How to Combat the Post-Holiday Blues

This entry was posted in Articles, Working life and tagged , , , on by Aina Ferretti.

Getting back to work after the holidays is not easy. Just the idea of returning to the usual routine can create a feeling of stress, sadness, irritability, or other mood swings. These are the first symptoms of the post-vacation syndrome, commonly known as post-holiday blues.

This syndrome is not officially recognized as an illness, but studies show that one in three people may suffer from it. In addition to psychological problems such as anxiety or lack of concentration, there are also physical symptoms such as sleep disorders, muscle aches, etc. This condition has been further aggravated this year by COVID-19 and the social isolation brought about by many of the consequent changes in our working conditions.

However, there is hope! Positive thinking, a positive attitude, and positive actions are great allies. Holidays give you the opportunity to relax and recharge your batteries. Use this energy to get back to work with a new, refreshed outlook.

post-holiday blues

5 tips on how to avoid or combat post-holiday blues

 

  1. Seek new goals. New challenges are great for renovating your enthusiasm!
  2. Get organized and schedule your week. You’ll feel more in control and this will reduce stress and contribute to your self-motivation.
  3. Practice sport. Stimulating the production of endorphins will help you feel good and keep the blues at bay.
  4. Watch your diet. Eat foods with serotonin such as oily fish, bananas, and tomatoes… This will help you to stay in a good mood. Avoid alcohol, as it increases feelings of sadness, and coffee, which intensifies anxiety.
  5. Smile! Spread your smile in the work environment. This will help increase your own productivity and the productivity of others.

Remember, the key to an energised and positive return after the holidays is your attitude and your outlook on things!

We hope these tips help you beat the blues!

Do leave a comment on how you dealt with the post-holiday experience. ;)

Guide to careers in translation: you’ll need more than just language skills!

This entry was posted in Articles, Careers advice, Uncategorized and tagged , , on by Andres Herrera.

A successful translation career starts with language skills, but it certainly doesn’t end there. In fact, professional translation, whether you work freelance or for a translation company, requires a whole host of abilities as well as the actual translator skills. In this post, we’ll take a look at the translator skills you need and why they are important.

Career in translation

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash.

Let’s start with the basics. What is a translation service? A translation service converts one language to another. The translation can be of a document, an audio file, a video file, or a spoken language event such as a presentation or webinar (i.e. interpretation services). Clearly, language skills play a key role in this. Without being able to speak two languages fluently, you won’t fare well as a translator.

However, there is a whole array of other skills that you need in order to translate well. The Open University’s course on Translation as a Career highlights this starkly when it lists the competencies required to make a good translator. Of the 15 skills listed, ‘excellent knowledge of the foreign language’ only places 12th on the list.

What skills do you need to translate professionally?

If you’re asking yourself, “What qualifications do I need to be a translator?” then it’s important to look beyond language. A formal qualification such as a language degree is an excellent and often essential starting point, but then it’s time to focus on soft skills.

How are your organisation skills? What about your attention to detail? Both of these will stand you in good stead if you want to translate professionally. You will need to be organised in your handling of individual translation jobs, as well as your approach to managing everything from clients to invoicing.

Attention to detail, of course, is a must when you work with language. A single mistranslated word can change the meaning of a sentence or, indeed, render it meaningless. And when it comes to medical translation, legal translation, and the like, a mistranslation can have significant consequences.

Excellent IT skills are also a must. Translation technology has a lot to offer when it comes to helping to translate more efficiently and accurately. Those who can quickly embrace the latest software will have a distinct advantage.

On a more traditional level, translators also need good, old-fashioned writing abilities! Writing for a living, whether it’s your own copy or the translation of someone else’s document, requires not just perfect spelling and grammar but also an instinctive feel for the flow of the languages that you’re working with.

Marketing your translation service

Networking skills are essential if you want to succeed in providing translation services for a living. You’ll need to find a steady stream of clients and then impress them with more than just language skills. Being personable and professional will help you to make the right connections and then develop them into relationships.

This need to network well applies no matter how you plan to market your translation service and obtain clients. Whether you’re going for work with a translation agency, through a freelancing site like Upwork, or by connecting with clients directly, you need to be able to build bridges and make them last.

Part of maintaining a client base is being flexible and adaptable. There are times when a client will realise far too late in the day that they need a translation urgently or will change their mind halfway through the translation job about some important detail that will impact the way the work needs to progress. In these cases, it is the translator who can flex their services and timescales who will end up retaining the client’s business over the longer term.

Sector-specific translation experience

Successful translators often bring a great deal of subject knowledge to the table as well. This allows them to specialise when they translate. That can involve offering anything from marketing translation to video translation – and anything and everything in between!

This specialist knowledge can help clients to laser-focus their translations in order to obtain the best possible results. Translators with plentiful experience of a particular sector can work faster and, arguably, more accurately than those who lack such specialist knowledge. This passes obvious benefits to the client.

Cultural awareness also comes into play here. Translators at the top of their game can gently mould the text that they work with to ensure that it perfectly meets the cultural expectations of the intended audience. It’s a skill that develops natively over time and is an essential part of successful professional translation.

Routes into translation as a career

Once you’ve got a language qualification under your belt, there are various routes into professional translation. You can apply directly for a job with a company that needs translation work completed regularly and so is hiring in-house. You can also apply to one or more translation agencies, in which case the agency will take care of the finding clients and billing elements of the work, leaving you free to focus purely on the translation.

Online job sites (Upwork, Fiverr, and the like) mean that you can also set out to find your own clients, albeit with a percentage of your income paid to the relevant site. You can also recruit clients directly through your professional network and word of mouth. If you plan to take this approach, a strong web presence will certainly be a help.

If you’re looking to stand out from the crowd when it comes to translation work, think about the additional skills that you can offer. From localisation to desktop publishing, there are skills that clients will be looking for over and above linguistic talent. If you can provide them, you’re already a step ahead of the competition.

Of course, we should end by pointing out that skill with language is and always will be a key factor in translating for a living. What languages are in high demand for translators? These will vary depending on where you are based. However, Ethnologue notes that English is the world’s largest language in terms of native and non-native speaker numbers, while Mandarin Chinese is the largest based on the number of native speakers. As such, if you’re wondering, “What is the best language to learn for translation?” these make a good starting point for your consideration!

Author: Paul Fernandez

Virtual Job Search: 3 Tips for Job Seekers

This entry was posted in Articles, Careers advice, CV writing, Job interviews, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , on by Andres Herrera.

In just a few short months so much has changed in the world, let alone in the UK. Industries, schools, homes, and healthcare were thrown into disarray as the pandemic took hold and spread from country to country.

Now, finally, there is light on the horizon. Hiring freezes are easing gradually as the lockdown eases and the country navigates its way into a social-distance compliant future. For job seekers, the major changes will be in the job search and job logistics. It is less likely that a job candidate will meet with a recruiter or hiring manager in person and more likely to be a virtual job search experience. Likewise, many employers are strengthening their remote workforces and hiring on a work-from-home (WFH) and work-from-anywhere (WFA) basis.

When you are looking for your new job opportunity you might find that you are invited to interviews via Zoom or a similar video conferencing software app. To get the best from a virtual job search take a look at our tips below.

Virtual Job Search Video interview

Photo by Allie on Unsplash.

The New Virtual Job Search

There is increased competition for jobs compared to the start of the year. To stand out, make sure your CV is up to date, that your most relevant experience shines through. CVs should be easy to read, fuss-free, and each job listed should include the relevant tasks that suit the job you are applying for.

Job advertising will remain online with job sites picking up more and more new jobs over the coming weeks and months. Stay ahead of the competitors by signing up to job alerts for the roles that interest you most. That way you will have them delivered straight to your inbox.

Be ready to apply quickly for new jobs as some employers start the interview process as applications come in. Getting your application in first could see you getting in front of the hiring manager sooner than others,” says Ken Little, a career writer at Australia2Write and Write My X.

Practice Your Virtual Interview Skills

You may have been on video call during lockdown for work and fun, and would be forgiven for thinking a virtual interview would be similar. Though the technology is the same, a virtual interview will be much more formal than even the work calls you have had. When you are invited to a video interview make sure you have the all right details. You should know who you are meeting, when the interview is, and what technology is being used. Don’t assume anything, ask for details if they are not given up front.

Practising your interview skills beforehand is a must for any job process. With virtual interviews, it is more important than ever. Rope in a friend or two to play the role of interviewer and set up a mock interview video call. Mock interviews are a great way for you to build confidence and spot any nervous tics you need to manage.

Whatever the job, always dress appropriately and preferably professionally for your interview no matter where or how it takes place.

On the day of your interview, find a quiet spot in your home where you won’t be distracted or disturbed. Clear any clutter from around so there are no distractions that might catch the hiring managers eye. “Switch on your camera before you interview so you can see in advance if the space around you is clear and close the door so no pets or kids come in,” says Hugo Davy, an editor at Britstudent and Nextcoursework.

Keep An Open Mind

It goes without saying that some industries and professions have been hit harder by Covid-19. These will be slower to restart the hiring process as they try to rebuild. This means that for many people the next job move may require them to adapt or pivot in their careers or take the advice of Sheryl Sandberg and move sideways when you can’t move up. This can be daunting but can also lead to great opportunities that you maybe hadn’t considered previously.

Adapting does not have to mean changing industry or profession completely but can also mean using your skills and experience in a new way. Keep an open mind when seeking a job and be aware of all your abilities, not just those you have used in your most recent employment.

Author: Michael Dehoyos
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Michael is a job editor at PhD Kingdom and Assignment Writing Service. He assists companies in their hiring strategy concepts, and contributes to numerous sites and publications. Also, he is a writer at Origin Writings.

How to Talk About Your Weaknesses in a Job Interview

This entry was posted in Articles, Careers advice, Job interviews and tagged , , , , on by Andres Herrera.

Interviews are known for being quite stressful. Interviewers strive to learn about the candidate as much as they possibly can. They often ask tricky questions to see how prepared and stress-resistant the candidate is. In a variety of sensitive questions, several do hit hard. One of them is a question about your weaknesses.

We are supposed to show our best skills and qualities during the interview. If you are being honest about being bad at teamwork, you will hardly land the job. Yet, lying or ‘elaborating’ the truth is also not recommended. What should you do then?

The best advice is to prepare your answer. You should know how you can answer without burying yourself in lies. How? It is far less difficult than it seems. Read ahead to find out about several ways to use the weaknesses interview question to your advantage.

Weaknesses in job interview

Photo by Amy Hirschi on Unsplash.

First of All, Know Your Weaknesses

As a part of your preparation, think about your weaknesses. There must be something you and your colleagues find upsetting about you. Take a personality quiz if you cannot come up with any.

There are no ideal people, so you will definitely stumble across something. However, nothing is totally black or white. You can critically evaluate your weaknesses and come up with something that can help use them to your advantage.

For example, if you cannot find your work-life balance, say that you are getting too involved with every project and you cannot stop thinking about work even during your free time. Or, if you fail at working under no supervision, you can say that you are an excellent executor who sticks to the plan under any circumstance.

Watch What You Are Saying

Your answer should be neutral. What we mean is that if your position requires high attention to detail, you cannot say that paying too much attention to detail is your weakness. Instead, you can say that you may need extra time to double-check things before you are okay with the work done.

Do not destroy your chances of getting the job. You are in control of the situation. So, give a truthful answer but sugarcoat it.

Talk Positive

Even if you cannot switch your weakness to be actually your strength, there is still a hint on how to get away with the situation. You should be able to show it in a positive light.

For example, since school, you have been afraid to speak publicly. Even if you still feel uncertain about it, you should state what you do to address the weakness and improve yourself. You might have gone to some classes or practiced your speeches at home before going public.

Or, you can admit that you used to have poor writing skills. Say that it was a total disaster for you to work on your essays at school. Yet, you addressed this site and studied based on provided samples to deal with this weakness. Even though writing still makes you a bit unconfident, you now know that you can communicate whatever you are about to say.

Try to make your counterpart smile. Self-development deserves admiration.

Do Not Learn Prepared Answers by Heart

You want to be prepared for every interview question. It is good and appreciated. However, do not try to memorize your answer about weaknesses. You should be flexible in your response. If an interviewer sees that you are talking pre-studied text, you do nothing but harm.

Think of several scenarios to answer the weaknesses question. Critically analyze the situation and answer it in a way you think best. This is the time when it is more about strategy rather than tactics.

Mention Work-Related Weaknesses

One of the most common interview weaknesses is to go personal. Your own dramas usually have nothing to do with your work. Everyone has them, but they hardly have an impact on your quality as a professional.

Interviewers will consider personal answers inappropriate for the business world. In other words, it will be a huge minus to your application. HRs and interviewers look for something that would make them feel that you can handle whatever it is that distracts or keeps you from work. They want to hear that despite all of it, you make things done.

Final Words

Every job interview requires preparation. The question about weaknesses is one of the trickiest ones. You should know how to answer it in a way that actually makes you a better worker. Yet, do not cross the line where you tell lies. Interviewers have enough experience to distinguish truth from dishonesty. Pre-studied texts also do no good.

You should have several weaknesses you are ready to talk about. Be flexible with your answer and tailor it to the conversation you’ve had before. It largely helps in securing a place.

Author: Sandra Larson
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Sandra is a freelance academic writer who specializes in resume writing. She knows the slightest details of the job application process and helps applicants with their interviews. In this article, Sandra shares some advice on how to answer the question about weaknesses to ace the interview.

Techie Tips for Working from Home

This entry was posted in Articles, Working life and tagged , on by Lynn.

Updated March 17, 2020.

Now we all know that old stereotype, if you work from home you’re actually just going to be sat in PJs catching up on Netflix, or if you’re feeling really productive putting laundry on! However, with more and more companies now allowing employees to work from home and a growing number of freelancers it’s time to shake that stereotype and show that working from home can be just as productive, if not more productive than working in an office.

Techie tips for working from home

Read on to see our tips for effective working, no matter how often you work at home!

Don’t let a slow internet connection ruins your day


So if you’re a freelancer who always works at home, you decided against renting office space to save money, and you’ve managed to put up that IKEA flat pack desk. You know that if your internet is slow or drops out you can lose out on jobs – and you don’t want to do that! Plus you dread trying to have a video call with someone and the connection to keep dropping.

Our Tip: To make sure you’re at your productivity peak, you need fast, reliable broadband and fibre broadband is the best option for this. Once you’re connected you can work without worrying about pages freezing while loading and your call quality will be crystal clear (or if it’s not, at least you can blame their broadband)!

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