"am" vs. "do", or how to go beyond services
When people ask me what I do for a living, I answer: I am a translator and a scientific proofreader. Indeed, these two professions are equally important to me. And therefore, the services I offer are translation and proofreading (with a specialization in scientific proofreading). If you ask a colleague, he or she can tell you: I am a translator and my services are translation and proofreading. So, we can say, yes, a translator can also work as a proofreader.
I remember that one of my mentors told me a few years ago that offering several services can help us expand our client pool. And the pandemic period confirmed that - to keep working, you have to be resourceful. In other words, you are a translator specializing in X, Y and Z fields, but you also offer editing, proofreading and, why not, subtitling services. Sometimes even copywriting. Basically, this is excellent advice. More services means more clients. But my question is this: how do we identify ourselves?
As a translator?
As a translator and proofreader?
As a translator, proofreader and copywriter?
Are these just services or do they define us?
So, when someone asks me what I am, I answer: I am a translator and a scientific proofreader. These two qualifications define. My "role" as a translator involves translation, localization and proofreading, and my "role" as a scientific proofreader involves scientific proofreading. For me, this goes beyond the "role" of translation. I define myself as T and SP, not just T, where, SP is just a service.
All this to say that the way we perceive and consider ourselves, in my opinion, has an impact on the way we work. I also believe that the more we focus on our "role", the better the results will be. I think it's a mindset that allows us to go beyond service, and makes us learn more. It makes us more qualified.
Personally, the fact that I also define myself as a scientific proofreader and not only as a translator, has helped me to be more involved in my clients' research projects, and as an effect, to have more requests, and above all to have the desire to add more options for researchers, to help more. It helps me to go beyond the service. It's not just a service in my portfolio, it's me: T & SP.
In short, define who you are, not what you do, and customers will remind you as such in the large service pool.
If you have any questions, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.