At the end of the training this evening, one runner asked me if I had any vacation plans. I said "No, I'm broke" and told her about the work I'd been doing and the plans I had for a career change. When I mentioned translation, another runner butted in and suggested I applied with [company from the list I posted earlier]. I said I had been to their website and that I knew they were looking for both freelancers and staff translators. I asked her if she worked there. She said she worked for [company I had actually applied with in May last year], so I asked her if she was the one who'd stolen my vacancy.
She answered that the vacancy had gone to a candidate with eight years' consecutive experience. That was interesting - I hadn't got around to calling that company again and asking why they hadn't hired me, even though I knew I really ought to have. There was no way I could have beaten that candidate.
I asked her how the test translations were judged - specifically whether field-specific language use wasn't weighted rather more heavily in the judging process than companies claim it is. She answered that it was factored in in the case of freelancers, but not so much with staff translators.
While the end of a running training, when you're all sweaty and light in the head and gasping for breath, probably isn't the best time to evaluate information like that, I did come away with the impression that I need to work on my IT-related vocabulary. So my plan to do as many test translations as I can is a good one, but I also need to do some real work in the field. I think I should do some localisation work for an open-source software project, just to develop my skills in the real world. Preferably it should be open-source software that I use, because I'm more likely to already have domain-specific vocabulary for it. I'll look for a project.
It's interesting how much you can find out about people in your sports club. I know there's a fair number of nurses in my group, some sports instructors, one very well-traveled marketer in tailored suits, and when I'm face to face with several others, I could probably remember, or perhaps even guess, what industries they're in. And it's not like I spend a lot of time socialising with them after the training - perhaps I should.
Also, many people find it very interesting to be talking to an illustrator or cartoonist. Despite the fact that the VOIC alone has over a hundred members, it's very much considered a rare, even unique, profession to be in. Mentioning it has been a good ice-breaker in many places including my running club. One reason to hang on to the title for a little longer - at least until I've settled down in whatever my new career will turn out to be.