Blog post by Laura.

Yesterday, as I was closing the door to our apartment to go to the grocery store, I met a neighbour.

  • Oh, the new neighbour! Hello! How are you? How do you like the neighbourhood? You will see, you will love it. I have lived here since this building was built and I can tell you this is an excellent area to live in!

A month ago, we moved to another neighbourhood, after more than ten years of staying in another area of the city. Since then, we are the new neighbours, our eldest is the new boy, our daughter is the new baby here. Fortunately, every neighbour we met since moving was very nice, and they all encouraged and welcomed us. Honestly, it was a surprise.

The children took our son in their group and taught him their games. He is thrilled and often says: Mom, I made new friends! I like it here!

One evening, I was thinking about this change, and I started to realise that at least once in our lives we were “the new guy”, “the new girl”, “the new colleague”. I remembered all the emotions and stress I had every time I was “the new one” at work, in school, and in the translation field.

And I also remembered how the “seniors” treated me.  They weren’t always nice, to say the least, and I had a lot of lessons to learn on the way.

I see a lot of translators’ groups lately, where colleagues ask questions and others answer, where the “new ones” seek advice and they often get them. But unfortunately, many times the “new ones” are made fun of, are told that what they think is entirely wrong, are faced with the reality of “we know better than you” because they are in the branch for just a few months.

I really think empathy is the best solution for all the situations in our lives, with our children, with our parents, at work, with our neighbours, and even with strangers who ask for directions for example. We should always put ourselves in their shoes, and remember that there were moments when we were in their shoes.

Experience and more knowledge in a field do not give us the right to be sarcastic and to have a self-righteous attitude. There are a lot of ways to correct things, to comment on situations or to “give lessons” to others.

This is one of our concerns at TranslateCluj. Apart from wanting to become more experienced with new technologies and to learn how we can create quality content, we also want to learn soft skills, which are often vital.

We want to encourage “new translators” (and not only) to join us in this beautiful community, where everybody is treated with respect and empathy. I really think that we have a lot to learn from each other, and we invite you to share your experiences with us.

So, how did you feel being “the new one” in different situations in your life? What did you learn from that experience? Share your thoughts in the comments below or in our TranslateCluj closed group!

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