Freelance translators deal with a lot. Some project managers assign jobs based on favoritism and familiarity. Sometimes, it’s the case that you get work only if you’re the one responding to their emails the fastest.
You end up wasting time on menial tasks that divert you from the linguistic work you take pride in. Worst of all, you are constantly squeezed into lowering your rates (again, again, and again).
How do you mitigate these challenges?
Some translators ditch the freelance path altogether. They resolve to look for jobs with end clients because they’re more likely to find job security. But they give up all the flexibility and autonomy that so many translators grow to appreciate. Sometimes, it feels like you’re stuck between starving as a freelancer and slaving as a corporate drone.
The best localization translation jobs give you a sustainable middle ground between these two extremes. You get all the flexibility of freelancing with many of the benefits of a corporate gig while maintaining your agency as a qualified language professional. When you work for companies like Bureau Works, you’re not just another cog in a massive LSP’s machine. You’re a valuable partner in the pursuit of high-quality localization.
Choose Translation Jobs That Are Actually Worth Your Time
We know good translation jobs are hard to come by. Sometimes, you feel like you have to settle for dead-end, low-paying contract work because it’s the only way to pay the bills. But these jobs are problematic in more ways than one. In most cases, they don’t even provide the basic foundations a translator needs in order to be successful.
To be worth your consideration, a company should at least offer the following:
- Flexible scheduling. What’s the point of freelancing if you can’t actually choose your own schedule? At Bureau Works, we have plenty of clients and hundreds of projects coming through our platform every single day. We have enough work for translators to fill 10 hours or 60 hours per week, completely at their discretion.
- Simple evaluation. Most LSPs test your skills with complicated tasks that take a lot of time to complete. But not every test is like that. Ours is quite simple. If you’re competent as a translator, you’ll get approved quickly and move into the BWX system. There, you’ll prove your skills through completing real projects for real pay.
- Strong translation tools. Fully functioning CAT tools should be a standard expectation for any job, but sometimes these tools are your responsibility, at your expense. Not only does Bureau Works offer cutting-edge CAT tools to our translators at no cost, but we also offer advanced terminology management technology built into our localization platform. This places translators in the driver’s seat for continual content improvement and sets you up for growing success with each client.
- Freedom from time-wasting tasks. Stop wasting time on invoicing, emailing, and engineering tasks. Good localization software completes these actions automatically so you can focus on linguistics and minimize the distractions.
- Really interesting projects. We know that translations are more successful when you’re actually interested in the subject matter. If you like translating for popular consumer brands, powerful ecommerce clients, and booming tech startups, seek out localization companies that have that kind of reach.
The majority of translation jobs on the market don’t provide these basic requirements—but we consider them completely foundational for success. Don’t take these things for granted in your job search. You deserve to work for a company that sets you up for success and operates in your best interest.
You’ll know an opportunity is worth your time when the company offers these benefits as a baseline guarantee. Start here, and then expect even more.
The Best Localization Translation Jobs on the Market
If you were to create the perfect localization translation job, what would you do first?
When we launched Bureau Works, we wanted to create a translation ecosystem that was more data-driven—and more human-friendly. Our team wove these dual concerns into a powerful localization platform that helps translators be more successful both creatively and financially.
Here’s how that impacts our translator community:
We judge translators based on merit and data.
At most LSPs, your workload depends entirely on the personal preference of a project manager—and they tend to play favorites. There’s no objectivity and limited opportunity. We broke this cycle by instituting a meritocracy within the BWX system.
With Bureau Works, everything is algorithm-based. For example, as you complete projects in our platform, you’re automatically assigned a Quality Index score based on the amount of revision your work requires. Ideally, you’d be trying to achieve a quality score below 15%—meaning only one out of seven strings or sentences requires editing by a reviewer. Our software automatically assigns translation jobs based on this score, removing favoritism completely from the equation.
Because this system naturally favors experience, we’ve deliberately left the backdoor open for new translators. Our software assigns a combination of proven translators and new translators for every single project. We make sure opportunities are always available in your personal queue, no matter how long you’ve been working with us.
We protect translators during the reviewing process.
Assigning work based on hard data automatically makes the translation process more egalitarian. But we know as well as you do that reviewers are entirely subjective. You could easily end up with a reviewer who just doesn’t like your style and leaves you a Quality Index of 40%. Don’t worry. We’ve thought of that.
Bureau Works protects our translators from over-editing through several measures:
- We provide new translators with a constant mix of reviewers and content types so you can test your skills in a variety of contexts.
- Over time, our algorithm observes which reviewers and content types you’ve proven to be successful with and offers you more of those jobs.
- We require reviewers to categorize and justify each revision request, which effectively disincentivizes over-editing.
- Our platform is built on transparency. If you don’t agree with the feedback you’ve been given, there is a simple way for you to elevate an arbitration.
- Everyone in the localization process is held accountable by final client evaluation—because they can see every change that’s happened in-platform up to the final product.
We empower translators to set their own rates.
All over the world, translators are facing a financial crisis. LSPs are notorious for pushing translators to lower their rates in order to raise profit margins. This leaves many translators unable to support themselves and their families in this line of work. The politics don’t favor the talent and the value of the work. It’s deeply unjust.
Companies should not be taking home the lion’s share of the profit on every project they complete. We need to honor the human beings who are doing the creative work of localization and provide them with adequate compensation according to their skills and abilities.
At Bureau Works, we empower all of our translators to set their own rates. We will never nickel and dime you or ask you to lower your per-word price. We leave it up to you to be savvy enough to competitively price your work—and our algorithm assigns projects objectively according to client budgetary needs.
Every translator has the right to be paid fairly for the highly specialized skill of translation. Ditch your low-paying contract jobs and come to work for a company that values your authority, dedication, and work ethic. You’ll be rewarded in more ways than one.
Are You a Good Fit for Bureau Works?
Bureau Works is always looking to hire experienced translators who are self-motivated and driven to create high-quality content in a fast-paced world. We believe good translations result from a mutually beneficial relationship between translator and employer. That’s why we provide the best localization translation jobs in the industry—and why our work definitely isn’t cut out for everyone.
To be a good fit as a Bureau Works translator, you need to be okay with radical transparency. Are you willing to give (and receive) transparent feedback? We rely on open collaboration with translators, reviewers, and clients to produce the highest-quality final result possible. There’s nowhere to hide in the Bureau Works system. On the other hand, that means you’ve got a real opportunity to shine on every single project you complete.
We also expect our translators to move quickly and stay connected. We aren’t going to call you personally to ask if you want to take on a project next week. At Bureau Works, localization moves quickly. Translators who succeed with us are active on the platform, they respond to communication threads, and they participate in our fast-paced digital dynamic. You can’t be passive. If you’re going to work with us, you need to be a passionate participant in our ecosystem.
Think you have what it takes to be part of the Bureau Works team? We’re always welcoming new freelance translators into our ranks. Whether you plan to work part-time or build a full-scale career, BWX offers the chance to apply your skills in a challenging and rewarding environment. Join our team and experience the translation ecosystem we designed specifically for you.
Written by Luciana Passos
Luciana is Bureau Work’s COO. She is known as a gap bridger and a heart follower.