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Are you Team Profession or Team Industry?

Are you Team Profession or Team Industry?

Do you see yourself as a member of the translation/writing profession or a player in the translation/writing industry? Do you align yourself with the mastery of the craft (Team Profession) or the dynamics of industry and market (Team Industry)?

My two cents:

The most forward-thinking and successful individuals realize that true excellence lies in marrying the two.

Being Team Profession is about honing your skills and deepening your knowledge. It's a commitment to lifelong learning, excellence in practice, and an unwavering dedication to quality. Whether you're a medical translator or writer, being part of this team means striving to be the best in your field.

On the flip side, Team Industry focuses on understanding your profession's business, market trends, and broader ecosystem. It's about recognizing the importance of networking, marketing, and strategic thinking.

So, let me ask you another question:

Why choose?

In a time where the current landscape is constantly being reshaped by technology and client preferences, being both highly skilled and market-savvy has become non-negotiable:

  • By developing your professional skills while monitoring industry trends, you become more adaptable to changes. This versatility and adaptability are huge assets.

  • Deep professional knowledge, combined with an understanding of the market, fosters innovation. When you're well-versed in your craft and aware of what your audience needs, you're in a prime position to create solutions that are highly sought after.

  • Professionals who excel in their craft and understand the business side of things tend to stand out. They're not just a cogwheel in a process they do not control; they become consultants, leaders, educators, and change-makers in their fields.

  • Balancing professional expertise with industry savvy allows you to make a more significant impact. It enables you to contribute to your field in a way that is both meaningful and relevant, leading to greater personal and professional fulfillment.

Sounds easy, right? No, not really – you might say.

I hear you…

It does require a mindful approach and the awareness that it's a long game:

  • Invest in both your professional development and your understanding of the industry. Attend workshops, subscribe to relevant publications, and stay curious.

  • Connect with peers across both spectrums. Networking can provide insights into industry trends and open up doors for professional growth.

  • Set goals that encompass both professional excellence and industry engagement. Regularly assess your progress and adjust your strategies as needed.

  • Be open to change and ready to pivot your strategies according to shifting priorities and emerging opportunities.

The industry is composed of diverse entities, including service providers like language service companies and medical communication agencies, academic institutions, direct clients, consumers of translation and writing outputs, software developers, etc.

We, the professionals, are the backbone, driving the industry forward with our expertise and dedication.

However, as you refine your craft, don't forget the business dimension—be it marketing yourself, managing your finances, or navigating market demands. Otherwise, you risk merely reacting to changes, often belatedly, rather than adopting a proactive stance in seeking out new opportunities and adapting to market evolutions.

Conversely, as you expand your business horizons, you must continuously improve your knowledge and skills. Failing to do so puts you at risk of overpromising and underdelivering, undermining your credibility and value.

Therefore, embrace both roles fully: stay abreast of business and marketing trends—walk like a duck, swim like a duck, and quack like a duck—while simultaneously dedicating yourself to mastering your profession—be the duck.


What do you think?

I'm curious to know where you stand on the Team Profession vs. Team Industry debate.

Do you lean more towards honing your craft, or do you find navigating the business side just as crucial?

Perhaps you’ve found a balance between the two?

Whatever your strategies, challenges, or triumphs, I’d love for you to share them!


Ana Sofia Correia - Medical Translator and Writer

Thank you for reading this issue of Perspectives on Medical Translation & Writing!

Ana Sofia


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