Ask and You Shall Receive

Next week, I am returning to the CDC for another 3 week conference during which I will be interpreting simultaneously. This is a difficult and a technical conference. I have worked at this conference twice in the past though so I am getting pretty familiar with the vocabulary.

When I got the call for the job, I was offered the same day rate as before. No surprise there, after all, why would they decide to increase the rate? But since the rate had not changed since my first time there (1 and a half years ago) and since I am getting comfortable with the vocabulary, I decided that an increase would be welcome.

So I asked. I asked for more than what I was hoping for, leaving plenty of room for them to come down and still be happy. I was nervous asking for this raise as I don’t want to be perceived as the “Prima donna” or “diva”. I don’t want them to think that I am being difficult, yet I felt that it was essential to stand up for myself and my worth. After all, I know a lot of the terminology and I am a local interpreter (so they do not have to pay for hotel, airfare or per diem). If I don’t ask for it, it will never happen. There were times when I regretted my decision and I feared that I would lose the entire contract, but in the end I did get a raise! It was not as much as I was hoping for, but it is still a raise. And to me that in and of itself is a victory. Sometimes all you need to do is ask!

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