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My encounter with Japan and Japanese was an inevitable miracle!
What is your professional background?
My name is Akylina and I am a translator, editor/proof reader and researcher from Greece. I have a BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Athens, Greece and an MSc in Comparative Literature from the University of Edinburgh, UK. Languages have been my passion since I was little, and my encounter with Japan and Japanese was an inevitable miracle. I started learning Japanese 13 years ago and every day I feel I can discover new aspects of this beautiful language that make me fall in love with it all over again.
The Greek-Japanese Association in Athens, Greece.
I am in the green ukata.
During my undergraduate studies, I started doing some freelance editing and translation jobs that I really enjoyed because they allowed me to work while also being able to focus on my university and life obligations. Ever since I have worked with numerous clients and companies.
Graduation from University of Edinborough With a masters degree in Comparative Literature
What led you to join Workshift?
My first translation jobs were in English and Greek and this market is already kind of saturated here in Greece. There are many students and professional translators who offer their services for this language pair (sometimes for ridiculously low prices) and finding projects to work on for a reasonable price became more and more difficult. I was looking for opportunities to use my Japanese skills when I stumbled upon Workshift and I thought to give it a try. Needless to say, I was over the moon when I received my first translation project!
I can work from home!
How has it worked out for you?
Workshift has proven to be a great platform for freelancers like me who want to expand their clientele and experience towards the Japanese market. The job search is quite simple, the application process is straightforward and the communication with the companies/clients has always gone very smoothly for me so far. The payment method I have opted for is Paypal, and I have always received my agreed payment in due time without any problems.
…Or, I can work from my balcony. Another favourite place to work!
Whether I do it full-time or as side projects, freelancing is a great way to work by doing something that I like, while also being in charge of my own schedule and working space. As a person with anxiety issues and many side projects, I find that freelancing suits my lifestyle perfectly, since I can work from pretty much anywhere, while also being able to enjoy life, travelling and spending time with family and friends.
How does this fit with your lifestyle in Greece?
As everyone knows by now, the financial situation in Greece is in shambles and sometimes that creates rather unstable working conditions. I have found that freelancing is a very creative way out of this madness. You get to choose the work that you do, you work with clients on a set deadline and fee and there is no extra anxiety or the feeling that your job offers you nothing at all apart from money. Although more and more people turn to being freelancers in Greece, the society in general is still sceptical about freelancing being “a real job”. I have had to deal with this myself, too, but I am hopeful that this attitude will change as the society’s needs also seem to shift.
My cat “Luna”
Will you build on this going forward?
Since I thoroughly enjoy translation and research, I plan to expand my options in the future. I would love to start building a steady clientele with whom I can work on projects on a regular basis. I love learning and expanding my horizons, so as I hone my Japanese skills more and more, I am hoping to get even more projects with Japanese clients in the future.
Posing with the rock bank Heidi at the J-rock concert in 2014
Do you have any advice for new freelancers?
Be patient, plan ahead, be realistic about your time and deadlines, be prompt in your communication with clients and, most importantly, have fun! I have been fortunate enough to truly enjoy the freelance work I get, whether it’s translation or research work, since I get the opportunity to learn so many new things I might not have known otherwise. It might take a while to establish yourself as a freelancer that companies and clients can trust, but it’s definitely worth the while! Enjoying what you do and planning your time carefully around your other obligations are the most important keys to success, in my opinion.
Travel to Poland as part of the Erasmus higher education exchange program!