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Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
Poll: Do you think that being online at MSN/Skype improves one's chances of getting new jobs?
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 09:38
SITE STAFF
Jun 15, 2011

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you think that being online at MSN/Skype improves one's chances of getting new jobs?".

This poll was originally submitted by Maleen Hof. View the poll results »



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neilmac
Spain
Local time: 18:38
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not necessarily Jun 15, 2011

I can only offer my personal opinion on this.

First of all, let's get MSN out of the way. I find it obtrusive, awkward, bulky and not terribly compatible; I see it as conceived for teenagers to gossip and swap photos etc... basically all froth and no substance. A non-starter for me.

I think that Skype can be a useful tool to keep in touch with clients, especially the chat function, which is great for quick queries between client and translator about terms, etc. nevertheless, I tend to use it more often to call landline phones, because it is much cheaper than other options I know of.

However, only a couple of my clients actually have my skype details and communicate with me this way, and some collegues who have given their skype details to their clients now wish that they hadn't, because the clients can pester them more easily when they are trying to get on with the work in hand.

As far as I remember, I have never had any new jobs via skype... but I suppose it would be useful to have it installed just in case any potential clients ask for it (as some do), and it is reasonably economical compared with phone tariffs, at least in Spain. It's all grist to the mill.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 13:38
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
The other way around Jun 15, 2011

I agree with Neilmac that MSN is such a drain in hardware resources that it's not worth having it unless you don't intend to use the computer for anything else.

Skype is like having a worldwide toll-free telephone.

The amazing thing is that I have lured more foreign clients into starting to use Skype than been contacted by new clients through it. One such client was finally convinced into going for Skype when he saw the speed I got complex issues solved with the reviewer they had assigned to me.

For regular clients, it's a valuable tool. They can ask me, Are you available to start on a new project right now? and get an immediate answer. They'll know if I'm online, and won't have to wait until I I sort through the e-mail messages received to see their question.


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patriciacharnet  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:38
English to French
+ ...
not necessarily Jun 15, 2011

I reply quickly to my emails with a smartphone so it's like being online virtually - I use a phone package for most of my international calls so don't use skype anymore MSN drains resources I agree although on a smartphone it does not matter it's not the pc

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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:38
Member
English to German
+ ...
Not in my office Jun 15, 2011

I don't allow Skype or MSN or any other unnecessary gateways for viruses on any machines in our network. I am surrounded by landline phones (hey, you can call us even during a power outage!), we have a toll-free number, and your email will reach us within a fraction of a second. Dear outsourcer: If you feel that life and death depend on two minutes, or if you feel that you are more important than others, or if you try to barge into my office because you can't wait until I have read my emails, or if your job's deadline is awfully tight because you are totally disorganized... there might be a reason why I don't use Skype or MSN on purpose.



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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:38
Member (2006)
German to English
No Jun 15, 2011

and why should it? Not all serious companies only use those platforms for contact, thank goodness.

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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:38
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Not necessarily Jun 15, 2011

MSN is completely out of the question for reasons that my colleagues have already stated.

Skype can be quite helpful when it comes to clarify questions. It has been for me and for my clients in the past. So it is quite helpful. However, all major issues are being taken care of via emails.

I need to add that being online at Skype did get me one new job - thus far the only one.

[Edited at 2011-06-15 13:51 GMT]


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Marlene Blanshay  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 12:38
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
not necessarily Jun 15, 2011

I seem to have quite a few contacts on SKYPE and they almost never use it to contact me or I never even hear from them. So many outsourcers ask for your SKYPE and I wonder why? no one ever seems to use it!
MSN is really not much good. I mostly use it for personal contacts who send SMS.
SKYPE has its uses but it's not really much of a recruitment tool.


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Harald Roald  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:38
Member (2008)
English to Norwegian
+ ...
Yes, but no Jun 15, 2011

I voted No, but there are plenty of agencies out there that demand their freelancer to always be online and available on MSN or Skype - and with a max 5 minutes window to reply any requests. Any time. So if you are willing to follow these demands, its increases your chance for getting jobs (or getting bugged for free "lingustic advices"). Personally Im not interested at all.

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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:38
Member
English to German
+ ...
Ask for their home phone number in return Jun 15, 2011


Harald Roald wrote:

I voted No, but there are plenty of agencies out there that demand their freelancer to always be online and available on MSN or Skype - and with a max 5 minutes window to reply any requests. Any time. So if you are willing to follow these demands, its increases your chance for getting jobs (or getting bugged for free "lingustic advices"). Personally Im not interested at all.


In case you need some urgent clarification about a technical term that needs to be addressed at 2:30 am.

Also demand that their cell phones shall never be turned off to ensure immediate contact even during bathroom times.


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Hilary Davies Shelby
United States
Local time: 11:38
Partial member (2005)
German to English
It might stop you finishing current ones! Jun 15, 2011

I replied "no". I don't have anything like that turned on when I'm working as it's just a distraction. I used to, but ended up providing free "linguistic advices" for fellow translators and clients on a regular basis instead of getting on with my current project.

Now my phone number is in my signature, and clients can email me at any time. I get notified each time an email comes into my Translation folder, so I reply to those ASAP - usually within a few minutes. Not only does resolving queries via email keep things manageable from a time management perspective, it also ensures that all queries and arrangements are clearly documented, with no need for digging up chat logs later to check a deadline or term.


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xxxInterlangue
Angola
Local time: 18:38
English to French
+ ...
Other Jun 15, 2011

Skype did not bring me any new/ extra job(s) when I needed them badly at the beginning of this year

I use it (though not as often as before) to give an indication about my availability, but clients in my contact list usually don't read this information, and try to convince me through there to accept an emergency job even (especially?) when I am fully booked.
Some customers (agencies) use it to solve other translators' language or terminology problems... some sort of more private KudoZ.

BTW, only the people who are in my contact list can actually contact me. I do not deal with strangers

[Modifié le 2011-06-15 18:21 GMT]


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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:38
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
In terms of being offered work Jun 15, 2011

For the reasons given previously in this thread, I find Skype to be useful, although I find that I rarely use it for work purposes.

In general, I would not want my being or not being selected to do a project to depend on a few milliseconds of difference in response to a cattle call.

As regards these impersonal cattle calls, I would say that an expectation that a translator always be online and ready to drop everything to be able to quote/discuss rush jobs (or, worse, "potential jobs") that frequently offer mediocre rates is increasingly prevalent in the industry. Such an expectation contributes to the depersonalization of individual translators and the devaluing of the profession as a whole. Those of us who take our job seriously should not lend ourselves to this practice.

Personally addressed inquiries regarding an urgent job are another story, yet even there, I would never want to give the impression to any client or potential client that I am something akin to an on-duty fireman ready to respond at the sound of any and all alarms. If it works for me to do a rush job, and if the rate involved makes it worth my while, I will do it. If not, then I won't.


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Ambrose Li  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 12:38
Chinese to English
+ ...
I don’t know Jun 15, 2011

But MSN is just for teenagers? This is simply not true.

And regarding it being heavy on resources, being on the MSN network and actually using the official standalone MSN client are two different things.


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Maleen Hof  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 18:38
Member (2010)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Thank you for your views Jun 22, 2011

Dear all,

Since I suggested this poll I would like to thank you all for your views.

Recently I have been asked many times by potential clients to provide MSN/Skype details and some of them do indeed expect me to be online all the time. So far, I have only agreed to be online after special request of the client. In those cases it was basically an online meeting.

Since I like to concentrate on the job that needs to be done, I am not online outside these agreed times and I was wondering if I missed out a lot on new jobs and client contact.

Your views and results of the poll so far seem to confirm that it saves a lot of hassle when I stay off line and email and a mobile phone number should be sufficient to respond quickly to customer queries.

Thanks for sharing this.


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Poll: Do you think that being online at MSN/Skype improves one's chances of getting new jobs?






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