ProZ.com global directory of translation services
 The translation workplace
Ideas

 
User
Thread poster: Maria-Letitia Chiculita
Being independent: challenges and advantages

Maria-Letitia Chiculita
Romania
Local time: 21:10
Romanian to English
+ ...
Aug 3, 2009

I would kindly ask you to share with us the main challenges you have to deal with and the advantages you have in your country of origin, as an independent translator/interpreter.
How do you cope with challenges and what tips would you give to new comers ?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Milos Prudek  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 20:10
English to Czech
+ ...
core recommendations Aug 25, 2009



I would kindly ask you to share with us the main challenges you have to deal with and the advantages you have in your country of origin, as an independent translator/interpreter.
How do you cope with challenges and what tips would you give to new comers ?


- must be self-motivated and disciplined.
- need to be able and willing to sell your services. To make offers, to negotiate prices.
- need to be able to say NO politely yet firmly.
- never become cocky.
- choose a market (high quality and adequeate pricing, or low price low quality)
- choose specialization
- separate work from entertainment/web surfing
- have a small office at home to separate work and free time
- save money (3 or more month's wage) for dry spells (no job periods)
- see dry spells as opportunity to learn or rest (hakuna matata)
- watch your health (back pain, repetitive stress injury)
- get invoicing software
- do your tax returns or hire someone to do it
- have your own domain and website
- keep your CV updated
- I could go on. These are the core recommendations.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:10
English to German
+ ...
Here is my list Aug 26, 2009

- Never behave like an employee because you are not.

- Select your customers carefully. After all, they need and want to buy your services, not vice versa.

- You may become cocky. Not the unprofessional way, but like any other organization on the market. Like, say, a credit card company, because that is what you will be all of the sudden. Reserve the right to refuse service. Every gas station and restaurant has a little sign like this in their window. Why not you? It saves a lot of trouble in the long run.

- Do not hesitate to conduct background and credit history checks on your clients.

- Specialize. If a client tries to talk you into a field that you don't know by heart, decline. They will appreciate your honesty and professionalism.

- Deliver 100% at all times. This will turn customers into long-term clients. Beautiful!

- Don't base your business on software only. Keep your books properly.

- Do not send files titled "CV". You may as well put a big red stamp on it: "I don't have a glue and I am a beginner. Feel free to rip me off.". You are not applying for a full-time position. Send short bios, profiles or something. Don't be too generous with that.

- Build a network. You might become sick all of the sudden and you might need the help of colleagues on short notice to get a job finished. When you are self-employed, there are no excuses to miss a deadline due to the chain reaction that it will cause. You are fully liable.

- Don't work for free. This includes unpaid tests. You are a business and you have responsibilities.

- Enjoy and be proud of your business!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:10
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I second the comments from both Milos and Nicole Aug 26, 2009

They are all important concerns, and I agree with Nicole's view of "cocky" in the professional rather than personal sense.

These are the ones I find the most difficult to implement:


Milos Prudek wrote:
- separate work from entertainment/web surfing
- have a small office at home to separate work and free time
- save money (3 or more month's wage) for dry spells (no job periods)
- see dry spells as opportunity to learn or rest (hakuna matata)


It's that separation of professional and home life that I find difficult as a freelancer. It's so easy to stay at the computer, playing a game of Sudoku or whatever, when "ping" - the computer alerts you of an email arriving in your work inbox, and then it's back to work again.


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

Moderator(s) of this forum
Andy Lemminger[Call to this topic]
Emanuela Galdelli[Call to this topic]
Jorge Rodrigues[Call to this topic]
Jenn Mercer[Call to this topic]

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Being independent: challenges and advantages







Déjà Vu X3
Try it, Love it

Find out why Déjà Vu is today the most flexbible, customizable and user-friendly tool on the market. See the brand new features in action: Completely redesigned user interface Live Preview Inline spell checking Inline formatting and more

More info »
PerfectIt consistency checker
Faster Checking, Greater Accuracy

PerfectIt helps deliver error-free documents. It improves consistency, ensures quality and helps to enforce style guides. It’s a powerful tool for pro users, and comes with the assurance of a 30-day money back guarantee.

More info »