Our profession is based on knowledge and experience. It has the longest apprenticeship of any profession. Not until thirty do you start to be useful as a translator, not until fifty do you start to be in your prime.
The first stage of the career pyramid – the apprenticeship stage – is the time we devote to investing in ourselves by acquiring knowledge and experience of life. Let me propose a life path: grandparents of different nationalities, a good school education in which you learn to read, write, spell, construe and love your own language. Then roam the world, make friends, see life. Go back to education, but take a technical or commercial degree, not a language degree. Spend the rest of your twenties and your early thirties in the countries who languages you speak, working in industry or commerce but not directly in languages. Never marry in your own nationality. Have your children. Then back to a postgraduate translation course. A staff job as a translator, and then go freelance. By which time you are forty and ready to begin.
– Lanna Castellano