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The Ladder of Life

Written by Jacqui Flint

ITI Admissions Officer Jacqui Flint explains the Ladder of Life concept discussed in Peter Flade's recent presentation at the Translating Europe Forum 2017.

There is much talk about the Work - Life balance and how to achieve it. I recently watched a recording from the Translating Europe Forum 2017, of a keynote speech given by Peter Flade, a senior researcher at Gallup. He gave some very interesting research-based insights into the links between work and a great life, trends in the workplace and how the Millennial generation want to work differently.

Here’s a short summary of the first part of the speech about the Ladder of Life:

 

Imagine a Ladder of Life with the 10th rung being the best life you can imagine for yourself and the 1st rung being the worst life you can imagine. Which rung, from 1 to 10, would you place yourself on?

If you rated yourself 1-4 then you are in the Suffering group; 5 or 6 is the Struggling group (63% of people) and 7-10 is the Thriving group. We would all like to be in the thriving category but how can we achieve that?

Gallup research has shown there are 5 strong indicators to where we believe we are on the ladder:

  1. Enjoying what you do every day and learning something new and interesting. In a work context this is about looking forward to your working day and feeling engaged with the people you work with
  2. Social – having enough time to spend with people we care about. The optimum amount of time seems to be 6 hours a day. That’s only going to be possible if you feel a connection with the people you work with
  3. Financial – stability of earnings rather than the actual amount. This is always going to be more difficult to achieve for freelancers
  4. Physical health
  5. Community – getting involved in something bigger than yourself, perhaps volunteering or working in some way for the benefit of the whole community.

 

As a translator or interpreter how could you use these indicators to move your life further up the ladder?

From a work perspective, focus on what you enjoy doing and become really good at that through developing your skills and knowledge.  Undertake training and CPD whenever possible. Think about the skills you will need to keep yourself relevant for the next 25 years (nearer 40 years if you are one of the Millennial generation). Where you have weaknesses, find a good working partner who has that strength and work collaboratively to maximise both of your strengths. Networking and joining ITI regional groups will broaden your potential contacts and collaborators and add to your social life! Be prepared to challenge yourself and take calculated risks; the Millennial generation do this without batting an eyelid.

For those of you who manage others, the currency of modern leadership will be influencing skills not authority. Develop a friendly working environment where staff are trusted to take on responsibility, learning opportunities are integral and recognition is commonplace.

If you would like to hear more about future trends and the Millennial generation, then please follow the link below to the full recording. (Approx 45 minutes) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKtSA81iz9E

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