Clients are important for any industry and when personalities don’t fit, things can get complicated. This is especially prominent for those in the industry of language. Why? You could be divulging personal information, views or otherwise sensitive information between platforms, both in person or online. To ensure best performance it may be easier to fit with someone with the same views or ideas as your own, but it doesn’t always happen that way.
When you’re an interpreter or translator you have to forget about how much both you and your client’s views differ. Your job is at stake, why would you explain your opinion when trying to earn money or make a communication once impossible possible?
There’s a sort of specialness when it comes to being the reason individuals or companies can communicate, but does this specialness make up for those plain awful clients? Ones that are so against your views you may have to hold your tongue for a moment and then force yourself to relay the information.
Bottling things up isn’t healthy, but not having a job can be worse. So, what can a fellow translator or interpreter do to just deal?
Make up Your Mind. Is this something you’re willing to deal with for the rest of your life? Your career? Sure, a job’s a job, but when does it become something you’re incapable of working on or with? There will always be difficult clients in every industry. It’s a fact of life and a fact of dealing with people, but there comes a point when enough is enough. Make a pros and cons list and see if this client is worth it because odds are, if they’re treating you badly either mentally or physically, even if unintentional, something has to change.
Maybe it has nothing to do with whether you’ve made up your mind or not. Maybe you have, but you keep saying yes to this client even when you want to say no because of differing views or time constraints. There are times when life is just incapable of dealing with a client, especially if life is too busy. So, why are you afraid of saying no? Take a step back. Before your client encroaches on your life much more, ask yourself if this is someone that you can and want to deal with. Understand that you can say no just as easily as saying yes. Saying no once in your life won’t hurt it may actually heal.
But don’t forget to hold your tongue. True, every client is going to have something different to say on the subject. Maybe they’ll try to change your mind, but don’t let them unless you want them to. If what they’re saying isn’t harmful, it’s just different then hold your tongue. Life is all about diversity, but when that diversity starts to hurt, realize something may have to change. Sure, hold your tongue if they’re with a client, but understand that if it’s something unhealthy or harmful to your person you don’t have to continue working for them.
Becoming a translator or interpreter should be about discovering and understanding. Bridging the gap between societies and cultures should enlighten, not hamper. If there is a hard-to-deal with client then don’t deal with them, especially when dealing with them harms you, and doesn’t help you grow.