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Do you tell your clients when you are going on holidays?
Thread poster: Ivana de Sousa Santos

Ivana de Sousa Santos  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 01:42
French to Portuguese
+ ...
Jun 12, 2006

I am not really sure about how to proceed. When I had 3 or 4 clients I used to tell them I wasn't going to be available whenever I went on holidays.

Now I've got much more (for some of them I actually did only 1 or 2 translations, so I don't consider them as regular clients) and I am not sure if I must write to all of my clients informing them I am going on holidays or not.

I am considering to take 3 weeks off this summer (the last one of July, the first of August and then the 3rd of August), which coincide with my husband's holidays and I don't know when to tell my clients (1 month/week before?) about that or even if I must tell them.

What do you usually do, specially when you've got lots of clients who are not even regular? Or simpler: what do you do when you go on holidays?

Thank you in advance for any answers.

Ivana


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 02:42
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Web site note and autoreply e-mail Jun 12, 2006

Ivana de Sousa Santos wrote:
Now I've got much more (for some of them I actually did only 1 or 2 translations, so I don't consider them as regular clients) and I am not sure if I must write to all of my clients informing them I am going on holidays or not.


Inform your most regular clients personally. For the rest, put up a notice on your web site and program your e-mail with an autoreply to that effect. Check your mail every day, even if only to write a short note to clients that you're on holidays and "using a friend's computer to read mail" (or similar excuse). This is also an opportunity to refer them personally to a fellow-translator who might be able to help them -- your clients will appreciate your commitment, and you won't have to do any translation work. Take care not to open any attachments (keep your mind off your work).


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Beth Dennison  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:42
Chinese to English
+ ...
I inform my regular clients Jun 12, 2006

Dear Ivana,

When I go off on holiday, I always inform my regular clients 3 or 4 weeks in advance.

I then set up an "out of office" response on my e-mail just before I go, so that any new clients (or clients who only contact me very occasionally) know I'm away. It also serves as a reminder to any of my regulars who may have forgotten!

Beth


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Andrea Brumma
Spain
Local time: 02:42
English to German
+ ...
Equally important: Inform them after your return Jun 12, 2006

I inform my regular clients between a couple of days and 2 weeks before I go on holidays. Not earlier, because I remember the case of a busy and somewhat forgetful Project Manager who stopped sending projects following my early holiday notification and then said: “Oh, I thought you were on holidays”. I always set up an absence message including my return date. Equally important: Inform all your regular clients and the people who wrote you during your absence that you are back and available for new projects.

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Lucinda  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:42
Member (2002)
Dutch to English
+ ...
I inform my regular clients Jun 12, 2006

I let my regular clients know when I am going on vacatin and when I will resume work.

I know that I am old-fashioned but I also let them know that I will leave my laptop and email capabilities at home. I am on vacation to relax and my work-world will start again when I am back.

This does of course does not apply for an odd day that I take off every so often.

Anyway, have a great time, relax and charge up again.

Lucinda


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French Foodie  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:42
French to English
+ ...
Smart Jun 12, 2006

[quote]Lucinda Hollenberg wrote:


I know that I am old-fashioned but I also let them know that I will leave my laptop and email capabilities at home. I am on vacation to relax and my work-world will start again when I am back.

Lucinda, this is not old-fashioned, but smart! A vacation is a vacation, and I really feel we need to give our minds and the work world a break to prevent burn-out and be in even better shape when we return.
If I am constantly checking email and fielding phone calls while on vacation, then I don't feel I am truly on vacation. I've done that in the past (when I had less experience and was worried about losing clients) and was even more stressed when I returned - not fully at work and not fully on holiday. Yuck!
Even after a several-month-long maternity leave, I realised my clients were right there waiting for me.
So now I let them know when I am leaving a few weeks ahead of time, and also remind them when I return. Many times I have work waiting for me on my first day back on the job.
I would even send these notices to clients you have only worked with a few times - IF you are keen on working with them again soon. It often jogs their memory - oh yes, that translator, s/he was good, I'd like to work with them again, etc. More than once I have received new jobs from such clients upon my return.
Good luck Ivana and have a great vacation!


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Ingrid Lovric
Local time: 02:42
English to Croatian
+ ...
Me too! Jun 12, 2006

Lucinda Hollenberg wrote:

I let my regular clients know when I am going on vacatin and when I will resume work.

I know that I am old-fashioned but I also let them know that I will leave my laptop and email capabilities at home. I am on vacation to relax and my work-world will start again when I am back.

This does of course does not apply for an odd day that I take off every so often.

Anyway, have a great time, relax and charge up again.

Lucinda



I do just the same! I inform my regular clients when I am going on vacation, and when I am coming back. During vacation I check my e-mails every couple of days, but do not accept any jobs. I take only a couple of weeks of during the year, and that is my private time, for me and my family. I often work during Christmas, New Year, Easter, and I feel I deserve this couple of summer weeks.

For the rest of the world I set an automatic "out of office" e-mail reply, and answer to all incoming mails when I return to work.

Can't wait for August to come when my deserved vacation is due!


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Erika Pavelka  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:42
French to English
Definitely inform them! Jun 12, 2006

You should always inform your clients if you're going on vacation, especially the ones who always offer you work by e-mail only. They're not likely to call and hear the vacation message on your machine. Also, even if you have irregular clients, sending them a message might jog their memory that you're still available to do work, and who knows, it might turn into a regular client!

I inform my clients about 2 weeks prior to a 2 week holiday or more. If my holiday is less than that, I'll give them about a week's notice. For example, I'm going to NYC for 4 days next weekend, leaving Thursday. I'll write to my clients next Monday to let them know. In September, we're going to Europe for 2 weeks, so I'll let them know at least 2 weeks in advance.

Unlike other translators, I never leave my computer on while I'm gone. I get too much spam still and I don't want to be sending auto-replies to those addresses. For me, changing my answering machine message to inform clients and letting them know in advance is enough.


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Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:42
German to English
+ ...
"Out of the office" Jun 12, 2006

I use the wording "out of the office" - I may or may not be on vacation when I'm not available for work (just last week I had a relative's medical issue to attend to and was out of the office for 5 days).

Also, I do send out my out-of-the-office notices to those customers who send me work only once in a while. Murphy's Law says that those will be the ones to send you work during your vacation, which has happened to me!


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Orla Ryan  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 01:42
don't forget... Jun 12, 2006

... to put a note on your Proz profile, website & your Instant Messenger as well.

Definitely you should tell the customers. If you were in a "proper office job", you would have to activate your Out of Office email, voice mail and point people towards the colleague who is going to cover for you.


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Dyran Altenburg  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:42
English to Spanish
+ ...
I don't tell them anything Jun 12, 2006

Ivana de Sousa Santos wrote:
What do you usually do, specially when you've got lots of clients who are not even regular? Or simpler: what do you do when you go on holidays?


One of the reasons clients keep sending me work is that I'm always available.

Summer and winter vacation season is the time when I get the most work, and new clients.

Ka-ching!

--
Dyran
(who goes on vacation several times a year during off-season months)


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Riccardo Schiaffino  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:42
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
Samuel, if one is on vacation he is on vacation Jun 12, 2006


Inform your most regular clients personally.

Certainly

For the rest, put up a notice on your web site

Agreed

program your e-mail with an autoreply to that effect.

Sure: this is the most important thing to do

Also, change the message in your answering machine, to say that you are on vacation and you'll be back on [date]

However:


Check your mail every day


No: if you are on vacation, you are on vacation. Otherwise, you'll soon be tempted to yield to that request for "just a short translation", and slave away on your laptop while the family is on the beach.


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Nikki Graham  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:42
Partial member (2003)
Spanish to English
Laptop? What laptop? Jun 12, 2006

Riccardo Schiaffino wrote:

No: if you are on vacation, you are on vacation. Otherwise, you'll soon be tempted to yield to that request for "just a short translation", and slave away on your laptop while the family is on the beach.


I have so far resisted the temptation to get one of those, precisely for that reason. When you're on holiday you're not available for work. Full stop. Not even short easy-peasy, won't-take-you-more-than-five-minutes translations.

I tell regular clients that I'm going away but that they can contact me on the mobile if necessary to book my time for after the break. When I tell them rather depends on what they've got in the pipeline for me and whether we can fit it around my holidays or not.


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Susana Galilea  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:42
English to Spanish
+ ...
auto-replies and spam Jun 12, 2006

Erika Pavelka wrote:
I get too much spam still and I don't want to be sending auto-replies to those addresses.


This is something I have been wondering about myself. Wouldn't it be a bad idea to set your auto-reply program, when so many incoming emails are bound to be spam?

Is there a way around this?

Susana


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Armorel Young  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:42
Member (2004)
German to English
Auto-replies and leaving your computer on? Jun 12, 2006

All you people who set up automatic out-of-office e-mail replies - does that mean you leave your computer on all the time you are away? Even if it means that the computer is left on in an empty house for two weeks or more?

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