Working From Home: Language Interpreting

As you know from my previous post, I have recently been working online with my second remote job (see my first remote job post here) with a language company.

As a lot of people are quite interested in what it’s like to work from home, I decided to make a post about what it’s like to be a language interpreter, why I decided to do this, and where I want to go from here.


Do you know a 2nd language? Do you care about helping people surpass communication barriers? Want to improve on industry specific vocabulary?

I found a company that had allowed me to pursue an interest of mine, and had taken me lots of efforts to pursue. The results were quite rewarding because I was able to work from home full time, improve on a language, and help people!

Here are some details I have compiled for those who are interested.


Hiring Process

Onboarding was a long and gruesome task to of testing my fluency in Vietnamese. I was required finish a 40-minute long recorded call, specifically regarding Medical and Insurance vocabulary. I was required to do a drug test and other phone interviews. The entire process of interview, waiting, and training process takes up to 3+ weeks.

The nice thing about this company is that their training on an entry level interpreter is very thorough. Though I rolled my eyes at a lot of the common sense customer service tips, I was learning a lot of how the company works.

A lot of interpreting companies still use the telephone as the means to interpretation. In contrast, LLS stepped up their game and uses an wifi audio/video call program to manage all their call flows. The interpreter can transfer calls, mark themselves as taking a break, or receive video calls.

Free Stuff, yay!!!

I was quite surprised the day LLS send me my equipment. I arrived one day to 2 giant boxes full of equipment for my home office, consisting of:

  • Dell Inspiron Intel Core i7 laptop
  • 1080p webcam
  • Plantronics headset
  • A blue backdrop
  • 2 desk lamps
  • 2 work uniforms
  • and more!

When requesting replacements, they were very fast with their shipping. They even randomly send equipment that I may need in my interpreting work– for example: whiteboard, shredder, etc. So thoughtful, LLS! They don’t even require most of them back when the employment terminates!

5 stars for treating their employees nicely <3

Paid “Free Time”

Because I get paid per the hour I work, whenever I don’t have calls, I can work on improving other aspects of my life. I use a lot of my time to organize my thoughts, write, and plan out the rest of my day. Pretty nice, pretty nice.

Work in My Pajamas

One of the best things about working from home, however, is that I get to do it in my pajamas! I set my alarm 10 minutes before work, and when the time comes, I hope out of bed, brush my teeth, then get to work. Sometimes, I take quick breaks to go to the kitchen to whip myself up a hot meal.

I love this so much compared to the 2 hour commute in NYC. I certainly don’t missed the crammed subway and traffic in the city. I definitely don’t miss an opportunity to tell people what a comfortable life I’m living (for) now.

Flexibility

I have traveled with my equipments twice. All I need is WIFI, laptop, backdrop, camera, and headset. It’s been great in allowing me the flexibility to go somewhere new. Days off are requested through the Impact 360 portal online. I request the days off electronically anywhere I see an available opening slot.

Making a Difference 

Interpreting work covers a wide range of needs. Calls for help include medical visits, EMS calls, court hearings, insurance, legal matters, and more. On some level or another, I feel like I’m contributing my skills to help those who need it.

I’m not going to lie, I’ve hit some rough patches while working with LLS. I’ve had emotional breakdowns because of people’s problems. Why are there so many problems in this world??

That’s not all, I’ve also learned of the many ways people treat each other. I’ve learned that nurses can be rude and disrespectful. Elders can be stubborn, hopeless, and depressed, and humanity can be quite selfish at times. However, I’ve also learned that parents are ultimately those who care about their children the most and vice versa. I’ve learned that certain people have a true desire to help others, and I’m quite happy to be a part of the process.

Slowly, I learned to detach myself to all the problems. Once I took a step back, I’m able to seamlessly direct the flow and do my job as efficiently as possible.

Educational Value

My initial reasoning of becoming and interpreter is to master my industry vocabulary in Vietnamese. (What better way to learn than jumping in head first?) I’ve never received proper schooling in Vietnamese, and have learned all that I can read and write on my own.

Though I am not even close to becoming as scholarly fluent as I’d like, I am happy to pursue the the cause that keeps my cultural identity intact. My parents have been a tremendous pusher to keep the Vietnamese language alive. That I can achieve the ability of becoming an interpreter is all thanks to them.

As I began my interpreting work, I have become more adept in many other skills.

Because the context of what I interpret can make a sizable effect, I learn to choose my words carefully. I’ve learned to deliver bad news, deal with impatient clients, to negate all the negative things that I hear and not let it affect my life.

Are you going to do this for the rest of your life, Winta? 

Unfortunately, this is not my life career path. I never intended it that way. I’m doing this to make my life more meaningful. I’m learning my mother tongue, while getting paid. What can beat that?

My next steps are to actually discover my mother country. Yes, I’m taking a 3 month long backpacking trip through Vietnam for the first time in my life! I’m psyched, and hopefully, so are you. I will try to keep my adventures updated. <3


Thanks for stopping by! You might also like:

What’s in my Journal Entry?

My journal is what keeps me from going mad.

I recently filled up my Eagle notebook, given to me by my little sister as a Christmas gift. Its lifespan was 1 year before I ran out of space. I miss it a lot. So, today, I decided to write about what I keep in my journal and why I love it so much.

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First of all, my journal isn’t like most people’s journal. It doesn’t have a beginning, middle, end. It doesn’t follow a paragraph/sentence structure.

My thoughts often flutter incessantly and annoyingly. My journal captures it and shuts it up, giving it a sense of closure.

When I’m overwhelmed or stressed out, I sit down and write whatever comes to my mind. More often than not, I’m already thinking about these things, so what comes out on paper is a flurry of segments, undecipherable rubbish that makes perfect sense to only me. I start connecting my thoughts.

So- my writing looks like this:

Oh yeah, I also enjoy drawing stick figures. 😛

In my journal, I frequently assess myself. Where I’m at in life. Am I making a difference. Am I moving forward or at a standstill. This keeps me in check of whether or not my goals need to be adjusted.

After the general first thought, I reflect on the things I’ve accomplished in recent times, and whether I’m happy with it. Here, I specifically list activities that I’ve been pursuing lately. I write down everything worth noting.

Lately? I’ve been pursuing photography (very amateur, but please do check out my Instagram or Facebook for my recent photos!). My goal here is to capture pictures at an perception not thought of before. I have also been spending a lot of time exploring my own backyard in the mountains, and have been doing lots of hikes with my younger siblings.  

In my reflections, I also give note to life lessons I’ve learned. I enjoy writing reflection blog posts on my discovery of things in life that I did not understand before. It’s amazing to see the cultural differences between my parents’ generation (raised in Vietnam) and my younger siblings’ generation (raised in the United States).

When I’m not pondering my recent accomplishments, I turn to my future. I list my goals, my to-do list, my list of things to improve on. This is usually where I write down my next steps in career, travel destinations, new recipes to try, things to research, etc.


Travel notes

  • Here, I jot down a bullet list of the things that happen while traveling- and especially, my thoughts and feelings on them. I find that when I’m writing about blogs, it’s more difficult to remember what I felt while traveling versus the technical detail (which a quick google search can refresh my memory on).
  • try to come up with a blogging schedule, but it’s easier said than done. I get into inspirations and would write a blog post.

10 Things I’m Thankful For

Something I’ve picked up over the years, is that when I’m down, writing a list of things I’m grateful for gives me more purpose.

  • Family and loved ones
  • I appreciate where I’m at now, and my awareness of myself, my culture, my surroundings
  • I appreciate my small town in the mountains (which I cared for before)
  • Autumn and the beautiful photo opportunities
  • Classical music (which I’ve been listening to a lot lately)
  • Books – currently reading the Kite Runner
  • Food – I’m hoping to bake a pie for the first time this fall- eep!
  • Writing/blogging – and especially my fellow blogging friends. <3
  • The ability to do the things that I love
  • My future

Thanks for reading! This year, we’ve been getting into the Halloween spirit. Ready to take my siblings to go trick or treating! What’s on your journal/itinerary? Cheers to another beautiful autumn. <3

Here are some posts you might like!

The More I Know…

It’s true, what they say. You don’t truly appreciate what you have until it’s gone. Despite having travelled across the oceans, I have never fully explored my own back yard. Time to go back and walk the path I’ve never walked. 

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I’ve always wanted to leave the small towns.

I grew up in a small town, lived in one for most of my life. I never appreciated the autumn colors, the mild weather, the beautiful scape.

I’ve always wanted to move to a big city. When I had the chance, I left.

For a long time.

It’s been years since I’ve come home for more than 3 weeks. I guess it would be over five years now? I’ve looped around the world, and now I’m back.

I’m so thankful to have the time to come home, be with my family, have a productive time of my life where I can sit and think. I’m appreciating things I’ve never had before. We’ve been walking a section of the green way every day, seeing landscapes we’ve never seen before. It’s so beautiful. My mountains.

One Lovely Blog Award!

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I would like to give the biggest, warmest hug to Avid Observer for nominating me for the One Lovely Blog Award. If you don’t know the Avid Observer, go check ’em out! Their blog features thought provoking life lessons, that are both humorous and inspiring! 

A Giant Thank You to you all. These bloggers posses their own unique styles of representing their thoughts. Do make sure to visit their Lovely blogs.

Rules:

  • Each nominee must thank the person who nominated them and link their blog in their post.
  • They must include the rules and add the blog award badge as an image.
  • Must add 7 facts about themselves.
  • Nominate 15 people to do the award!

7 Fun / interesting facts about me:

  • I believe that success in life is defined by: Experiences, Pursuing your Passions, Family and Friends, Learning/Improving/Evolving, Food, Travel, Music. PS: money is not part of the equation.
  • My current hobbies: Blogging, Cooking, Photography, Broadway Shows, TV Shows (Series of Unfortunate Events)
  • My favorite websites to peruse when I’m bored are: Quora, Daily Flight Deals, educational and self-improvement sites and articles. I believe social media is a huge time-drainer- I unfortunately use them more than I’d like. /sigh.

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  • I am Vietnamese, born in the Philippines, and live in the United States. My parents were refugees from the war and I am forever thankful of the life they gave me. I’m hoping to write a book called The Refugees’ Daughter (or The Refugee’s Child – which title is better??)
  • I have been vegetarian/vegan all my life. My mom is best chef in the world, and I’m still learning.
  • Though I’m not a great writer, I love to write. I organize my thoughts through writing, and would be lost without my journal. Most of my thoughts come out as a page full of hectic, gibberish writing, but it makes me productive. I was freaking out on the bus to NYC when I had forgotten my notebook at home (18 hours by bus away). PS: electronic journalism will never replace my physical notebooks. 

My Nominees:

Shout out to all my nominees! You guys are awesome, let’s have some fun!! <3

 

Spread the LOVE 🙂

 

An Open Letter to Worried Parents

This is a bilingual blog post. Please scroll down to read in English!


Thưa ba mẹ,

Ba mẹ mới nghe cái quyết định cuộc sống mới nhất của con, va không hài lòng.

Trước khi ba mẹ nghĩ đây la ngu xuẫn và ngừng đọc, xin hãy nghe con nối xong. Con hiểu sụ lo láng của ba mẹ.

Tư khi con con nhỏ, ba mẹ luôn ỏ ben cạnh con. Ba mẹ đả nui lón con suốt 23 năm nay. Ba mẹ ỏ ben cạnh con trong lúc con mới biết đi và té, lúc con thành cong va thất bại. Ba mẹ lầm quá giò đễ cung cấp cho su khỏe mạnh, học hành, va co hội không giới hạn cua con.

Bỏi vi vạy, ba mẹ muốn con đi cái con đường an toàn nhất trong cuộc đời.

Từ lúc nhỏ, ba me lúc nào cung phải đóng vai trò người xấu, cực liệt phản đối nhửng gì con muốn làm. Chỉ là muốn con đi con đường đúng. Ba mẹ sợ những gì không chác chắn. Không biết con có một kế hoạch hay không. Không biết con có an toàn không. Không biết ba mẹ có nên ngan cảng con ve những “quyết định nguy hiểm đó không”.

Ba mẹ còn có thể làm gì? Ngoại trừ nói “Không!” đến những gì con muốn?

Bây giờ, con đã nói với ba mẹ, ba mẹ nghe nhu con đi trên một cái roller coaster mà không có đeo dây an toàn. Điều mà một người ngu xuẩn cũng thấy được đó là một cái ý ngu ngốc. Vì vậy, ba mẹ lập tức không cho.

Nhưng đợi một chút.

Nếu con có thể có một chút thời gian để cho ba mẹ xem… để giúp ba mẹ nhìn từ quan điểm của con

Con đã trưởng thành.

Mặc du con đã đủ tuổi để tự quyết định, nhưng con vẫn cồn muốn nói với ba mẹ mọi thứ.

Đó là vì con tôn trọng ba mẹ và muốn hỏi ý kiến ​​của ba mẹ. Con rất vui khi chia sẻ tin tức mới  với ba mẹ. Con muốn ba mẹ là một phần của cuộc đời con.

Nếu con theo một con đường an toàn không trở ngại trong cuộc đời, thì con sẽ học được gì? Con sẽ hiểu và cảm kích được gì? Mặt khác, nếu con không nói với ba mẹ? Điều gì sẽ xảy ra nếu thay vì con nối với ba mẹ, con làm những điều con muốn trong bí mật?

Bởi vì con đã chọn con đường của con, con đã trưởng thành, trở nên hợp lý hơn, cảm kích cược song hơn, thể hiện sự đánh giá cao trong bạn bè, trải qua những khó khăn thực sự mà con sẽ không có nếu con đã theo con đường mà ba mẹ đã chọn cho con.

Con đã tiến bộ về sự giao tiếp và sự quyết định của con.

Hay nhất là, con đã trở nên khôn ngoan hơn và sáng suốt. Con đã phát triển vượt ra ngoài cái, “kiếm được nhiều tiền.” Con luôn nghĩ đến cách làm tốt một cách đọc đáo. Để tạo ra một thế giới tốt đẹp hơn và cuộc sống tốt đẹp hơn. Đây không phải là những gì ba mẹ muốn cho con hây sao?

Người ta nối, không ai có thể biết làm ba mẹ là thế nào trước khi họ có con. Và đó là lý do con rất cảm ơn ba mẹ ỏ bên cạnh con. Ba mẹ đã làm rất tốt!

Con cũng biết là những ai theo nhửng đâm mê của họ thì sẽ hạnh phúc.

Ba mẹ đã cho con cuộc sống này, bây giờ ba mẹ có thể cho phép con sống nó được không?

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Dear Parents,

You just heard about my latest big life decision, and are displeased.

Before you think this is stupid and stop reading, please hear me out. I understand where you’re coming from.

Ever since I was little, you were there. You’ve raised me all these years. You’ve been there through all my toddles and tumbles, my successes and failures. You have worked overtime to make sure I am healthy, finish my education, and have unlimited opportunities.  

Because of that, you want me to take the safest, smartest route in life as possible.

You’ve had to always play the bad guy, always strongly opposing the things I want to do. Just to make sure I’m taking the right path. You’re terrified of uncertainty. Not knowing if I have a plan or if I am going places with my life. Not knowing if I am safe. Not knowing if you should be stopping me from these “reckless decisions.”

What else can you do? Except to consistently say “No!” to my endless list of desires?

Now, I’ve just told you, what seems to you like going on a roller coaster without a seatbelt. What a no-brainer could see that it is a stupid idea. So you instantly say no.

But wait.

If I can have a moment to show you… to help you see from my perspective…

I am mature.

I am old enough to make my own decision, but I choose to tell you everything.

It’s because I respect you and ask for your opinions. I’m excited to share my news with you. I want you to be a part of my life.  

If I follow a safe unchallenged path in my life, what will I learn? What will I understand and appreciate? On the flip side, what if I didn’t tell you? What if instead of communicating, I choose to do all these in secret?

Because I have chosen my path, I have grown, become more reasonable, more appreciative, shown great judgement in friends, undergone real hardships that I would not have had if I had followed a life you chose for me.

I have developed great communication skills and decision making skills.

Best of all, I have become wiser. I have developed far beyond “making lots of money.” I’m constantly thinking of ways to be outside the box. To make a better world and a better life. Isn’t that what you’ve been waiting for?

They say you don’t know what it’s like to be a parent until you have kids. I admit that it’s true. I cannot truly know, and that’s why I am so thankful to have you by my side. You’ve done a great job!

What I do know, is that those who follow their hearts are happier.

You gave me this life, now will you give me blessing to live it?

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Thanks for reading! This is a response to the 21 Weeks of Travel Blogging Challenge!

Interested in participating in the Weekly Travel Blogging Challenge? Feel free to make your own today!

Week 1:  A favorite travel photo of you and intro
Week 2: Little known tips
Week 3: Funny story
Week 4: Misadventures
Week 5: Top three cultural foods
Week 6: Unusual travel activities/photos
Week 7: Inspiration for traveling
Week 8: Five favorite travel blogs
Week 9: Gross/disgusting stories
Week 10: Best adventures while traveling
Week 11: What’s in your backpack?
Week 12: Happy and sad stories
Week 13: Unique cultures encountered
Week 14: Top three favorite destinations
Week 15: Travel regrets
Week 16: Scary and cool travel stories
Week 17: Things to purge
Week 18: Humbling things learned from traveling
Week 19: Confessions
Week 20: Travel bucket list (countries/activities)
Week 21: Your challenge post highlights and what you’ve learned during this challenge

These awesome people are also doing the challenge!!! Click to see their stories!

 

Summer Reflections!!!

Hi everyone!!! ~~~

I’d like to thank all my readers and travel blogging companions for all the wonderful interactions through the summer. This community has been so helpful in shaping my goals, interests, and writing. I’m incredibly happy to have kick-started my blogging project over the year, and writing has been a constant source of stress relief and support.

I like to write reflections from time to time to remind myself what goals I have and where I’m at in my life. During these time in my moods, I tend to get existential, and rant about all the things I could do better. Let’s see then, shall we?

Some mini-milestones I’ve passed this summer!

Took a family vacation (We haven’t had one in years! Post to come…) to Florida, gulf side. Wow, are the beaches there beautiful.

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Started my 2nd remote job. My office is set up right in my bedroom. I was so surprised when I received my equipment set: laptop, backdrop, camera, etc. I am so thrilled to be part of this work-from-home team. Honestly, before I got my 1st remote job as an English instructor, I never knew these things existed.

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Saw Queen in New York! Who knew that I would get to be in the same breathing space as the rocking legends? Adam Lambert was fantastic. They threw a spectacular show unlike any other concert. I was up and dancing pretty much the whole way. While we’re there, we also saw some awesome shows: Regina Spektor, Dear Evan Hansen, Great Comet, Waitress

 

Went on a 3-day timeshare vacation. We’ve all heard of the horror stories and how people get stuck in these presentation for 4+ hours! We got out more than alive, loved it, and will be coming back. Aaaaand, we didn’t buy any timeshares. 😉

Hope you enjoyed my shiny new adventures! Don’t forget to let me know what you think.



Fun travels aside, these few months, I’ve been struggling with some thoughts and issues that I’d like to share. Maybe I’ll have some input from all of you.

I’ve pondering whether or not I could be doing more, career-wise. Should I give in to one of those boring 9-5 office jobs, but pays more and is more professional?

Doing something to make a difference should be today’s form of currency.

Graduate school? I’ve been constantly asked whether or not I want to go. It’s not that I don’t want to go, but the risk of spending $100K on getting a piece of paper when I could be learning from all these available online resources doesn’t make sense to me. I was fortunate enough to graduate college without debt, and I love that. I’m able to use all my hard-earned money for things I love to do. But then, there’s always that pressure from people to get an advanced degree. What’s the right answer?

I could improve….

I’m so sorry, everyone! I’ve been so off my game with keeping up with blog posts. Honestly, doing a weekly post is harder to keep up with than I could ever imagine. I admire my fellow blog challenge friends who schedule their posts. To make up for it, I’ll share this picture

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Another thing I need to keep in mind: languages and learning! I’m constantly trying to remind myself to practice my Spanish and Chinese, the languages I learned in high school and college. There are so many free online resources, yet I’m so lazy and complacent, that I’ve been slowly forgetting all these awesome lessons.

Also, music! I keep forgetting in my moments of most stress, I could be learning some new tunes on my uke, guitar, keyboards.


What are some of your goals and reflections the last few months? Cheers!

Everything Else is a Distraction

There’s only one thing I need in life… everything else is a distraction. 

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(I’ve picked up bracelet weaving lately. I’ve always loved crafting, and I’ve been told to try selling online. Do you, or any young kids in your house, like nerdy plush toys? Please, please, please check out my recently opened Etsy store!)

Photo Challenge: Focus