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What should I do?
Question :

Dear Doctor,

I have been working for almost two years. I am an interpreter/translator. However, I would really want to change my job nature. It's just that i don't know what sort of job i would like to do...

Posted by Stephanie Leung on Sunday, 25 Mar 2012

Comments :

Rebecca Cheung - Career Doctor

Posted Thursday 31st May 2012 08:41:00 AM


Dear Stephanie, You are not alone in the quest for a fulfilling career. Even some people well into their middle age are still pondering whether they are in the right job. My question to you is what particular aspect of your job made you decide to give up your professional training and career as an interpreter / translator. Despite the popular use of online translation tools and easy access to other translation software nowadays, the skills and knowledge of a trained expert can never be replaced as we all know. In fact, your employability and earning power will grow as you progress further in the field. However, I am a strong believer in finding the right job that matches your abilities, personality and life values, because only then will you be able to find job satisfaction and the willingness to ‘go the extra mile’ at work. Now, the good thing is that you have just started work and there are a lot of career options for you, if you look and plan carefully. To start off, evaluate what knowledge, skills and experience you have acquired during the past two years. List down aspects of your work that you like and dislike. Obviously, you have professional knowledge in at least two or more languages. This is a clear competitive advantage over other job seekers in a dynamic international business centre like Hong Kong. Your training and experience in active listening, critical thinking and effective communication, are also key competencies that employers across a wide range of industries are looking for. After identifying transferable skills, you have to ask yourself, based on the list you made, which are the aspects in your current job that you find stressful or demotivating. Is it the pressure of listening and speaking at the same time as a simultaneous interpreter, the tedious translating of technical documents line by line, or working alone on assignments most of the time? It is absolutely true that we all have our unique preference of work style and environment. Some people are attracted by the rate of change or new experience in their job. Routine or predefined structure will drag their productivity down. Some people like to work with others. It is having people around that energises them. So start understanding what are your natural work preferences and actively ask people whom you trust to feedback on their observation of you. Additionally, making use of professional career assessment tools is a good way of obtaining objective data about yourself and informed guidance on career direction or choices. Eventually, having clarity on your transferable skills and natural strength, you will be able to build a career specification of “You”, helping you to identify jobs in which you will have the highest chance of both success and job satisfaction. Remember, a bright future is for those who don’t take life as a random incident! Rebecca