Volunteering as networking – Jenner

The following is taken The Entrepreneurial Linguist, by Judy & Dagmar Jenner.

Pro bono work

Pro bono work, that is, work that is performed without financial compensation, is, not surprisingly, not always popular. However, sometimes you need to give before you can get (also see our chapter on giving back), and that is not limited to volunteer work within the translation industry.

Consider this: pro Bono opportunities might come your way that could get you closer to a potential client you have wanted to contact for some time. Other times, pro bono work might appear to have no possible benefit for you, but you never know what it could lead to, If the time commitment is reasonable and the event is local, our recommendation is to carve out some time for the occasional pro bona job. For instance, you might give a free presentation about your job at a high school career day. Next thing you know, the principal might contact you about translations for non-English speaking parents. Or you might volunteer during a fundraiser by requesting donated items for the auction. While this is tedious and time-consuming work, your name will get out in the community, and you will build some goodwill for both yourself and your business. List your volunteer activities on your website and perhaps on your marketing materials if they are relevant. You might even receive an invite to the high-end fundraiser that you volunteered for, and end up sharing the table with a group of highly successful people. Talk always tends to revolve around work, and it is a great opportunity to talk about both your pro bono work and your real job. More often than not, people will remember you if they sat at your table and you made an impression. The next time they or someone in their circle of business associates needs a language services professional, they might think of you. There are no guarantees, but it is worth the effort.