Bank holidays and holiday
Thread poster: Mari Noller
Mari Noller
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:54
English to Norwegian
+ ...
Jun 7, 2005

I haven't been a full time freelance translator for that long, so I haven't had time to think about holidays and when I don't want to work.
Now I work 7 days a week, up to 16 hours per day. But the summer is coming up, with birthdays and holidays and in-laws coming over.. I'm wondering if I should take allow myself a holiday.

I would really appreciate it if someone would tell me how they go about it when booking a holiday. Especially with translation agencies.
Also, is there any days you do not work at all. Like bank holidays, Christmas etc?


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Lindsay Sabadosa  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:54
Member (2004)
Italian to English
+ ...
The Buddy System Jun 7, 2005

dinamin wrote:

Also, is there any days you do not work at all. Like bank holidays, Christmas etc?


You may find that it's not a problem getting major holidays off like Christmas but other holidays like May 1 or August 15 may be trickier (I say this but then I worked on Easter this year! - still it was my decision). It may be a good idea to form a translation team so as others have noted so that you have a group of people who can help you out when you need covereage.


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Stefano Papaleo  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 08:54
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
your own choice Jun 7, 2005

Hi,

being independent means that you decide about everything: how many hours/days you want/need to work, how much you charge, if you need a break or can work all year round. There are no obbligations to anyone at all. You can decide according to your schedule, income etc. I mean, if you know that within a week you'll get a big project it's not that wise to go on holiday of course (especially if you have signed a contract and are committed to a given delivery date), but you might even do that and simply say no thanks I'm on vacation.
It's highly recommended and a matter of politeness to tell your clients you won't be available from... to... and setting up a vacation notice on your email account.
We all need a break once in a while, it's good both for our physical and mental health, to enjoy life and also to be able to work better when we come back and find our mailbox stuffed with messages:)

Take care

Stefano


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Seadeta Osmani  Identity Verified
Croatia
Local time: 08:54
English to Croatian
+ ...
I think... Jun 7, 2005

...I would simply go crazy without at least 3 weeks off in summer. I'm just too dependent on sun, and being a full time freelancer with a 16-hour daily working schedule just like you, I don't see much of sun So, I set up the time, send notification to my existing customers that I'll be on vacation, then I usually go away from home, to another country if possible, and I check my mail in internet cafés or where convenient (mostly every day), to respond to any queries of new customers. Yes, I do decline jobs during that time, but I'm not sorry, because I know I do this to come back home and work with more energy. Thought about taking my laptop along, but then I'd be hooked up on work, and that would kill the meaning of vacation... I believe we owe it to ourselves to *live* and I know from my experience that agencies/customers know that very well.

Give yourself a nice and fulfilling vacation!

Seadeta


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:54
Flemish to English
+ ...
Time for yourself Jun 8, 2005

I have put on my profile "not available until further notice".
Instead of translating, I would like to consider every aspect of the translation business, make a business plan, learn how to use much wanted software-packages,clean and double my hard disks, repeat an accounting course and make a tmx of its terminolgy in four languages, brush up my working languages and study my language of interest, take a week off and start again somewhere half of september, beginning of october.
If you do not get organised, you are going to find yourself translating until you get up with your computer screen in your mind and go to sleep with it.



[Edited at 2005-06-08 05:49]


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xxxFullCircle
Netherlands
Local time: 08:54
English to Dutch
You're the boss Jun 8, 2005

I've never given it a thought, how I would deal with holidays etc., when I became a freelancer. If I feel like taking a break, I just do it. I inform my regular customers (with about a week's notice) and off I go. I don't mind working through the holidays if necessary, but if I don't want to I won't accept a job if the deadline is too tight.
If I feel like reading, skating or whatever, and lose a job that way, tough.

I wanted to become a freelancer to have more fun in life and to be my own boss in every respect. That means that I decide how many hours I want to work and when. If I accept a job with a tight deadline, I work long hours. If I've got plenty of time, I enjoy my time doing other things and maybe work for only 4-5 hours a day.

Marion


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Gillian Searl  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:54
Member (2004)
German to English
As the English say, get a life! ;) Jun 8, 2005

You know when I was building up my business from scratch I worked like that until one day I thought to myself, "I thought the whole purpose of this was to have freedom, and here I am working more hours than when I was employed, having less free time than ever and feeling like I will become computer-shaped & goggle-eyed before much longer". I decided that some work/life balance was in order so I am working less and having more fun. Believe me it helps you to concentrate when you do work - you work smarter. I am about to go to the Czech Republic for 2 weeks and although the notebook is coming too I have told all my regulars that I will be away so I will check my email a couple of times a day and simply tell them I am on holiday.

Go find a nice place for a holiday before your whole life revolves around that computer - that would be modern day slavery.

Hope you do.
Gillian


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:54
German to English
+ ...
Bank holidays and holiday Jun 8, 2005

dinamin wrote:

Now I work 7 days a week, up to 16 hours per day.


Raise your rates.

Marc


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Aleksandra Kwasnik  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:54
Polish to German
+ ...
How? Jun 8, 2005

MarcPrior wrote:

Raise your rates.

Marc


How? I mean: in an elegant way? I'm afraid that my clients will look for somebody else (even if they seem to be very satisfied with my work) and do also work too much. What is your experience with rising the rates?

I'd really appreciate any advice or link to another thread dealing with this topic - thank you in advance!

Dinamin@: excuse me for interrupting your thread but maybe this particular question is also of interest to you and / or related to your question

Aleksandra

[Edited at 2005-06-09 21:10]


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Marie-Céline GEORG  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 08:54
English to French
+ ...
Send an e-mail to your clients.... Jun 8, 2005

Hi,

dinamin wrote:

I haven't been a full time freelance translator for that long, so I haven't had time to think about holidays and when I don't want to work.
Now I work 7 days a week, up to 16 hours per day. But the summer is coming up, with birthdays and holidays and in-laws coming over.. I'm wondering if I should take allow myself a holiday.


Definitely yes!!! You are your own boss now...


I would really appreciate it if someone would tell me how they go about it when booking a holiday. Especially with translation agencies.


Just send an e-mail to your clients and the agencies a few days in advance - for instance one week before small holidays, two weeks if you're planning to be away for a month - tell them when you will be unavailable and the date when you'll be back. You don't have to apologize for being on vacation! Your clients do go away sometimes too (they will often ask you for a job just before they leave so that they have it on their desk when they come back...).

I hope you'll enjoy your break soon!

Marie-Céline


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:54
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Bank and annual holidays Jun 8, 2005

Hi Dinamin,

When I changed from working for a firm of lawyers to working as a full-time freelancer I decided to take exactly the same amount of holidays as I had been used to as an employee. Therefore, I take all bank holidays that are normally taken in the part of Germany where I live, as well as the same amount of annual holidays that is customary in this country, and that I always had as an employee.

I give my regular clients at least 1-2 weeks' notice of my holidays, just as I always had to arrange my holidays a minimum amount of time in advance when I worked in an office. I arrange an automatic e-mail, giving notice of my holiday dates, for irregular customers and new enquirers, as well as to remind the regulars, since they have sometimes forgotten.

A friend recently advised me to find one or two colleagues working in the same language pairs and fields, who would be able to help my clients during my absence, and then their names and contact details could be given to my regular customers and in the automatic e-mail. I find this a good idea, and will do this from now on as well.

I have just come back from holiday, and am much happier again to work the 16 hours per day (8 a.m. till midnight) than I was directly before my holiday.

Astrid


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Angela Dickson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:54
French to English
+ ...
useful marketing tool Jun 8, 2005

Just send an e-mail to your clients and the agencies a few days in advance - for instance one week before small holidays, two weeks if you're planning to be away for a month - tell them when you will be unavailable and the date when you'll be back.


And don't forget that, if these aren't very regular clients, then sending them such a message can be a useful way of reminding them that you exist! (and thus getting you more work so you can do more 16-hour days when you get back... probably not what you need...)


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Mari Noller
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:54
English to Norwegian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
About the rates Jun 9, 2005

I raise my rates if the currency has dropped, i.e the dollar is worth less this month than it was last.
I set my rates according to GBP and convert them before I send out an estimate.

Another way to raise your rate, which I did, is this send your most regular client (or the one offering the lowest rate) an e-mail explaining you have to raise your rates a month from now because of your increased work flow. If you've done a good job and they're happy with your services, most will allow a raise up to .03 USD.


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SKRIVANEK USA
Local time: 02:54
English to Hungarian
+ ...
inform agencies please Jun 14, 2005

From the agency point of view, please inform any agencies you work with regularly that you will be on holiday. Agencies have deadlines and the worst happening is when you phone a freelancer and they accept a job knowing they will be away soon. This leads to asking for longer deadlines, shoddy work, excuses.

We have not encountered this often, but it can happen. We would much rather hear you say "I am on holiday for this week, next week , fill in the timeframe" This way we can get the project completed without hassle. We remember you more for having been a problem than for refusing a project.

I also agree with the other poster that a holiday reminder is a good way to remind the agency that you are still in the industry.


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