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Part-timer reporting years of full-time experience
Thread poster: Heather Chinchilla

Heather Chinchilla
United States
Local time: 19:26
Spanish to English
+ ...
May 6, 2006

Hello, I'm hoping to get feedback on the following delemna: I'm not yet able to support myself as a full-time translator and don't know how many years of full-time experience to report on my proZ.com profile and my CV.

I have about 8 years of part-time experience with a combination of translation, sight translation and interpretation. The earlier experience was mostly on-the-job experience (full-time jobs, part-time translating/interpreting), but it's experience none the less.

The most recent experience is a combination of on-the-job work, work for a couple of direct clients, volunteer work, a couple of classes, and self-study.

I know this isn't full-time experience, but I feel the need to convert this experience into full-time terms in order to honestly report my experience and therefore increase my chances of getting more, and eventually full-time work.

I know I'm not the first person with this dlimna. I'd love to hear what some of you did or would do in such circumstances. Thanks in advance!


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Armorel Young  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:26
Member (2004)
German to English
Tell it as it is May 6, 2006

I'm actually somewhat baffled as to why you think you need to give a figure for years of full-time experience. What's wrong with saying that you've been doing it part-time for 8 years? It's true that the word "part-time" can have amateurish connotations, but you don't actually need to use the "part-time" word - you can simply say that you have been doing translating alongside other things (or other things alongside translating!). You talk about wanting to be honest, and nothing can be more honest than that. If you want to be more specific you can say that you have been spending 30% or 50% or whatever of your time on translating - it will then be immediately apparent how many "full-time equivalent" years of experience you have.

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Heather Chinchilla
United States
Local time: 19:26
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
proZ.com profile question: __ yrs of experience May 6, 2006

Hi Armorel and thank you for your feedback. To be more specific, on my proZ.com profile, there is a question I didn't answer because I wasn't sure how to respond. It says years of experience and has room to type in the # of years.

I could be mistaken, but my guess is that the response should be given in terms of full time years. If I put 8 yrs, readers may be under the mistaken assumption that I have 8 yrs of full-time experience. If I put 0, it may seem that I have no experience, when in fact I do.

I'm wondering if I should leave it blank, if I'm over-analyzing it and should put 8 yrs, or if it would be fair to make a calculation similar to that in your suggestion.

I haven't figured out the percentages yet, but lets say I spent 50% of the time I spent working in the last 8 yrs on translating activities. Would it then be fair to say that I have 4 yrs. of experience? Would it be fair to combine interpreting experience with translating experience to come up with the total?

I know it may seem like I'm over-analyzing, but I'd like to answer the question because it's something I'd look at when deciding whether to hire someone. That being said, I don't want to create a false impression resulting in an unfair advantage or disadvantage!


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xxxsarahl
Local time: 16:26
English to French
+ ...
I wouldn't worry about it May 6, 2006

Hi Heather

No one really starts out as a full-time translator. Even if that's all you do, you won't be busy on a full-time basis right off the bat.

While your honesty is commendable, I don't think saying you have 8 years experience would be a lie. You can detail your experience in your resume or in other sections of your profile anyway.


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abufaraz
Pakistan
Local time: 05:26
English to Urdu
+ ...
Honesty is the Best Policy - (but not so much) May 7, 2006



I could be mistaken, but my guess is that the response should be given in terms of full time years. If I put 8 yrs, readers may be under the mistaken assumption that I have 8 yrs of full-time experience. If I put 0, it may seem that I have no experience, when in fact I do.



I wonder if everyone of us human beings starts thinking on these lines in every walk of life, how pleasant and trouble free this world would be to live in !!!


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Maria Karra  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:26
Member (2000)
Greek to English
+ ...
you're not mistaken May 7, 2006

Heather Chinchilla wrote:

Hi Armorel and thank you for your feedback. To be more specific, on my proZ.com profile, there is a question I didn't answer because I wasn't sure how to respond. It says years of experience and has room to type in the # of years.

I could be mistaken, but my guess is that the response should be given in terms of full time years. If I put 8 yrs, readers may be under the mistaken assumption that I have 8 yrs of full-time experience. If I put 0, it may seem that I have no experience, when in fact I do.


Hi Heather,
You're correct; when you edit your profile it says next to the textbox:

"Years of full-time experience as a translator: "

I had the same dilemma when I had to enter that information the first time, and I ended up dividing the number of years of part-time experience in 2.

Maria


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cello  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:26
Spanish to English
+ ...
some more answers for you May 7, 2006

Hi Heather, I posed a similar question a while back. Here is the thread for you to take a look at a few more opinions:

http://www.proz.com/topic/31212

regards - Linda


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Terry Gilman  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:26
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
New profile a bit stifling? May 7, 2006

Hi Heather,

I agree with Amorel (as I often do). Why not write 8 years of part-time experience? The proz people constantly improve things, but my feeling is you shouldn't let yourself be inhibited by forms that other people have designed.

In my view, you have 8 years of experience. Even people who work full time at X (say, translation) may not be paying attention to what they are doing and could truthfully write that, for 8 years, they have 4 years of mindful experience.

One question one might ask is, have you been getting your worked checked by other people, for example? That contributes a lot to "experience."

Speaking as a 1970s era feminist, my impression is that most women tend to downplay their accomplishments and capabilities. Still, underpromising and overdelivering is an effective approach to "marketing."

Good luck,
Terry


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:56
English to Tamil
+ ...
I have got a cumulative experience of 82 years and my age is 60 ! May 8, 2006

In my typical presentation to a prospective client, I will say:

"I am a freelance German/French translator/interpreter having experience of 31/28 years respectively in these languages. Being a graduate electrical engineer having worked for 23 years in that capacity, I specialize in translating technical literatures from German/French into English and vice versa as well as interpreting for the visiting technical experts speaking just German/French.

Thus I have a cumulative experience of 82 years and I am 60 years young."

The client, when he calls me for discussion - this is mostly the case; he is curious to meet a guy who worked as engineer as well as translator - he will invariably ask me: "82 years' experience in 60 years, how come?" I reply with a straight face, "Overtime".

Regards,
N.Raghavan

[Edited at 2006-05-08 03:46]


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Iza Szczypka  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:26
English to Polish
+ ...
Hope you don't charge royalties on the concept, Narasimhan? Jun 10, 2006

Narasimhan Raghavan wrote:

In my typical presentation to a prospective client, I will say:

"I am a freelance German/French translator/interpreter having experience of 31/28 years respectively in these languages. Being a graduate electrical engineer having worked for 23 years in that capacity, I specialize in translating technical literatures from German/French into English and vice versa as well as interpreting for the visiting technical experts speaking just German/French.

Thus I have a cumulative experience of 82 years and I am 60 years young."

The client, when he calls me for discussion - this is mostly the case; he is curious to meet a guy who worked as engineer as well as translator - he will invariably ask me: "82 years' experience in 60 years, how come?" I reply with a straight face, "Overtime".

Regards,
N.Raghavan

[Edited at 2006-05-08 03:46]

My professional experience is nearly 24 years now and I've done 70/80-hour weeks throughout the time in my various roles (translator, interpreter, teacher, manager, private tutor). In your brilliant concept that I'd love to adopt, I'd have something like 50 years of professional experience
The cream of the situation is that my only job that is officially recognised as full time takes just around 20 hpw (10 hpw teaching + another 10 hpw preparation time), while as a part-time free-lance translator I put in a 40+ hour week ...


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