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Poll: How do you decide when to take days off?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 02:02
SITE STAFF
Jun 12, 2008

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How do you decide when to take days off?".

This poll was originally submitted by irishpolyglot

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Heike Kurtz  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:02
Member (2005)
English to German
+ ...
School holidays and my husband's business requirements Jun 12, 2008

I have two school children, so going on holiday during schooltime is out of the question. As my husband is not self-employed, I also have to consider his employer's regulations. Then all I have to do is wrap it all up and fit it in between my regular customer's schedule (or take my laptop computer and cell phone with me) and we can go!

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Andrea Riffo  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 05:02
English to Spanish
Several things to consider Jun 12, 2008

I liked this poll!

For starters, I always take (my) national holidays off.

Now, for proper vacations (i.e., more than 1 free day), I usually:
- take 1 or 2 weeks off when I decide to (though planning ahead and letting my clients know with 3 or 4 weeks' notice), and
- take 2 weeks off when my partner (who is not self-employed) has vacations, so that we can take off somewhere toghether.

Greetings


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Sanmar
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:02
English to Dutch
+ ...
Whenever I feel like it Jun 12, 2008

In the early years I never took time off, both for financial reasons and because I used to worry that my clients would not come back to me. Although I still do not get the 20-25 days regular employees get in the UK, I have decided to take at least 2-3 weeks off a year. In addition, I take spontaneous days off on the rare days that it is hot and sunny to go down to the coast and practise my wakeboarding. I also take all national holidays.
A few years ago I spoke to an acquaintance who had lost her husband who was only in his fifties. She told me that she and her husband never went on holidays since they were both freelancers (in another field) and her husband was always worried about spending money on holidays since he did not know what their income would be from one month to the next and he might need the money for later. Of course, 'later' sadly never arrived for him...This, among other things, made me rethink my own priorities and the whole issue of 'financial security'. I also feel that my work improves after I have had a proper break!

[Edited at 2008-06-12 16:26]

[Edited at 2008-06-12 16:27]

[Edited at 2008-06-12 21:46]


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Catherine Winzer  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:02
German to English
+ ...
Based on workload, Sundays off Jun 12, 2008

My time off is largely dependent on my workload, but I also make a habit of not working on Sundays. This is something that I started while I was studying and I found it to be very helpful.

I generally don't work when I go away on holiday. Apart from that, I'm quite flexible with evenings and public holidays, depending on how much work I have and when the deadline is.


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Miranda Joubioux  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:02
French to English
+ ...
A combination of all these Jun 12, 2008

I generally take national holidays off and the same can be said of my customers.
However, when I decide when to take my summer holiday is pretty much based on workload, when the rest of the family are free and my need to take a holiday.

Sometimes, I really need a holiday, so I just take the time I need and organize my schedule around that.

As a general rule though, I try to take time off when I feel that it won't be too disruptive.
It is easier to take holidays during school holiday periods than it is the rest of the year, in France, probably because a lot of customers take holidays then too.

I find it is really important to take holidays when they're needed and not to let your customers dictate when.


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:02
Italian to English
+ ...
Partner's holidays, national holidays, predicted workload Jun 12, 2008

It's a combination of all three, really. There are certain times of year when workload is bound to be low, so it's a good idea to take them off anyway. Then I generally take time off when my partner does, which is itself dictated by other constraints. And I sometimes, but not always, take national holidays. Sometimes they're just a welcome occasion to get some work done without being "pestered" to take on other jobs!

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Alexandra Speirs  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:02
Italian to English
+ ...
a what? Jun 12, 2008

What's a day off?

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Eleni Makantani
Greece
Local time: 12:02
Member
English to Greek
+ ...
Other Jun 12, 2008

The biggest workload for me comes in the summer. As I also have a part time job as a teacher, I can't evidently go on holidays in winter, so I have to take some time off during the summer, in spite of the workload. So, I make plans with friends, I usually profit from some interesting holiday package to a nice destination, I notify clients and agencies at least 20 days in advance and I take off for a week or something like that. I make sure that this holiday period is never in August, as traditionally everybody here in Greece go on holidays in August, and it's more likely that my good clients will need me even more that month.

Maybe a week off sounds too little, but I have the privilege of living in Corfu, one of those wonderful Greek islands, and I can profit from nice sandy beaches all summer long. As a friend of mine puts it, people here are on holidays 12 months a year. And I just came home from the beach about an hour ago...


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:02
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I'm always on holiday in the summer when I'm not working Jun 12, 2008

Eleni summed it up, although she lives in Corfu and I live in the South of France, when she said:


As a friend of mine puts it, people here are on holidays 12 months a year. And I just came home from the beach about an hour ago...


I have a retired husband and we have a caravan on a beautiful site nearby, so he practically lives there all summer and I'm there whenever I'm not actually working. My main job is teaching English in the tourism sector - they're all far too busy during the summer to have lessons. I find that by simply not actively going after too many teaching and translating jobs during the summer, I can reduce my workload to the point where I can take whole days off.

We find it a perfect compromise because if I had 2-4 whole weeks with nothing to do I'd die of boredom, whereas my husband loves to relax in the sun all day, every day.


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Fernando D. Walker  Identity Verified

Local time: 06:02
English to Spanish
+ ...
Whenever I can Jun 12, 2008

I take a rest when I finish a project because I can't start with another assignment inmediately after the previous one. I need, at least, a few hours. And I usually don't work on Sundays. Once a year, I go on holiday with my girlfriend who is a translator too, so we decide when to go. That's an advantage;).
Best,
Fernando


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xxxInterlangue
Angola
Local time: 11:02
English to French
+ ...
Based on workload AND whenever I feel like it Jun 12, 2008

I usually work a lot (7/7), several weeks in a row, then I disappear for what I call a ‘long week-end’ (like from Wednesday until the next Tuesday).
Longer breaks are according to where I want to go and the opportunities I find, but as a rule off season.
When I take a break, I must go away – no phone, no e-mail. Messages I get while I am away often start with “I know you are away, but when you get back and read this, can you tell me if you would take…”

Cheers


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Sharon Sideris  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:02
German to English
+ ...
Flexibility is the point of being freelance! Jun 12, 2008

There are no really quiet times for me, I guess I could be busy all the time if I wanted. I don't mind working weekends and national holidays at all but when I need time off I just schedule it and let clients know in advance. When I first got started I did worry about what projects I might miss or whether clients might be upset, but you soon learn you can't keep everyone happy all of the time!

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Erzsébet Czopyk  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 11:02
Member (2006)
Russian to Hungarian
+ ...
just4 Jun 13, 2008

just for the sake
- if I am too tired;
- for family reasons;
- Christmas holidays (when I worked in the casino, for 4 years I did not know what the holiday is)
- without any reason, if I feel necessary.

Sometimes it is just a free hour in the middle of the project (thanks God, I have wonderful colleagues!), sometimes 2 full days (usually each second weekend, as I am divorced and each second weekend all my 4 children are with me, on the other weekends by my ex-husband), but I hold the privilege to chuck up everything if I feel I am out of energy.
A year ago I paid with my health for my crazy work, that time I decided do not continue it in the future. I had a plenty of time to think about in the hospital.


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Erzsébet Czopyk  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 11:02
Member (2006)
Russian to Hungarian
+ ...
answer+advice Jun 13, 2008

Alexandra Speirs wrote:

What's a day off?

The day off is something what is NECESSARY for your body, for your heart and for your mind.
Let it be straight TOMORROW.


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