Creating and managing your own contact list of reliable colleagues

When you have an accident, you need a colleague who can cover your back in such a case of emergency, right?  Or imagine this other pretty common situation: someone asks you for a colleague or reference to translate/interpret a certain language pair or specialization other than yours, but nobody crosses your mind at that unexpected moment. So, I’ll be straight forward: we need a digital list of colleagues in our computer.

In fact, I decided to write this post a few months ago, when I had an accident at home last year mopping the floor. I had tons of projects in my back. Yes, I could handle them and absolutely met all deadlines (yay!), but still needed some help. Maybe you know whom to recommend, but what about if that person is unavailable? That’s why I created a [blank] list for you to include recommended colleagues you closely know, met in a conference, or have a close professional relationship by networking in social media sites. Well, it takes some time to fill it out and personalize it, but it’s definitely worth it.

Here you can download my blank samples created in Excel:

Sample 1 (by Specialization)


Sample 2 (by Language)

Feel free to personalize it (colors, tabs, and/or languages).

If Excel is not your cup of tea, you can download an app to manage business cards, as my colleague and friend Emeline Jamoul recommended in her article How to Manage your Business Cards. Social media sites and databases from translators associations are excellent sources, but you’d save a lot of time if you take a look at your own list.

Looking forward to read your comments and feedback!

Thank you so much for reading this post and hope you have a lovely weekend!


8 thoughts on “Creating and managing your own contact list of reliable colleagues

  1. Interesting post! I completely agree, Brenda! From day one as a freelancer I’ve been experiencing how important it is to have colleagues you can rely on and with whom you can share all kinds of happy or not so happy stuff. Recently I’ve received some crucial feedback during the process of creating my brand and web page, and I’ve been asked questions too, which makes me feel helpful for others too. And being closer to our colleagues is, in my opinion, the best way to empower our profession.

    • Hello, Victoria! Thank you so much for your comment. Yes, I agree with you. It is very important for us not only to have someone who can cover your back in unexpected moments, but also colleagues with whom you share the same values, ethics, and trust anything that may concern you in a future. It’s so wonderful to count on technology today, isn’t it?


  2. Thanks for the suggestion, Brenda. As I’m just starting out in translation, resources like this are really useful! I think it’s great your colleagues help you out in this way. Do you get much work as a result of being recommended by colleagues?

      • Hello, Magda!

        Thank you so much for your comment. And yes, that’s also a part I completely forgot to mention *blush*. I don’t have kids, yet, but I may within a couple of years, right? hehe.

        Hope you have a great start of the week!

    • Dear Katie,

      Thank you so much for your feedback!

      First of all, I must apologize for my late reply, I’ve been sick due to these recent weather changes, but I’m going to be ok ;-). I am so glad that you posted this question.
      Yes, I’ve gotten offers and assignments as a result of being recommended by colleagues. In fact, when you have great relationships with colleagues, one can recommend to each other or to one another. Of course, I couldn’t accept some of the assignments because it was pretty far from my current town or some of those specialization areas were different than mine, but I had the luck of knowing others who definitely lived way closer to those places.
      Technology does wonders and, even if we have phones, sometimes people get quicker responses via email or text messaging.

      If you have any question or comment, please feel free to share it with us. Again, thank you so much for everything and hope you have an amazing day (or start of the week 😉 ).


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