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How to get the second job?
Thread poster: eccotraduttrice
eccotraduttrice
United States
Local time: 03:13
Italian to English
+ ...
Nov 14, 2005

Hello all --

I've done work for several agencies and gotten positive and enthusiastic feedback from them on my work. However, I've yet to receive a second job offer from any of them. Is there something I need to be doing to keep my name in their minds for new projects? Would it be acceptable to e-mail from time to time the project managers I've worked with and let them know I am available for new assignments?

Thanks for any insight!
Karena


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Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 04:13
Partial member
Spanish
+ ...
My 2 cents Nov 14, 2005

Hello Karena,

What usually helps me is adding my MSN Messenger email to my signature, cover letters, CV, etc. in big bold letters. That way, it's easier for them to contact me.

Good luck,

Claudia


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RWSTranslation
Germany
Local time: 10:13
Member (2007)
German to English
+ ...
holiday Nov 14, 2005

omtara wrote:

Hello all --

...and let them know I am available for new assignments?



Hello,

maybe it sounds not good if you say you are without a job.

Send them a mail and say that you are now back from holiday.

Regards

Hans


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Erika Pavelka  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:13
French to English
Various reasons Nov 14, 2005

Hi Karena,

It may just be that those agencies haven't had any texts in your language combination. Depending on when you last did work for them, you could very well send a reminder e-mail to say that you are available for work. I would wait at least a month or two after the last job, though, and make sure you send it to clients who you think would have more work in your combination.

There are clients who I hear from maybe once or twice a year with offers, but I don't send them regular reminders because I know that the majority of their work is not in my combination, and they do contact me when they have something. In this case, I just keep them informed of my vacation dates and such.

In the meantime, you could do some marketing and seek out new clients.

Good luck!


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Javier Herrera
Spanish
Yes, email again, but don't be otrusive Nov 14, 2005

omtara wrote:

Would it be acceptable to e-mail from time to time the project managers I've worked with and let them know I am available for new assignments?



Hi Omtara,
Yes, it's a good idea, but twice a year is more than enough. Otherwise they'll think that a) you're desperate, b) you're harassing them or c) both.
Returning from a holiday is a good idea, but a perfect excuse is telling them about some improvement in your career, ie, you bought a CAT tool, you've been studying about a field of expertise, you've won a translation prize, you've put your fees up...
Bear in mind agents know an awful lot of people, virtually and in real life. There's something in the human mind that makes you remember better the people you've seen or spoken to recently.
J.


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Bibiana Jordan-Horvathova, MCIL
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:13
English to Slovak
+ ...
Knock, knock... Nov 15, 2005

I also think it is a good idea to send agencies news of your personal development from time to time (trainings, important projects and new skills) with a signature at the end. Just to remind them you are still out there... And find new agencies too. Good luck/ vela stastia.

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Andy Watkinson
Spain
Local time: 10:13
Member
Catalan to English
+ ...
Another idea Nov 15, 2005

Hi,

Just to add to Javier's (v.good) suggestions, you could take advantage of any new e-mail account you've got to "announce" that "as of such and such a date, PO's can now be sent to XXX address". This also serves as a reminder.

During a rather grim period quite a few years back I did that and obtained work from several clients.

Andy


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Michael Bastin  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:13
English to French
+ ...
change of email Nov 15, 2005

Mentioning you have changed email address can be used as an excuse, but it may confuse the agency if the latter is not so well organized. (Like, "Where should I contact this person now?)

Also, (I am getting a off-topic here), but I don't see why a translator should ever change email address, I see it as a mistake to use the email address of the ISP in the first place for instance, since it is likely to disappear when you change provider. Also, using a yahoo or hotmail address may show a lack of professionalism (mostly with hotmail since this service used to have a very limited inbox).

Instead, buy a domain name and have your own email address, put up a small website where you update your fields of expertise and the jobs you have done. Then you can also use this as an excuse to show it off It often speaks more than a CV and triggers more willingness to pay it a visit. And then come back to see it.

Back on topic; it may be a good idea to work for a variety of agencies, as time goes, you will eventually stick with one (or a couple) good one that send jobs in your pairs, in your fields and with your rates. The more agencies you work for, the more choice you have, and later you can decide which ones you'll keep on working for. Some relationships take time and it mostly starts with a couple of jobs in the beginning.

One way to make sure a company keeps on getting back to you, is when you've given them a big help getting them out of a difficult situation (like during vacations, when translator nr1 gave up, etc.) If you've helped them get out of trouble, you increase your chances of being contacted later for regular jobs.

My 2 cents

[Edited at 2005-11-15 03:41]


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Andy Watkinson
Spain
Local time: 10:13
Member
Catalan to English
+ ...
No change - NEW Nov 15, 2005

Michael: "Mentioning you have changed email address can be used as an excuse, but it may confuse the agency if the latter is not so well organized. (Like, "Where should I contact this person now?)
Also, (I am getting a off-topic here), but I don't see why a translator should ever change email address"

Erm...I never said anything about "changing" email address.

I said "new":

"Just to add to Javier's (v.good) suggestions, you could take advantage of any new e-mail account you've got"

I got a new email address a couple of months ago when I signed up for a satellite broadband service - it came with the package (along with 9 others).

It obviously doesn't mean I've stopped using the old addresses (2) which I regularly use for work.
It simply another option which can be used as a reminder during a slack period. (although I haven't used it yet and hope not to).

And maybe I'm getting off-topic here, but an agency which isn't capable of noting down a couple of addresses doesn't sound much like a reliable source of work.
Just imagine. "What!?! You've got a fixed line number AND a mobile number. Good God, how complicated!!!")

Andy


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:13
Italian to English
+ ...
Have you tried contacting agencies in Italy? Nov 15, 2005

There's a lot of work out there in Italian -> English translation, and not surprisingly most of it is for Italian companies using Italian translation agencies. I had a look at your profile - to my knowledge (it's not my specialist area) there's a good demand for legal translations, so you should be on to a winner. In my experience with medical/scientific translations, the second job came pretty quickly after the first with most agencies.

A friendly suggestion: put your rates up. 3 US cents per word is way too low, even in the Italian market.

[Edited at 2005-11-15 13:24]


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Débora D'Eramo
United States
Local time: 04:13
English to Spanish
I don't agree with the free mail question Nov 15, 2005

[quote]Michael Bastin wrote:

Also, using a yahoo or hotmail address may show a lack of professionalism (mostly with hotmail since this service used to have a very limited inbox).

I myself have a yahoo address and that hasn't stopped agencies from sending me work on a regular basis. I believe it's the quality of your work that counts.
As posted by other colleagues, is's a very good idea to contact agencies to let them know about new software you've acquired, new certification you have, or even an Internet broadband connection. This was my experience with an agency and soon after I got two jobs from them.
Hope it helps!


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Angela Arnone  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:13
Member (2004)
Italian to English
+ ...
OT: free mail and hot mail Nov 15, 2005

Of course having yahoo or other free mail doesn't affect whether people send you work or not (apart from the fact that you can upgrade yahoo and pay for larger mailbox capacity).
I would imagine most busy agencies don't have time to look at what your address is anyway.
I started out with a yahoo address and I still have it for back-up. You'd be surprised how many people still contact me there to offer jobs.
Angela

[quote]Débora Costa de D'Eramo wrote:

Michael Bastin wrote:
I myself have a yahoo address and that hasn't stopped agencies from sending me work on a regular basis. I believe it's the quality of your work that counts.



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eccotraduttrice
United States
Local time: 03:13
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thank you! Nov 15, 2005

Thanks everyone for your helpful replies. I think you've helped me understand the way things work a little better, and now I have some clear cut suggestions on what to do next.

Thanks again!
Karena


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eccotraduttrice
United States
Local time: 03:13
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Marie-Helene! Nov 15, 2005

Marie-Helene Hayles wrote:

There's a lot of work out there in Italian -> English translation, and not surprisingly most of it is for Italian companies using Italian translation agencies. I had a look at your profile - to my knowledge (it's not my specialist area) there's a good demand for legal translations, so you should be on to a winner. In my experience with medical/scientific translations, the second job came pretty quickly after the first with most agencies.

A friendly suggestion: put your rates up. 3 US cents per word is way too low, even in the Italian market.

[Edited at 2005-11-15 13:24]



Thank you for the suggestions and encouragement! I have a question -- if I were to apply to Italian agencies, would it be best to translate my CV into Italian before I sent it to them?

And thank you for the rates suggestion -- I appreciate it!

Karena


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Michael Bastin  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:13
English to French
+ ...
precisions Nov 16, 2005

andycw wrote:

Erm...I never said anything about "changing" email address.

I said "new":

And maybe I'm getting off-topic here, but an agency which isn't capable of noting down a couple of addresses doesn't sound much like a reliable source of work.
Just imagine. "What!?! You've got a fixed line number AND a mobile number. Good God, how complicated!!!")

Andy


Ok, but changing email address may be understood as dropping the other one.

Believe me, many agencies are busy with tons of things and often have other things to do than changing people's info.
But I agree they should be able to cope.

While it is ok to contact agencies when important information has changed, I just would advise to limit this as much as you can.


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