The field of interpreting is growing and the expectations of interpreters are increasing at a faster rate than ever before. This is an exciting time in our field, but it can be very stressful without someone to help you navigate the journey.
Historically, interpreters have experienced the “gap” between the completion of an interpreter education program and obtaining national certification. The time between training and certification can be reduced by participating in a mentorship with a trained mentor as your guide.
Mentoring is an avenue for extending the professional development experience beyond interpreter education programs and toward certification. Mentorships usually occur between an interpreter who is looking for some level of professional development and a mentor with specialized training to guide this development journey. However, peer mentoring, informal mentoring, interpreter observations and a host of other activities can be part of an interpreter’s journey.
Research shows that mentee-driven mentorships yield the best results. This is when the interpreter or “mentee” drives the process. The interpreter will create their own initial goals, use self-assessment tools to determine areas needing improvement, and participate in the development of skill-building activities. The mentor’s role is to guide the process, support the interpreter, and offer assistance at all levels during the mentorship.
Goals within mentorships can include skill development, discussion about ethical decision-making, the demands of the interpreting experience, preparation for certification, and a variety of other topics affecting the daily life of an interpreter.
If you are looking for a mentor or need guidance in your professional development journey, we recommend that you contact Cindy Farnham, Master Mentor and RID certified interpreter to obtain information about mentoring. Cindy mentors in Sacramento and the surrounding communities of northern California. Cindy owns a private mentoring practice, works as a consultant in the field of mentoring and trains certified interpreters to become professional mentors. For more information about mentoring, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org