ATA56: Getting the Most out of Miami

This year’s American Translators Association conference starts tomorrow!

If you’re going, I hope to see you there. I’ll be recruiting translators working to and/or from Japanese, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, and more. So if you work in one of these languages, please do say hi!

Here are some last-minute tips for how you can get the most out of your conference experience:

  • Check out ATA President-Elect David Rumsey’s Top 5 Tips for Preparing for ATA’s Annual Conference. Don’t be discouraged if you haven’t done #1 yet–perhaps you can do it on the airplane! And even if not, the tips about being brave and reaching out are great.
  • Be respectful at the Resume Exchange. This will be my third year recruiting there, and I’m still longing for that magical year when all freelancers are respectful of the recruiters. Each year, there are a few freelancers who almost assault me with their resumes, or who try to monopolize my time even after we’ve established that they don’t have the qualifications I’m looking for at the moment. This actually reduces my chances of hiring them, because I perceive them as not respecting my needs. Keep your pitch brief if you think you may not be a match! Please understand that your recruiters are stressed out, because they need to speak with as many translators as possible in a very short amount of time, and if you try to monopolize their time when you don’t have what they’re looking for, they’ll remember you for the wrong reasons. If you keep it brief, though, and say “Well, I don’t have the experience your looking for, but may I give you my resume in case you have different needs in the future?” then I am happy to accept, and you may very well get a call from me if I do have those needs. See ATA Conference Notes from a Buyer’s Perspective for more information.
  • Don’t be afraid to skip a session if you’re feeling overwhelmed. I usually end up skipping one or two of the session time slots over the course of the weekend. There are sessions I planned to attend, but end up skipping just because I’m tired and need a change of pace. That’s okay! Maybe you need a nap, or a quiet sit somewhere, or want to chat with someone. Don’t worry about it. Recharge so that you’ll be alert for the next session.
  • Kick back and have fun! You’ll meet some very interesting people this week, so don’t let yourself get stressed out by your to-do list. Enjoy!

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