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My first year of freelancing – top 10 achievements and top 10 goals

Updated: Nov 10, 2020

I’ve now been running my business, working as a full-time freelancer for over a year. Since the end of July 2019 to be exact.

And it’s been a funny old year. Challenging, in more ways than one, but also hugely rewarding. I thought I’d take the opportunity to pause and reflect on what I’ve done so far, and where I want to go next. Think of it as my own personal performance review or annual appraisal. Only I’m taking you, dear reader, along for the ride.

This post was partly inspired by a recent twitter conversation about how we as freelancers can manage our own appraisals, reviews, and goal-setting. I thought by publicly penning my goals for the year ahead, I’d make myself accountable, which would serve as extra motivation. After all, this has worked for me in the past. And because we’re all in need of some positivity, I’ve decided to focus only on the things I’m proud of, rather than the mistakes I’ve made and the lessons I’ve learned. (Don’t be fooled – there have been plenty of those too!)

So here we go, the top 10 things I’m proud of achieving:

  1. Finished my year-long #ThatTranslatorCanCook challenge

  2. Worked with 19 different clients, many of whom I now work with on a weekly or monthly basis

  3. Had the opportunity to meet and get to know many talented and supportive colleagues, in-person (when that was a thing) and online

  4. Joined the ITI French Network Committee as Newsletter Editor

  5. Joined a RevClub group with the talented Stephanie Donat and Hayley Leva where we give each other feedback on our translations (more about the RevClub concept)

  6. Contributed a feature article to the ITI Bulletin

  7. Contributed two articles and a profile for the ITI London Regional Group’s newsletter

  8. Took part in some excellent continuing professional development activities. Some of my favourite were: wine translation workshop with Ruth Simpson transcreation workshop with Adriana Tortiorello MOOC on Future Food: Sustainable Food Systems for the 21st Century by the University of Exeter Webinar on The Mistakes that Translators Make with Verbs with Grant Hamilton

  9. Regularly take part in community forums and chats, including: #ContentClubUK, a weekly twitter chat (Tuesday at 11am, UK time) on various aspects to do with content/copywriting and freelancing ITI Network Group forums, including the Food and Drink network, French network, and London Regional Group

  10. Invested in a project management/accounting tool (LSPExpert – made specifically for translators)

Where to next? Well, I have a few plans. Without going into the nitty gritty – the how, the why, and the when, below are the overall goals I hope to achieve over the year ahead.

  1. Focus on translation, copywriting, and transcreation work

  2. Move away from hands-on marketing work

  3. Increase my work in food and drink translation and copywriting

  4. Develop a specialisation in sustainability and the environment

  5. Join ProCopywriters

  6. Attend Copycon

  7. Attend the ITI Conference

  8. Work with more direct clients

  9. Work with my RevClub colleagues on paid projects

  10. Get to know more amazing and inspiring colleagues

Do you have any thoughts or tips to share, or goals in common? Or maybe you’d like to share your own process for goal-setting and review? I’d love to hear from you – comment below or get in touch by email, twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn.

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