to comfortable. An ad is comfortable to its recipients when it tells them exactly what to expect and puts them at ease that what they read is true and reliable.

How? Just keep it professional. No buzzwords. No obligatory 'unique' claims that two million other agencies make. No 'exciting project', no 'dynamic growth', and certainly no 'vendors' and 'resources'. The only people who are excited about being put down are masochists and those with self-esteem issues — who make good slaves but not necessarily good business partners.

In all other ways resist the temptation to treat translators like the plebs who should compete for your favour and the unique privilege of working for you, unless you're the royal family — which you in all likelihood are not. And guess what? That's fine.

Resist the fear that unless your job is 'exciting' nobody will want to take it.

In personal life, many people choose partners who are not smoking hot, with a femme fatale or rebel aura, but those who are nice to talk to, manageable to live with, dependable and somewhat predictable. Business is not much different. You don't need to be get a date, let alone to get married.

(And after 30 dependable prospects become even somewhat exciting.)


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