Although many believe the role of a PM (Project Manager) is a simple routine office job, when you add in limited working hours and the daily drudgery of coming across the same problems, the reality is quite different. Although the position of Project Manager may vary for each translation agency around the world, in general terms, a typical day would look like this:
The alarm goes off. We look at our phone first, long before we turn on the computer. We read the responses from e-mails we sent the day prior, from translators or other agencies that are in opposite time zones. Well before arriving at the office, we are already responding to emails, assigning tasks, making corrections, and advancing on as much work as possible so that it doesn’t accumulate too much later on.
We arrive at the office, and we continue working. The only difference is that here, we work together with the AMs (Account Managers) who send us all the client orders, quotes, consultation and translation projects that we need to get a start on. Each project, each client, and each language pair has its unique characteristics, things that can only be learned with time and experience:
We take a look at the documents that need to be translated, decide if they need a previous conversion step, pre-editing step, and if subsequent design work will be needed in order to redesign or reformat images and adjust the new text format.
And then, the same course of action follows, as usual: find available translators and editors, explain how to best complete the job and how to include specific client requests, as well as what the deadlines are in order to develop each project according to the times and circumstances available. Many respond to e-mails immediately, others will respond when we are already asleep because they are on the other side of the world.
After the official workday has ended, e-mails, assignments and the review of documents and translations continues, considering we work with people from all parts of the Earth, a planet that never sleeps.
One thing is certain – being a Project Manager is a real challenge and requires concentration and above average cultural and technical expertise, something that may sound stressful, but where one can never be bored and is always learning new things and meeting interesting people.