People think knowing more than one language is cool, and they’re not wrong! They assume that using this skill in the workplace is easy – after all, the hard part is learning the language, not using it.
The problem is that people don’t consider the possibilities of using foreign languages in a professional context. In fact, being a translator or translation project manager can be as stressful as any other job, if not more so.
Translating documents and content isn’t just about talking to people in short bursts in their native tongue. It’s being able to accurately translate their content into other languages, constantly honing your language skills, leading a team of translators with different ideas and skill levels, handling multiple deadlines and connecting with clients in valuable ways across different languages.
Suffice to say, my life as a project manager and translator was once frustrating more often than not. This is also just one aspect of my life — imagine all of your own typical everyday life problems and commitments. Family, relationships, finances, personal growth. Now toss in a stressful translation project management job on top of it all.
Being honest, I was often lost as to how to climb over my mountain of stress.
You may have stumbled onto this article without being truly interested in translation, I still have some advice for you: you have to find a way to alleviate work stress in your life. If you are a translator and/or translation project manager, this need to de-stress is even greater.
As an individual, you have the ability to come up with your own method of alleviating stress. I want to tell you all about mine.
My own stress story
Life as a project manager in my translation agency was getting to be too much for me to handle. I had consistently overlapping projects and deadlines that required multiple people working on each project. I would have to wrangle multiple teams at once while simultaneously working with clients, and sometimes clients weren’t the nicest or most reasonable.
I could see members of my team were stressed, but I was essentially powerless to do much to help them. After all, I was drowning in stress myself.
It got to the point where I finally admitted something to myself: something has to give. Either I find a way to let off steam and keep my stress low, or this job is going to eat me alive.
My solution was reiki. For those who are unfamiliar, Reiki is a Japanese meditation technique that focuses on stress reduction, inner healing and relaxation. It’s taught through healing touch and allows a person to unlock an endless supply of life’s energy. Reiki meditation features many different levels that can heal your physical body and clear your conscious mind.
Now I practice Reiki at least an hour a day. This simultaneously gives me scheduled time away from work, while also allowing me to ease my tension and let go of stress. When I’m more relaxed, I perform better at my job. I’m capable of leading my team and helping them with their own stress. I can be more communicative with vendors. I feel more empowered to negotiate with clients so that we can see eye to eye.
Because of my work, I’m now essentially a Reiki meditation expert. This is my way of dealing with stress – what will yours be?