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Poll: Have you ever experienced a period of "burn-out"?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 05:59
SITE STAFF
Jun 14, 2006

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever experienced a period of "burn-out"?".

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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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Ricki Farn
Germany
Local time: 14:59
Member (2005)
English to German
Yes, but ... Jun 14, 2006

... during university studies. In a translation-related inhouse job. But never as a freelancer. Hey, I just take a week off when I feel that I am getting tired

PS, I don't work less now than I did in the 9-5, probably even more. And when I'm not working, I am planting plants, or fixing something around the house or doing some stuff for someone for sure. I suppose I am addicted to activity anyway. What helps against the burn-out is the free timing and the absence of people who tug at my sleeves all the time ... going freelance was like making my way out of a Dilbert cartoon.


[Bearbeitet am 2006-06-14 19:30]


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Agnieszka Zmuda  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 14:59
Member (2005)
English to Polish
Same as Ricki Jun 14, 2006

I used to feel burnt out very often when I worked on a 9-to-5 basis, day in day out along the same routine. I'm kind of burnt out now, but this is due to my second BA thesis that I seem to write and write ad infinitum. Hope to get it done by the end of June, though.

As a freelance translator I have never felt burnt out yet, but with so little workload that I've had so far this can hardly be surprising. Still, I hope to grow in the business AND enjoy translating irrespective of how much workload I may have and how much tired I may be.

Agnieszka


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Reed James
Chile
Local time: 10:59
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
It happens occasionally... Jun 14, 2006

Most of the time, I can gauge how work much is "enough" for a given week. However, sometimes it is impossible to predict unforeseen events. Sometimes, a job may take more effort than originally planned. Other times I have an unexpected errand to run and have less time to complete the job.

In any event, I make a point of not working over the weekend and taking a day or two off after a particularly draining job. This helps to even things out.

Reed


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xxxBrandis
Local time: 14:59
English to German
+ ...
empty spaces not a burn out Jun 14, 2006

mostly between Nov-Feb period. But I go fishing now, I have a place on the coast, just sit on the beach. Brandis

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Patricia Fierro, M. Sc.  Identity Verified
Ecuador
Local time: 08:59
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
+ ...
How to avoid losing clients? Jun 14, 2006

Hi,

I was wondering how Ricki can manage to keep her clients if she takes a week off. Usually if I do not reply to an email message or reply that I will not be able to do a translation, I feel that I will lose a client or I actually lose a client

Of course I try to outsource some translation jobs, but try to do most of them myself especially if they are related to my fields.

Patricia


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Rosa Maria Duenas Rios  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:59
Once... Jun 14, 2006

... but, again, working in a 9 to 5 office environment, never as a free-lance translator!

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Iza Szczypka  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:59
English to Polish
+ ...
Not as a freelancer Jun 14, 2006

But as a teacher I started feeling burned-out a year ago. Additionally, my DDH was getting worse & worse at the time, so I applied for a sort of (poor health-based) sabbatical. During the year I enjoyed being full-time freelancer so much that I am just in the process of saying goodbye to my university.

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Ricki Farn
Germany
Local time: 14:59
Member (2005)
English to German
I'd like to hear from ... Jun 14, 2006

... the people who clicked "I'm burned out now". How do you handle it?

With my worst burnout (after taking a university degree), I just sat on a community camping site for several days, staring straight ahead. Then a kind soul placed a heap of lettuce in front of me, so I tore it up for everyone's dinner, and over the next days, things slowly got better. The last time (after my last and biggest inhouse project) I sorted all my screws, nails and washers by sizes for several days, and then gradually moved on to bigger physical projects.

How do others manage?

--


Agnieszka, wishing you all the best for your thesis! Getting a degree is wonderful - especially when it's over

Patricia, telling a customer that I am dog tired and will be back at their disposal next week doesn't seem to have deterred anyone yet. I suppose they know the feeling?!

[Bearbeitet am 2006-06-14 19:31]


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Agnieszka Zmuda  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 14:59
Member (2005)
English to Polish
To Ricki Jun 14, 2006

Well, I haven't actually ticked "I'm burnt out now" because I wasn't really sure whether it applied strictly to translation jobs or life in general
BUT, as I said before, I feel a bit down and what I do trying to manage this unpleasant state of mind is just not to put pressure on myself to write yet another page of my BA or even dare think about it. I don't think my "strategy" is anything near "innovative" but I just sit at my computer, scanning through KudoZ (and replying whenever I can), writing long-planned emails, responding to interesting forum posts) and allowing myself dozens of little "sins" like sipping the unhealthy (non-diet) CocaCola and eating mini-doughnuts instead of cooking myself a proper lunch. I've looked through all the daily newspapers (which I usually do in the evening) as well as news on the Internet. Weeeell, I still hope my condition won't get worse after 9 pm. Guess why, Ricki?))

Cheer up! All the best to everyone, burnt out or not.
Agnieszka


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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:59
French to English
What about "sometimes"? Jun 14, 2006

Other answers can always be added but the gap between often and rarely is pretty big.

For me it happens sometimes. But more often than rarely, although more rarely than often. Sometimes...


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xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 07:59
English to Russian
+ ...
I voted "now" Jun 14, 2006

I simply ordered myself to inform the clients of my unavailability for a week. Stress related to non-work stuff has been piling up since last fall and I have been working 70 hours a week on average for the last 3 months. Anyway, I didn't do anything useful for the first 3 days and started out with sleeping, watching TV, napping, driving around and browsing various stores, checking Proz:-) for easy questions (easy for me), eating out alone without a need to process any signals coming my way (talking that is:-)), staying pretty much away from phone, having quality time with my cats, staring at the lake from my balcony, ignoring unmopped floors etc. I acted like a vegetable and made sure that nothing I do bothers my brain cells too much. Now I'm going again and my place is waiting:-). Not work, not yet, I must reinforce my relaxation achievements:-). Gym, small makeover work in my condo, some catching up on my bills and paperwork, things like that. As much as I love to get out of town on active vacations I find such hybernation periods in the security of my own home useful and important as well. They rarely last for a whole week though - to prevent actual "burnt-out" point 2-3 days is normally enough but this time I had it full-scale, I needed a week badly. On Sunday I'll start working again:-(.

Stay sane and relaxed:-)
Irene


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xxxBrandis
Local time: 14:59
English to German
+ ...
I think this is a good question Jun 14, 2006

Well... I was a Werkstudent, which means you work for a company in a dedicated way that the company re-employs you ( in an interpreted manner) for Siemens, later the fusion Siemens-Bosch came. During my tenure every project or assignment was a stress, starting with machine working tool design, customizing, documenting, running to various places, informing ( also called employee in-house education) I did a few hundred projects, but the days were very challenging and equally had lead to lack of social contact or personal freedom,so I used to get back at the underground and first thing was to buy a 0,3 Berliner Bier and go the cemetary behind the church at Dennewitz Platz. Even winters used to be very tolerable, 30 - 40 min break may be a cigarette and back home, eat crumbs, get hold of books as the time permitted. Again run to to the University early or other workshops till 14:00 take a bus ( 45 min and I used to doze off) the get out at the last stop and take literally a 30 min walk,despite the weather and be happy while reaching Siemens developing labs. That went on during 1983 -1989. That was a total burn out with multiple ever changing assignments. Best Brandis

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Karen Stokes  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:59
Member (2003)
French to English
How not to lose clients Jun 14, 2006

Patricia Fierro, M. Sc. wrote:

Hi,

I was wondering how Ricki can manage to keep her clients if she takes a week off. Usually if I do not reply to an email message or reply that I will not be able to do a translation, I feel that I will lose a client or I actually lose a client

Patricia


I think you need to manage the process a little. If you're going to take some time off, warn your regular clients and let them know when you'll be back. If you're picking up mail while you're off work then again let people know that you're off, and when you'll be available again. If your work is good and you're reliable then you won't lose clients - they'll just welcome you with open arms once you're back in the office!
Regards,
Karen


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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:59
English to Arabic
+ ...
Burnout started as a freelancer Jun 14, 2006

Contrary to the experiences described by colleagues above, I only ever started to feel the burnout when I became a freelancer. As an inhouse translator, I was only given the amount of work I could handle in a day, plus I could completely forget about the housework from 9 to 5.

I imagined that becoming a freelancer would allow me to take a week off every now and then (like Ricki described), and to only work as much as I feel like working.

In fact, I am finding it very hard to turn down any job, not only because I'm worried about losing clients (that was more in the beginning), but also because there's some kind of loyalty between me and my clients, and I feel I don't want to disappoint them, (especially if I've done the same kind of work for them before, so they really need me to do the job to ensure consistency).

I find myself unable to take days off, often working late into the night, seeing the housework pile up around me, the kids feeding on pizza a few days in a row and me not having any form of social life.................

If you haven't guessed already, I chose "I'm burned out right now"!


[Edited at 2006-06-14 15:37]


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