Mobile menu

Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Poll: How much work do you typically have? (translating/interpreting)
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 08:41
SITE STAFF
Mar 27, 2007

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How much work do you typically have? (translating/interpreting)".

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


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Reed James
Chile
Local time: 11:41
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
Enough is never enough Mar 27, 2007

The great thing about being a freelancer is that you have the choice of what you want to work on, how much you want to work and when you want to get the work done.

Nevertheless, I find it impossible to truly have a steady workflow. I find that if I "overbook" by bidding on and accepting too many jobs, I have more work than I need.

On the other hand, if I'm too picky about what I accept, I am bound to hit patches of inactivity. Has anyone found an equilibrium?

I've come to the conclusion that I need to leave some availability open, but not so much that I have no work for long stretches.

If I were to compare this job with financial investment, I would say that freelance translating is a bit like a mutual fund, and not at all like a checking account. Every word you translate, every new agency or client you work for, is a long-term investment. How well you do this month is not as important as how well you will be doing in five or ten years.

This is why it is essential to look at the big picture and work with clients who pay well, are reliable and send the translator good quality and interesting work.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:41
Italian to English
+ ...
I voted "too much"... Mar 27, 2007

... but in fact the real answer would be "too much if I accepted everything I was offered". Which I don't, any more - although I used to.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mike Hunter
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:41
Member
English to Flemish
+ ...
Translations are like waiting for a bus Mar 27, 2007

You either wait for ages or several arrive together!

But seriously, as an agency representative I notice that work comes in unevenly, and some translators are busy when others aren't. Its not always about quality of translator or rare language combinations either.

Regards

Mike Hunter


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Riitta Law  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:41
Finnish to English
newbie Mar 27, 2007

I am still waiting for my first job, so I guess the answer would have to be "not enough"

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Evija Rimšāne  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 18:41
Member
English to Latvian
I voted "too much" as well Mar 27, 2007

Marie-Helene Hayles wrote:

... but in fact the real answer would be "too much if I accepted everything I was offered". Which I don't, any more - although I used to.


and this is exactly my case too!


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Amira El-Wattar  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:41
Arabic to English
+ ...
how come? Mar 27, 2007

Evija Rimsane wrote:

Marie-Helene Hayles wrote:

... but in fact the real answer would be "too much if I accepted everything I was offered". Which I don't, any more - although I used to.


and this is exactly my case too!


I am still new at this but how come you say that you have too much ??? I am still waiting for someone to answer back ... how does this thing work?
Did you have to wait long for your first job? and what is it with the rates ... I am having a hard time setting my rates .. as I don't know what to ask for....

Can someone please help!!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Andrea Riffo  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 11:41
English to Spanish
Extremely variable... Mar 27, 2007

... but enough nonetheless. Perhaps this poll should have allowed multiple answers, given that not all of them are mutually exclusive.

I don't know if the current poll system allows that, though.

Greetings


Direct link Reply with quote
 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:41
Spanish to English
+ ...
Agree with Mike... Mar 27, 2007

plus here, in Spain, it comes in fits and starts, and depends a lot on fiestas etc... the thing is that it's almost always "urgent" i. e. they haven't factored in translation time when setting deadlines. but I really must stop banging on about that, when in Rome...

I seem to usually get enough from my regular clients without having to look for any more, although that is not really an issue. "As much as I can be bothered taking on" would be more like it, although I'm planning to work harder for a few months now because I want to change my moto for a Yamaha and need more readies...


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:41
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I should give a seminar on "how to get too much" Mar 27, 2007

(and I really did think this was a very random poll, by the way. Catch me another day and I'll probably say "just enough", but I've been doing 6000+ in three languages for the last 48 hours).

I saw quite a few of those buses myself, Mike. Sent them another way.

But one thing I've always wanted to ask: when you book us, don't come up and we take someone else, why do you all suddenly turn around and decide to come in at the same time? No matter how well we manage to organize our calendars, with barely a chink in the hours, there's always the turn-around-changed-my-mind-here-it-comes guy messing it up.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Ritu Bhanot  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 17:41
Member (2006)
French to Hindi
+ ...
Variable Mar 28, 2007

There are times when you get all the offers and other times when you have just enough work.

August was one such month when I didn't have any work. And then I had some work... and well, last month I had so much work that I switched off my phone so that no one can contact me with any new offer.

Anyways, these things are difficult to understand.

I guess the fact that I learnt Unicode typing (Hindi and Punjabi) after August actually contributed to the increase in work. And I always try to upgrade my skills.

[Edited at 2007-03-28 05:22]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jocelyne S  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 17:41
Member
French to English
+ ...
Enough, occasionally bordering on too much Mar 28, 2007

I agree with others that things can be variable, but overall I would say that I straddle a fine line between "enough" and "too much".

My main client keeps me busy roughly 35 hours a week (more at the beginning and end of the month), which is great, but in an attempt not to depend too greatly on only one client, regardless of our long-term relationship, I try to oblige when my other clients come in with an "urgent" job.

For the most part balance can be maintained (a shorter lunch hour here, a later evening there), but occasionally the glass overflows and I have to propose unreasonably long deadlines for fairly short translation requests (and then we see who's truly in a rush!).

That said, when I first started translating, business was more sporadic and would jump between "not enough" and "too much" in no time. I quickly learned that, for me at least, it was not worth taking on more than I wanted to/could handle, ever! If your work is good you will develop loyal customers that will come back for more and will understand (and be happy for your honesty) when you say that you already have too much on your plate.

Best,
Jocelyne


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 17:41
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
A pity there is nowhere on the site to show 'I'm free and waiting' Mar 28, 2007

The red dot on my profile simply doesn't work. Many clients don't look at it anyway. Once they have found you, they come back, usually all of them at the end of the month!

But it would be great if I could say 'Why don't you look for someone who's free? Try www. ................

I sometimes refer clients to colleagues who would do the job well, but they are often busy too!

I don't have time to get bored at the beginning of the month either - right now it's definitely 'too much!'

Keep trying folks - or start learning Danish because there is lots of work out there somewhere!

Happy translating!



Direct link Reply with quote
 

John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:41
Spanish to English
+ ...
Enough is never enough Mar 28, 2007

I answered “too much” because like lots of other folks here my work comes in the “when it rains, it pours” manner. I work as an in-house translator, which gives me all the work I need, but no matter how many hours I do at the company I just can’t bring myself to say no when something else comes along. I think as freelancers we’re “wired” not to say “no” because we just never know when we’ll get that next call or email asking for our services. There’s also that underlying fear that if we say “no” someone else will say “yes” and we may lose a potential future client.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:41
Spanish to English
+ ...
If Proz is your only window of opportunity Mar 28, 2007

I am still new at this but how come you say that you have too much ??? I am still waiting for someone to answer back ... how does this thing work?
Did you have to wait long for your first job? and what is it with the rates ... I am having a hard time setting my rates .. as I don't know what to ask for....

Can someone please help!! [/quote]

If Proz is the route you are taking to find work, you may wait forever. Proz is not simply a site where translation jobs are solicited and found, rather a set of translation field related resources, one of which is the meeting point for prospective clients and professionals in the translation field, including agencies and outsourcers.

In my opinion, the first thing you should do is to seek work in your language pair/s through normal channels, locally, by advertising your services in all available media (without emphasising your lack of experience), while continuing to solicit work through other means such as proz. You could also consider forming an independent network of translators in your area, or look for a mentor.

As for rates, you can always set/negotiate your own, or make enquiries from other translators/agencies in your area/languages.

I have never received any work through proz, only a couple of offers from agencies that were so badly worded that I would not consider working with them.
Basically, just don't put all your eggs in one basket.
Good luck, nm


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

Moderator(s) of this forum
Jared Tabor[Call to this topic]

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Poll: How much work do you typically have? (translating/interpreting)

Advanced search






Déjà Vu X3
Try it, Love it

Find out why Déjà Vu is today the most flexible, customizable and user-friendly tool on the market. See the brand new features in action: *Completely redesigned user interface *Live Preview *Inline spell checking *Inline

More info »
PDF Translation - the Easy Way
TransPDF converts your PDFs to XLIFF ready for professional translation.

TransPDF converts your PDFs to XLIFF ready for professional translation. It also puts your translations back into the PDF to make new PDFs. Quicker and more accurate than hand-editing PDF. Includes free use of Infix PDF Editor with your translated PDFs.

More info »



All of ProZ.com
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs