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Working 9 to 5 - What a way to make a living!
Thread poster: Williamson

Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:50
Flemish to English
+ ...
Jun 13, 2007

You must specialize. How many time haven't I heard this before. However, most of the evening classes (say computer-courses) are geared towards people who work 9-5. They start at 6 p.m.
As freelance translators, we are "free" to work longer hours to meet our deadlines.
Suppose you intended to attend such courses from Monday to Thursday, practise sports on Friday, study them on Saturday and Sunday, how would you manage to meet your deadline. Or would you become an employee for a year? Or only accept projects of a maximum number of words? How to earn £80.000 per annum as a translator is only feasible if you have high rates, voluminous projects and work around the clock.


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Henrik Pipoyan  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:50
Member (2004)
English to Armenian
I would hire a freelance computer or sports instructor Jun 13, 2007



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Terry Richards
France
Local time: 08:50
French to English
+ ...
What does it matter? Jun 13, 2007

There's still only 24 hours in a day no matter how you organise them. Why does it matter if the class is at 6 or 10 or 10 in the morning? It's the same amount of time.

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Margit Enzenmuller
Local time: 07:50
English to German
+ ...
9 to 5 job Jun 13, 2007

I think deep down everyone would like to work most favourable hours, i.e. no traffic jams etc.. If we did we would find a lot cannot be contacted. Most people do not like 24h availability. It certainly works if you start and finish by yourself.

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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:50
Flemish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Adult education Jun 13, 2007

Adult education classes are conceived for normal 9 to 5-ers.
Input : Price ( a few £/€) and content (in some places like London, you could pay up to £1000 for such courses) make them interesting.
Output: can be used to earn one's livelihood with translation and being a freelance I.T.-er.
However, attenting courses is incompatible with the free life of a freelancer who tastes the freedom of having to work against the clock and the deadline.


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:50
English to Spanish
+ ...
Specific Time Commitments Jun 13, 2007

Specific time commitments such as classes (giving or receiving), interpreting jobs, meetings and other scheduled activities can really mess you up as a freelancer.

You find yourself with a lot of work, really cranking along, when all of a sudden "whoops, it´s almost time for...", and you have to hang it up. Then when you get back you´re all shot, can´t get a handle on it again. The time lost is phenomenal.

That´s why I have friends who have taken computer courses, I call them.


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Anne Koth  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:50
German to English
Do you really have no fixed commitments whatsoever in your life? Jun 13, 2007

How many of us actually fit into this lovely picture of freelancers able to work whenever they feel inspired anough, or work around the clock to make as much cash as possible?

Somehow I can't see that fitting in with having a family, hobbies, and other commitments apart from your deadlines.

I'm a freelancer, but have to be inspired between the time I take the kids to school and the time they get back, and make sure I get my work done in that time, and don't accept jobs if I won't be able to manage them. So far I've managed this amazing feat!


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Niina Lahokoski  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 09:50
Member (2008)
English to Finnish
+ ...
What is the problem? Jun 13, 2007

I'm with Terry here - I do not quite understand, where the problem is. I also agree with Anne.

My reason for being a freelancer is that I do NOT have to work long hours or even 9 to 5 every day. To some extent I can control the amount of work and choose my working hours. The money may be less, but at least I have more time to do what I really want. I would not want to gather a lot of money and not have time to enjoy the things it can buy.


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 07:50
Dutch to English
+ ...
Why? Jun 13, 2007

Williamson wrote:

However, attenting courses is incompatible with the free life of a freelancer who tastes the freedom of having to work against the clock and the deadline.


If you are effective at organising your time, what's the issue? Nobody puts a gun to you head to accept a particular deadline, so why can't you set your priorities to be at a class at 6 p.m. and work around that, that's the upside to freelancing.

And FWIW I earn a very high income - granted I work hard, but certainly not around the clock - so where this notion comes of us having to be slaves to our PCs to make a living, I don't know.

This may be your personal experience but please don't tar us all with the same brush


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:50
Flemish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
US? Jun 13, 2007

You can refuse once or twice, but not always or you earn nothing. You can try to set your priorities to be at 6 p.m. in class and work around that.
But 6 p.m. is the end of the translation day. After translating a day and attending class for another three hours + one hour to get home, I don't feel like starting again late in the evening.
In most cases, the deadline is not always 6 p.m., but may well be the next morning at 9 a.m.
Deadlines do not always fit with class-hours.
Moreover, if that education/training is given at such a speed and is of such a level that if you miss one or two courses because you have to meet your deadline and you lag behind the others, you can forget writing your vb.net program, making your database, writing your vba-application or programming your website.
----
Who is "us". Does this forum have a new spokesperson? There are different types of people present here : Young graduates, housewifes for whom freelancing is convient to earn a supplement to the family income and who organize their activity around their kids, former professionals in their fifties, who have been made redundant and start a second career, lawyers, who could earn more at a law-firms, but for some reason or the other prefer to be linguists, ... There is no "us" and there is no general spokesperson for
translators.
--
Money is a means for those "lost in translation" to invest in another education so that the translation activity can be diminished and replaced by another activity.


[Edited at 2007-06-13 17:53]


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 07:50
Dutch to English
+ ...
Time Management Skills Jun 13, 2007

Williamson wrote:

Who is "us"? You speak for yourself from your point of view and I speak from experience, trying to combine a continuous education at a certain level with translation.
Freelance means that you work against a deadline.
And those deadlines do not always fit with class-hours.
You can refuse once or twice, but not always or you earn nothing.
If that education/training is given at such a speed and is of such a level that if you miss one or two courses because you have to meet your deadline, you are way behind the others. And catching up is difficult.. The teachers/professors are not going to wait for you.




Your initial posting seems to have disappeared, but anyhow ...

Firstly, "us" used in this sense (in English) refers to everyone you are trying to tar with the same brush - i.e. us freelancers. Nobody is trying to be a spokesperson.

You seem to have your own difficulty with time management - fair enough - but doesn't mean the rest of us (freelancers) do - get it? Maybe not, oh well ...

FWIW, I speak from experience too - I'm following a couple of high-level courses at the moment, one online with very strict assignment deadlines and one which requires class attendance.

It's quite easy - you open a diary and slot in the times, much like you hopefully would for a translation deadline and schedule your day and work around it.

Think of it like you're running an air traffic control tower, arrange the slots accordingly, and avoid mid-air collisions.

Nothing "fits" into neat little pigeonholes, the deadlines don't clash with your class times or vice-versa, it's you that has to manage your time to do both - get up an hour or two earlier if necessary. What's the big deal?

Anyone doing an after-hours course has to juggle things - if anything, a freelancer has got it easier than a FTE in terms of flexibility.

However, if you allow agencies to push you around as though you were a FTE, that's a different story.

I still fail to see the problem


[Edited at 2007-06-13 19:33]


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Juliana Starkman  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 02:50
Spanish to English
+ ...
I am in the same boat Jun 13, 2007

Anne Koth wrote:

How many of us actually fit into this lovely picture of freelancers able to work whenever they feel inspired anough, or work around the clock to make as much cash as possible?

Somehow I can't see that fitting in with having a family, hobbies, and other commitments apart from your deadlines.

I'm a freelancer, but have to be inspired between the time I take the kids to school and the time they get back, and make sure I get my work done in that time, and don't accept jobs if I won't be able to manage them. So far I've managed this amazing feat!



My biggest push work-wise is always between school drop off and school pick up. On days my kids have an activity in the afternoon (dance, swimming...) I know I may have to stay up late- oh and and hour a week for Pilates, for my poor back destroyed by evil cheap computer chairs. You choose what works for you time-wise.


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Fabio Descalzi  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 03:50
Member (2004)
German to Spanish
+ ...
Me too! Jun 14, 2007

This seems very familiar to me:
Anne Koth wrote:
How many of us actually fit into this lovely picture of freelancers able to work whenever they feel inspired anough, or work around the clock to make as much cash as possible?
Somehow I can't see that fitting in with having a family, hobbies, and other commitments apart from your deadlines.
I'm a freelancer, but have to be inspired between the time I take the kids to school and the time they get back, and make sure I get my work done in that time, and don't accept jobs if I won't be able to manage them. So far I've managed this amazing feat!

Our daughter goes 8 hours a day to school - so you can imagine, this is already a measure of time. We get up short before 7 o'clock, and after she is taken to school I start working on my PC. Then at about half past 3 I stop working in order to pick her up from school - what a lovely moment!
Juliana Starkman wrote:
My biggest push work-wise is always between school drop off and school pick up. On days my kids have an activity in the afternoon (dance, swimming...) I know I may have to stay up late- oh and and hour a week for Pilates, for my poor back destroyed by evil cheap computer chairs. You choose what works for you time-wise.

And going to the swimming-pool while she is at school, and doing the shopping together with my wife, and taking our daughter to piano lessons, etc. - this takes time too, so you can guess: after our daughter is finally sleeping at 9 in the night, I often resume working till late!
A modern-family life, one could say...


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Andres & Leticia Enjuto  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 03:50
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Good observations Jun 14, 2007

Lawyer-Linguist wrote:

Nothing "fits" into neat little pigeonholes, the deadlines don't clash with your class times or vice-versa, it's you that has to manage your time to do both - get up an hour or two earlier if necessary. What's the big deal?

Anyone doing an after-hours course has to juggle things - if anything, a freelancer has got it easier than a FTE in terms of flexibility.

However, if you allow agencies to push you around as though you were a FTE, that's a different story.



[Edited at 2007-06-13 19:33]


These are good observations, in my opinion.

I have seen that agencies use to give freelancers a deadline with some backup time (i.e., they ask you to deliver on Wednesday 9 pm when they actually need it on Thursday). My experience is that in many cases deadlines can be renegociated.

Take care,
Andrés


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:50
German to English
+ ...
Voilà Jun 14, 2007

Niina Lahokoski wrote:

My reason for being a freelancer is that I do NOT have to work long hours or even 9 to 5 every day.


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