What do you do for work and how did you get started?
I'm an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter. Honestly, I kind of tripped and fell into this work. I moved to North Carolina and joined a roller derby league as an official. One of the skaters in the league was deaf and rather than having to rely on others to translate for me, I started learning the language so that I could better communicate with her. Then I found an interpreting program at a local community college. I didn't think I would actually pursue it as a career, but I wanted to learn more about the language and what it's like to be an interpreter. Before graduation, we had to do an internship and the first day of the internship I fell in love. There was no looking back, I was like "This is it. This is my new job."
How long have you been interpreting?
I've been interpreting for almost 5 years now. Before that I worked a lot of retail jobs, but nothing quite felt right. Now I work as an independent contractor for an agency.
What types of interpreting work do you do?
The only thing I'm not qualified to work in is the court system, but I've worked everywhere else -- emergency rooms, cancer centers, ICUs, regular doctor's visits. I deal with children, elderly people, people with mental illness, and just regular business people. I go literally everywhere, but I primarily work in schools and in hospitals.
How does Catch help you?
I'm an independent contractor so I get paid my gross income-- they don't take out my Social Security, they don't take out my taxes, nothing. And I am horrible at saving money. I'm really good a spending money, but saving is a different story! Now with Catch, I have something that does that automatically for me. And Autopilot makes it even better because I don't even have to login for every paycheck. I just love it.
What does the future of your career look like? Has anything changed due to the pandemic?
Overall, I don't think this will affect my career long-term. Right now I'm going into hospitals more since schools are closed and, unfortunately, hospitals are where a lot of people need interpretation. But if you think of everywhere you go in a month where you have to communicate important information with people, whether it's a doctor's appointment, or school, or heaven forbid a funeral home- anything like that, i'm an interpreter for it and I'm needed. Anywhere there is communication, I'm there. As long as people still have to go to these meetings and events, interpreters are fairly secure in terms of a career outlook. You just have to be prepared for times like these when there are more gaps and where we take hits in our workload.