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.
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.
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.
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