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A pregnant freelancer
Thread poster: Josie St-Amour

Josie St-Amour
Canada
Local time: 21:26
English to French
Sep 8, 2006

Hello all,

I'm pregnant and due in 7 weeks.

I live in Canada and since I paid my taxes I'm allowed to take a year off and depending on the lenght of my maternity leave, receive between 55 & 75% of my annual salary of the last year.

So I can afford to take a leave and not worry too much.

I don't think I'll take a full year but rather a few months.

My question is how do I tell my clients that I won't be available for a while, without a firm come back date and not risk loosing them??

Any idea?

Josie


My


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xxxPRen  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:26
French to English
+ ...
Congratulations! Sep 8, 2006

Josie St-Amour wrote:

Hello all,

I'm pregnant and due in 7 weeks.

I live in Canada and since I paid my taxes I'm allowed to take a year off and depending on the lenght of my maternity leave, receive between 55 & 75% of my annual salary of the last year.

So I can afford to take a leave and not worry too much.

I don't think I'll take a full year but rather a few months.

My question is how do I tell my clients that I won't be available for a while, without a firm come back date and not risk loosing them??

Any idea?

Josie


My


Hi Josie, first, congratulations! Second, I assume by taxes you mean EI contributions? Third, I'd find two or three translators whose work your respect and ask them to share your workload while you're on leave. When I take holidays, I have three other translators who cover for me, and I do the same in return. I know their work and that my clients will be in good hands with them.

Paula


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French Foodie  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:26
French to English
+ ...
Congratulations! Sep 8, 2006

Hi Josie,

First, all the best for the upcoming birth!

I've gone through this twice as a freelancer, each time taking 3 to 5 full months off from freelancing, and have only lost 1 client because of it.
I gave all clients good advance warning of when I was due. I accepted projects right up until my due date, but they all knew towards the end that I might have to send work back in a hurry and incomplete, hee hee. They were willing to take that risk.
Then, about 2 to 3 weeks before returning to work, I sent all my clients a reminder of when I would be back at my desk, and again on the day of my return. In both cases, business after mat leave just seemed to pick up right where it left off.

Hope it's the same for your and enjoy that precious time with your baby!
Mara


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Josie St-Amour
Canada
Local time: 21:26
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
thanks Sep 8, 2006

Mara Bertelsen wrote:


Then, about 2 to 3 weeks before returning to work, I sent all my clients a reminder of when I would be back at my desk, and again on the day of my return. In both cases, business after mat leave just seemed to pick up right where it left off.



Thanks Mara!

I love this notice it's a pretty good idea!

josie


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NancyLynn
Canada
Local time: 21:26
Member (2002)
French to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
Congratulations Josie ! Sep 8, 2006

That's great news!

My third child was born April 11 of this year (she's gooing and gaaing in the background as I type this). I, too, share workloads throughout the year with a handful of trusted colleagues and so far it's worked out just fine.

I sent out a reminder last week that I would be back to work this week, and my clients are sending me work again, along with their congratulatory notes.

There's lots of work out there, so you'll be just fine after a two-week start-up (or so).

One caveat --
Just don't try to go back to work too quickly -- I did, this time, and have regretted it. Sleep deprivation takes its toll, and sometimes you don't really see that until after the fact (when you're finally rested). We need to be "on" for our job as translators and interpreters.

Good luck, and here's hoping for an easy delivery and a quiet baby!

Nancy


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Laura Gentili  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 03:26
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
My experience! Sep 8, 2006

Congratulations!

When I had to stop working due to my triplet pregnancy (i.e. a few months before giving birth) I informed all my customers. After birth I took a few months off and then I informed them I had resumed work. I did not lose any client, they all came back. I would rather do it this way than suggesting using other colleagues.
Enjoy this precious experience and don't worry about work. Be reassured that work will start flowing back in as soon as you are ready.

Laura


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Sophia Hundt  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:26
Russian to English
+ ...
A slightly different perspective Sep 8, 2006

Congratulations Josie! (That's what I named my daughter, by the way).

While this is not exactly an answer to your question, I actually only became a freelancer after I'd had my baby (when she was about 3 months old) and I still do it. I found that my work did not interfere with my mothering and vice versa (After all, there's a lot that can be done after baby goes to sleep). You may very well be able to and want to do some.

I also think that's it's perfectly reasonable to tell your clients up front that you are expecting to be off for a certain period of time, and then contact them again when you are willing to start working and tell them you are available. As long as they have worked with you for a while and know you as a reliable translator providing high-quality output, they will be very happy to work with you again.

Good luck,
Sophia


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Ingrid Lovric
Local time: 03:26
English to Croatian
+ ...
Congratulations Josie! Sep 11, 2006

In my experience, I told my clients I was pregnant and due at the beginning of April, and continued working until the day I gave birth. I already had a prepared e-mail letting all my clients know I gave birth and I will take some time off to get back on my feet again. While I was in the hospital, I told my husband to send that e-mail, and the result was that I got plenty "Congratulation" mails, but no one minded my absence. I even attached a photo of my boy - that is my first (and only, at least for now) child, so I was extra proud of how gorgeous he is!

A month later I was ready to go back to work (my son was an angel while he was a baby and I had plenty of time to rest and work) As soon as I notified my clients I was ready to work, they started sending the documents in.

I am positive everyone will understand your situation, and it will work out just great!

Enjoy your baby!

Ingrid


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Josie St-Amour
Canada
Local time: 21:26
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
thank you Sep 12, 2006

Thank you all for you replies.

I just advised all my clients they pretty much all told me that they really appreciated that I was so considerate to let them know about the time I'll be off and that they'll all look forward to my return.

Fiew... one stress gone

To be quite honest I intend to take as long as I can, as I rather spend my time "off" at the gym regaining my body

Once again thanks!

Josie


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