Useful Careers Advice Links
The Internet is teeming with information on career advice for translators and advice on how to start a business, become self-employed and develop essential entrepreneurial skills.
Firstly, please find below a selection of informative websites offering career advice relevant for people living in the UK. They were all current in 2021.
UK government sources of information
The National Careers Service offers detailed careers advice for translators, including a job profile; work activities; working hours and conditions; income; entry requirements; training and development; skills, interests and qualities; and opportunities. However, the section on job market information is very general and probably not very helpful for translators.
In addition, HM Revenue and Customs provides excellent in-depth information on all aspects of running your own business. The guide covers subjects such as starting up, business plans, which legal structure to choose, working from home, registering your business, tax and national insurance, record keeping and much more. Most importantly, don’t miss their comprehensive guide on self-employment.
Furthermore, Prospects which offers career advice to students has a very good section on self-employment, covering subject matters like:
- Is self-employment the correct careers choice for you?
- How to start your own business.
- Which types of business to consider.
- Writing a business plan.
- A selection of self-employment case studies
The GOV.UK website (official guide to UK government services) has an extensive section on business and self-employment advice. It deals with financial issues, setting up, premises, tax, import and export and has specific advice for various industries, including the sale of goods and services.
Finally, the Department for Business Innovation & Skills (BIS) presents tools and guidance for businesses, information on jobs and pensions, export matters and business finance and grants.
Further sources of career information
Helpfully, the Society of Authors has published a webpage with FAQs regarding literary translation. Subjects covered include a definition of literary translation, required qualifications and qualities, how to get started, availability of grants and bursaries and more.
Furthermore, there are also many regional business/enterprise support organisations and websites offering career advice. Fo rexample, if you google for your area plus business support/advice, you will find all the information you could possibly want. Searching for “Wales business support”, for example, comes up with innumerable relevant hits, the top one being the Welsh Government site with advice on starting up, running and growing a business, finance, funding and support.
In addition, on the Small Business website, you will find information on starting, financing and running a business. Comprehensively, the site offers a blog, a news and a franchising section plus a “how-to hub”. Well worth a visit if you’re thinking of starting up a business.
Target Jobs provides in-depth careers advice, covering many different aspects from career planning over job applications and CVs; skills and competencies; psychometric testing; interview types, questions and techniques; networking and much more. The site also provides job profiles including that of a translator. Information provided: type of work, typical employers, education/training, skills.
j4b is a website which lists links to grants for businesses in the UK.
Shell LiveWIRE is a UK based online community which supports entrepreneurs aged 16-30. It provides free online business support and access to funding (one £5000 award per month).
Every Woman’s aim is to advance women in business by providing them with a successful active network.
The Prince’s Trust is a UK charity that supports young people (working fewer than 16 hours a week, unemployed or struggling at school) by offering courses, grants, an enterprise programme and more.
ECPD Webinars provides online professional development opportunities for language professionals.
Further University career advice sources
Some universities have web pages dedicated to helping students with career questions, others simply point their students in the direction of career advice services. If you search for “enterprise skills development” you’ll come across various university websites that offer help in developing business/entrepreneurial skills, e.g. Leicester, Durham and Sheffield to name but a few.
Please find below a short list of informative sites provided by universities.
Swansea University’s website resources on My Uni, “Careers and Employability” includes information on:
- Choice of career in employment or self-employment
- Work experience and employability
- Tips on job hunting
- Postgraduate study/research, including information about funding and overseas opportunities (with links to relevant websites)
The University of Cambridge publishes a Careers Guide which gives practical advice to students and is available online.
The University of Oxford has a careers page dedicated to translating and interpreting. It includes information about the translation industry, types of job, various entry points into the profession, skills and experience needed, how to get a job, internal and external resources.