The long-awaited catch-up – here’s what I’ve been up to. In August, I wrote about how quiet a month it was, due to the majority of my clients being in Italy. I certainly made up for that in September and October in work, outside of work and parallel to work. I’ll lay down the disclaimer now: this whole blog is something of a boast. But it’s good to recognise your own achievements, right?
A bucket load of CPD
I began September helping my clients catch up on their August backlog, but I reserved time in the last two weeks for the most extensive CPD I’ve done thus far. David Hutchins’ course on the English legal system, contract law and civil liability is a 16-hour distance learning course, which does what it says on the tin, really.
Having worked in an Italian law firm for a period of time, I felt my English legal system knowledge was most lacking and that this would give me a better grounding in the English language that lawyers really use. It’s a foundation upon which to build rather than a be-all-and-end-all solution and it would be great to do a similar course on the Italian legal system (all suggestions welcome). But those 16 hours were well worth it and I’m proud to have given up the time to focus on the course… achievement #1 ✅!
Working for myself is a huge benefit in terms of flexibility and that allowed me not only to take the course but to do so from my parents’ house and from London. I spent those two weeks between the two places, the first to spend some quality time with my family (including two-year-old nephew) and the second to accompany my boyfriend (who was on a training course himself) and catch up with London-based friends.
That also conveniently placed me in London for some further CPD (achievement #2 ✅), an afternoon of talks on the UK’s Indigenous Languages at Europe House. The event was hosted by the European Commission Representation in London and was absolutely fascinating, a wonderful event – you’ll have to read more about that in the next issue of the ITI Bulletin, though!
And that is precisely down to (what I consider to be) achievement #3 ✅: in October I’ve managed to squeeze a lot of writing into my busy schedule and by the release of the next issue of the ITI Bulletin I will have had three articles posted in the magazine. They have largely revolved around events so far, but I love writing so much it’s a pleasure to be published in a revered industry publication. I see it as a stepping stone to future in-depth pieces, so it’s an achievement that opens the door to future achievements!
In the meantime, I also undertook my first pro bono job for Translators Without Borders. In my experience, it’s not often that Italian-English pops up as a language direction for TWB, but I was thrilled to be involved in translating an important dossier for Terres des Hommes, a charity that strives to protect children across the globe, released for International Day of the Girl Child. Unfortunately, I can only seem to find the Italian version online, but I’ll update this as and when I uncover the English. We’re up to #4 ✅!
Even more CPD
That took me up to achievement #5 ✅ on the last weekend of September. The ITI Scottish Network’s Autumn Workshop was held in Edinburgh and I whizzed up to it overnight on the Caledonian Sleeper (not so much an achievement but it was a new and exciting experience!).
The workshop focused on the ITI’s Code of Conduct, why it’s important for us to know and understand it and how we can quote it if we ever find ourselves in the unfortunate position to need to defend ourselves. Again, if you check out the next edition of the Bulletin, you’ll be able to read more on that and I’d strongly recommend doing so – it was one of the most insightful workshops I’ve been to.
Keeping up the pace with personal achievements
That’s how I went storming into October and it didn’t stop there. If you know me or have ever read this blog, it may have come to your attention that I love cycling. Last month I had the opportunity to undertake a course that would let me share that love with others: British Cycling’s HSBC Breeze initiative.
This is one of the best things I’ve ever been involved in. The premise is that, by committing to leading a minimum of eight women-only rides a year, cycling ladies can undertake a Level One Ride Leaders’ Course gratis. The idea behind the premise is to carry cycling away from its current status as a male-dominated sport, which largely stems from a lack of confidence in many women to get out on the roads (and that isn’t helped by the lack of suitable rides available at mostly-male cycling clubs).
To qualify, I also had to take a First Aid Course – which I did, by driving three hours to Glasgow and back in a day, the weekend after the course in Edinburgh! Knackering as that may have been, I passed the course, passed the first aid and have lead one ride already. Taking me to #5, 6 and 7 ✅✅✅! I’m really excited to lead more rides and would really encourage ladies to get in touch to find out how they get involved.
Some more work news
October also brought me my first sizeable job from a direct client (found, of course, through a friend of a friend, proving it’s worth making a point of helping others when they ask). I can’t say much about the project just yet, but it was exceedingly rewarding to be working on something so interesting and important in equal measures. #8 ✅!
Well, I deserve a break, don’t you think? I’m off to Australia for three weeks, my first holiday since self-employment and my chance to grab some much-needed rest (and sunshine). I’m not ashamed to show off a little bit as it’s been a big year! Anyway, we never stop learning (and we can’t stop earning), so December and the New Year hold much more intense CPD, hopefully even further business growth and definitely lots of chilly cycles as a Breeze Champion!