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Going from full-time to part-time - your experiences?
Thread poster: Nesrin

Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:00
English to Arabic
+ ...
May 8, 2008

For reasons I don't need to go into now, I intend to take on a non-translation part-time job soon. I'll be working 3 days a week, normal working hours.
The income is good for a part-time job, but not enough, so I intend to go on translating on a part-time basis. But I'm a bit worried about the consequences. How will my translation clients react to my decreased productivity? Does anyone have a similar experience and how did you manage to keep the translation career going? Are there certain kinds of jobs that you have had to stop accepting?

Thanks for sharing


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bohy  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 04:00
English to French
+ ...
it does not make much difference for translation agencies May 9, 2008

Whether you are full-time translator or not, you share your activity between several customers. It is always admissible to say that you are not 100% on a project, and have to share with other projects.
Plus, translation jobs tend to come by the end of the week so if you are somewhat flexible to work on week-ends, plus have two full days during the week, and are able to work in the evening if necessary, it should not be too difficult...
I have tried everything, full-time engineer + translator, part-time engineer + translator, full-time translator, and switched back and forth, it all works if you are organized and a good worker...
You will have to choose what jobs you take or not, or maybe it's time to drop some customers, or to rise slightly your prices if they are a bit lower than you would like...


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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:00
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Longer jobs May 9, 2008

Thanks bohy,

I suppose you're right, you can always tell you're clients that you're not free to take on a job at the moment.
The bit I'm still worried about is that I won't be able to accept longer jobs anymore - e.g a job that would normally take me 10 days to complete would now take me twice as much - unless the client's deadline is very generous. Smaller jobs will also be a problem if my inhouse job employer asks me to come every other day (Monday, Wednesday, Friday), rather than three days in a row (Mo-We), which would allow me to work Thu-Sun.


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Luisa Ramos, CT  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:00
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
I did it full time May 9, 2008

I held a part time job, and then a full time job (none related to translation), while freelancing. I never told anyone that I had these jobs. I kept freelancing, never missed a deadline, and never refused a job, although many times I was able to negotiate deadlines. Did I work my ... off? You bet! Nights and weekends included. But I managed to do it without losing any of my regulars, and without losing face ever. It helped that mine was an empty nest at the time.

One thing that allowed me to juggle everything: I got a cellular phone with Internet access and email. I never missed a job, a message, a query, etc. I seemed to be always available.

Now, I work full time as an in-house translator and interpreter, and continue freelancing. But this time I informed my contacts. I have noticed a slight decrease from one agency, but I have gained two other very long-term contracts from clients which provide me with continued work, thus an steady second income. I feel very fortunate and I wish the same for you.


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Margreet Logmans  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 04:00
English to Dutch
+ ...
Wow Luisa! May 9, 2008

wow Luisa, hats off to you!

I couldn't do it.
In fact, I was happy to give up my (not so well-paid) parttime job after about a year of freelancing. I was happy to have some financial security, but even happier when I found out the income from my freelancing was enough to give up my other job.

Nesrin, I respect your privacy and won't ask for your reasons. I would just like to say that I found it stressful to have both a 'real' job and my work as a freelancer (not to mention private life). Good planning, time management and self discipline are key here, and these turned out not to be my strengths...

I wish you good luck, and remember, if it does not work out for you, you can always go back to freelancing fulltime.


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Luisa Ramos, CT  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:00
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
Let me clarify May 9, 2008

I first had a part time job, while freelancing; I then switched to a full time job, while freelancing. Not that I had 2 jobs and the freelancing. I am no Wonder Woman.

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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:00
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks May 9, 2008

Thanks for all the replies - whether those I got here or the ones that were sent straight to my inbox, for privacy reasons


[Edited at 2008-05-09 21:18]


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Margreet Logmans  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 04:00
English to Dutch
+ ...
Response May 9, 2008

Luisa Ramos wrote:

I first had a part time job, while freelancing; I then switched to a full time job, while freelancing. Not that I had 2 jobs and the freelancing. I am no Wonder Woman.


But a full time job and freelancing is still impressive, if you ask me.

At Nesrin:
I don't like to discuss my private life in these forums, but I'll give you this: things got a lot easier when the kids went to school. Now my main working hours are the hours they spend in school. (Holidays are not the best time for my business)

[Edited at 2008-05-09 22:12]


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Fabiana Zardo  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 01:00
Member (2009)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I have a full time job and freelance May 13, 2008

I work ful time (although i'm changing to a part-time next week) and let me tell you, it's crazy!

Since I don't have regular clients and I work for agencies, I only had to refuse those crazy 50-page-for-tomorrow jobs.

The only thing is that you need to be organized and yeah, you won't have weekends, holidays!


Good Luck!


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