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Being freelance and being isolated
Thread poster: xxxsavaria
xxxsavaria
Hungary
Local time: 06:42
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Sep 17, 2008

Somewhere in a forum thread I have read a very interesting post saying that X.Y used to work at a company for Z years,and now he/she is freelancer.S/he says that being freelance is good because you can determine your daily routine and this gives you a kind of feeling of freedom,but you have to cope with being isolated.

That hit me the nail into my head,and I want to ask those of you who do not have a regular daily 6 or 8-hour-job whether you feel lonely or isolated,and if so how you cope with it?

I do feel isolated sometimes,let me tell you.


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 07:42
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
That's true Sep 17, 2008

Freelance translation does not fit people who like to work directly with people. But at the end of the day you are able to do what you want, meet people etc. And you can always take an afternoon off without asking for permission.
Regards
Heinrich


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Anne Koth  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:42
German to English
What aspect bothers you? Sep 17, 2008

Sorry, I couldn't tell from your post if you meant that working alone bothered you, or that the timing of your working hours was a problem.
Working alone is a problem for me, as I tend to become a bit of a hermit if I'm not careful, and sitting alone talking to myself all day, while I'm perfectly happy with it, is probably not that healthy for me! I should get out more... I keep meaning to take up a hobby in the evening, but always have to take the kids to their activities then. Oh well, in a few years' time they'll be almost completely independent (and I'll probably be sad!).


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Karen Stokes  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:42
Member (2003)
French to English
It doesn't suit everyone Sep 17, 2008

In the past I've talked to colleagues who've got round the problem of being isolated by renting shared office space - they work independently but have someone to chat to over coffee and share costs with. Maybe that's something you could consider?

Best,

Karen


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carolinamelo  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 05:42
German to Portuguese
+ ...
My main concern as well Sep 17, 2008

I will become a freelancer soon and that's my main concern as well. For now, I am willing to have a go with it. We will see later on how it goes, wether I like it or not, whether I can cope with it.

Anyway, I truly believe being a freelancer gives you a nice feeling of freedom. And, in the end, you can still get a "normal" job with "normal" co-workers if you feel like it!

See? Being a freelancer is indeed being free.


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biankonera  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 07:42
Italian to Latvian
+ ...
Solitude Sep 17, 2008

There is an element in solitude when someone works as a freelance translator which makes this job not suitable for everyone. But then again I do believe there are way more advantages to this job than a disadvantage of some solitude while working.
I for example had an in-house job for some time and there are several things I definitely do not miss about it: nobody is bossing me around, nobody is disturbing me when Im working and nobody is telling me what to do and when to do it. Of course, this job has its cons just like any other but thats because there is no job with only pros about it.;)


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Maureen Wilkins  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:42
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Same feelings and some ideas Sep 17, 2008

Yes, this type of work can feel very lonely at times. Last year, I felt I needed to get out more, so I started a part-time (1 afternoon a week) course at a local college. That way, I meet some young people and get out of the house for an afternoon each week. I also do some volunteer work with old people - a few hours each month.

If you can afford to take some time out, I think you need to get out of your home, it refreshes your ideas and is important for your health. Maybe you could arrange a regular coffee-time with a friend who lives locally.

Best wishes
Maureen


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Angela Dickson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:42
French to English
+ ...
Solitude Sep 17, 2008

I like working on my own but I do suspect it's not very good for me - when I had colleagues (working in a different field) I'd spend less time worrying about my own mistakes and shortcomings, and would just get on with things. Having someone else there enabled me to see things in perspective.

Having said that, there are plenty of opportunities in the UK to attend translators' events, and the volume of the conversation at these events suggests that perhaps we all feel the lack of people to talk to day to day! I always come back from conferences and meetings with more energy and lots of new ideas.

To combat the solitude in a practical way, I got a cat so can now tell him all my woes.


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Pham Hoa Hiep
Vietnam
Local time: 11:42
Member (2006)
English to Vietnamese
+ ...
I do meet people Sep 17, 2008

In my case I teach about 6 hours a week, and it's nice to meet young people. I also have lots of friends and meet them at least twice a week for coffee. But I admit that spend too much time working alone. I feel this bothers me sometime, but other times I enjoy it. It's also nice when you work alone but have the family (esp.kids) playing around.

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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:42
Italian to English
+ ...
Isolation Sep 17, 2008

I like my own company, so I don't feel isolated - I'm happy that it's just me and the cats most of the time, although it would be nice to have a chat with a colleague occasionally.

However, I don't live alone, and I think that makes a huge difference. I think I would have to seriously consider my options if that were to change - like Anne, I have hermit tendencies, and I think working from home would be seriously bad for me if I also lived alone.

As it is, I'm fine and dandy


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 00:42
English to French
+ ...
Lonely Sep 17, 2008

Let me get this off my chest. If I post so often in this forum, it is because I want to feel as though I don't spend my workdays alone.

On the other hand, besides the chronic solitude, freelancing for me is all good stuff, and the advantages make up for the loneliness.


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Kevin Fulton
United States
Local time: 00:42
German to English
Hell is other people Sep 17, 2008

... "l'enfer, c'est les autres" is the message of Sartre's "Huis clos". Not having to put up with coworkers is one of the benefits of freelancing.

Who really wants to hear about someone else's relatives, complaints about spouses or the exploits of grandchildren while they're working?


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Trinh Do  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2007)
English to Vietnamese
+ ...
I'm too happy being a freelancer Sep 17, 2008

I must say this is a dream job. I don't mind staying up a bit late, as I'm in Australia and we're 8-9 hours ahead of Europe, London and 12-18 hours ahead of the US. The advantage is that I save money on petrol, the independence of the work, the freedom, being supportive to my family, able to do other things besides working and the very flexible hours. I had a few nasty work experiences in Australia, and looking back, they are not worth my effort. Isolation is not a problem as I have my pets (budgies), and I treasure them more than my former colleagues. Being alone is better than being with a bunch of negative and nasty people, who don't even know of Proz.com. Hooray, I hope they never join this site.

So life is very beautiful on this side of the freelance work.


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Marlene Blanshay  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 00:42
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
it can be isolating Sep 17, 2008

but i'm fine with it...no distractions for one thing. But yes, there are times you would like someone there to chat with.

But then i read "true office confessions" and realize i'm living the dream life!

You just have to make sure you get out. In the summer, I get out on bike rides, in the colder months i go to the gym...it can be lonely in the winter when it's cold and dark.

But this life really suits me. I am not an early morning type or a nine to fiver anyways. And the people i deal with on the job, even if only by MSN all are great!


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Andrea Riffo  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 00:42
English to Spanish
My thoughts exactly Sep 17, 2008

Kevin Fulton wrote:

... "l'enfer, c'est les autres" is the message of Sartre's "Huis clos". Not having to put up with coworkers is one of the benefits of freelancing.



I'm not what you'd call a "people person"... not by a long shot. I did the in-house, boss-and-colleagues thing and it only served to ratify that (which I already knew, btw). To me, office politics come pretty close to being hell on earth.

That said, I do feel a little too isolated at times... which is why I take full advantage of my wonderful being-my-own-boss perk and try to set lunch dates with different friends (all of whom have tradicional, inhouse jobs) at least once a week. Before, I couldn't even do that, since we worked in different zones and had different schedules... now I make an effort to accomodate myself to their schedule, since I have the flexibility they lack (and sometimes envy, as some have confessed a couple of times).


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