Some of you may have heard and/or read about it, but there is currently a request for proposal making the rounds that is very interesting to me, since the subject matter is classical music. It doesn’t happen all that often that an opportunity like this comes around, so naturally, the project drew my attention.
The list of requirements is quite long, and  – as unfortunately is so often the case – the selection criteria is the price, but I am considering applying nevertheless.
The problem is, however, that one requirement is that the 4-eye principle be applied and that one of the two translators has to be a native English speaker. So far, I have not had a native-speaker translator who is also a musician on my list, so I had to find one, and quickly, since the application deadline is looming (end of next week).

But how to go about it? This is where a good network comes into play. I keep saying that you cannot know too many people in business, and that it doesn’t matter that much whether you have actually met in person or not. (Yes, I agree, there are situations, including in business relationships, where it does matter, but not for many things.)
Fortunately, I am part of many mailing lists, online groups and forums (which is how I heard about this tender in the first place, btw), and it didn’t take long after I wrote some posts and also approached some people directly (hooray for the BDÜ online database that lets me search by specialty!) that I had several colleagues filling my mailbox and even calling me, including several suggesting others (word-to-mouth is more valuable and effective than you think!).

The next step of course was to figure out who could be a potential partner, just for this project and/or for others in the future. This is the difficult part, and I don’t have any specific advice other than:
 – try to get to know each other’s styles, both in translations and working methods
– trust your gut! (Don’t underestimate this last point! I’d rather miss out on a job than have to deal with someone that makes my life more difficult, for example on the inter-personal level or – horror! – when it comes to money.)

I met a couple of really nice colleagues this last week whom I will definitely keep on my list and in my mind, even if this particular project doesn’t work out, so the process will have been worth it for me regardless of the outcome there.

How about you? Have you a list of colleagues you can fall back on and/or cooperate with? How about your network? Can it offer what you need when you need it?
I’d be interested to hear about your strategies and stories in the comments below! Thanks for sharing!

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