6th Sep 2022
Our next client origin story comes from Caitlin Job, translator and copywriter. I love how Caitlin aligned skills and interest and took further qualifications to nurture a particular aspect of the work to set up a specialist and rounded, ethical business. It's really interesting to learn more about professional translation and what that entails too.
Hi, I’m Caitlin Job. I translate French online and print content into English. I also write blog posts, newsletters, website copy and more in English for sustainable and ethical businesses.
When people learn what I do, they often ask about translation (much more so than copywriting), so to start off, here are a few signposts to help you navigate the industry:
Now onto me and my business. My freelance journey started when I moved back to the UK from France, where I had been working in-house as a translator.
I fell into freelancing because there aren’t many in-house translation positions in the UK.
I mainly specialised in marketing and tourism as that was what I’d been doing in-house, and I love learning about new places and introducing English speakers to French culture.
I’ve always been passionate about nature and the environment. I remember lovingly carrying round a dogeared copy of a DK butterfly book, eager to spot a new species.
Moving to Bristol only made me more interested in the environment and sustainability – and it has given me a slightly warped view of what a normal number of vegetarian and vegan options is on a menu!
After freelancing for a while, I started feeling uncomfortable with some of my translation work as it targeted jet-setters, which didn’t align with my own lifestyle and beliefs.
When lockdown hit, travel and tourism translations dried up overnight. I decided to use the extra time to take a step back and evaluate my business.
Aligning my specialisms with my personal interests seemed like a no-brainer if I wanted to do my bit to make a difference.
I had also done some copywriting projects while working as a translator and enjoyed being able to create my own content rather than using other people’s words, so I took the College of Media & Publishing’s copywriting course and graduated with a distinction.
That makes it sound like I was incredibly productive during lockdown, but I binged my fair share of TV and baked countless cakes too. I just didn’t have much work or any kids.
Since then, my business has focused on helping purpose-led companies.
As a translator, I enable ethical French brands to market themselves in the UK. I also translate tourism texts for organisations championing a sustainable tourism ethos and content related to sustainable building, from smart cities to off-site construction.
As a copywriter, I write copy that clearly explains what makes a company and its products/services great, rather than the usual marketing focused on urgently buy, buy, buying.
I believe transparency is the key to earning customer trust. And it can help combat greenwashing (when companies make out that they’re more sustainable than they are).
I particularly love making complex ideas accessible. Often solutions to the climate crisis are complicated, and people need to be able to understand them if they’re going to become widespread.
I currently do more translation than copywriting, but I’d like to have a more even split in the future. I’m planning to donate a proportion of my profits to an environmental charity or tree planting campaign, but I still have some research to do to find the right one.
Like all businesses, mine is a work in progress. But as a firm believer in transparency, I share the steps I’m taking to reduce my impact as a business owner in a social responsibility charter on my website, including using Green Hosting!