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Poll: Have you ever taken another temporary job (not translating) during a slow period?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 11:55
SITE STAFF
Oct 28, 2007

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever taken another temporary job (not translating) during a slow period?".

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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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Reed James
Chile
Local time: 14:55
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
Not on your life! Oct 28, 2007

I would have to be hard-pressed to take any other job than freelance translating, especially in Chile. Given my non-technical (language) background, there aren't many jobs that would be worth taking. I would also have to consider the sacrifice of not being home with my children at crucial times of the day.

Fortunately, I haven't had a slow period for a very long time, and it doesn't look like one is coming anytime soon. Knock on wood!


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Beatriz Galiano
Argentina
Local time: 15:55
English to Spanish
+ ...
I'd do it again Oct 28, 2007

I've taught, trnslated, have had bilingual secretarial jobs, that was a great experience and I'd do it again, not in the city where I live now, but soon I`ll be moving...

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Mariam Osmann
Egypt
Local time: 20:55
English to Arabic
+ ...
other Oct 28, 2007

I already work as instructor of environmental sciences, three days per week. Since I am new in the job so, I prepare and review materials during the hours or the days of no translation work. Before that, sometimes I wished I could have "sufficient enough" slow period to work on my master research.

but soon I`ll be moving...

Good luck with the moving Beatriz !

[Modifié le 2007-10-28 05:13]


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Gennady Lapardin  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 21:55
Italian to Russian
+ ...
Knock on wood! Oct 28, 2007

Reed D. James wrote:

Fortunately, I haven't had a slow period for a very long time, and it doesn't look like one is coming anytime soon. Knock on wood!


When in 1994-1995 in Russia Italian translations abruptly stalled, I changed to financial manager, because the situation was favorable for that. That helped me to see the real life more deeply and in detail.
However, knock for Reed D. James, for myself, for all of us.


[Edited at 2007-10-28 21:53]


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JaneTranslates  Identity Verified
Puerto Rico
Local time: 14:55
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Job can be learning opportunity Oct 28, 2007

On the one hand, I would have to be really hard up before I would take a Monday-through-Friday, 9-to-5 job. I love my freelance freedom!

On the other hand, a temporary, part-time job is an opportunity to learn something new--always an asset to a translator.

For instance, I tutored an executive in English for a while, at his workplace. Since he wanted to communicate better with co-workers, we spent much of our time talking about his work. I learned a lot about an industry with which I was unfamiliar, and sure enough, that knowledge has helped me with a couple of translations.

Even flipping burgers, you can pick up on current slang and observe the inner workings of the fast-food industry. (I used to read the trade magazines on the manager's desk during my breaks.)

I'd rather translate. But it's easy for a freelancer to lose touch, if s/he isn't careful. A temporary job forces you back into the world. Not always a bad thing, that.

Jane


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janen
Local time: 06:55
Spanish to English
+ ...
in my early days Oct 28, 2007

It happened not during a slow period but before I had built up my client base. My first client (a translation company) asked me to do some part-time job management to cover for somebody on maternity leave, and I accepted. I don't see it happening again, as I rarely have a slow day these days, and I also don't live so close to that company any more.

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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:55
Spanish to English
+ ...
Why not? Oct 28, 2007

Like Reed James mentions above, I don’t need to look for work. In fact, I’ve taken on two trusted collaborators in the last few months because of the volume of work I have.
That being said, I wouldn’t have any qualms about getting a part time job if I weren’t in the position I’m currently in. Now that I think about it, a little variety would do me good and it’s true that you can always learn something new in a job.

I’d really like to see a post from someone who answered that they wouldn’t consider taking another part time job to fill in the dry patches. I’d like to know their reasoning (or stubbornness) for not being willing to work, even part time, at another job.


[Editado a las 2007-10-28 17:53]


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Hilary Davies Shelby
United States
Local time: 13:55
German to English
Christmas Oct 28, 2007

For the past three years, I've worked as a sales assistant over the Christmas period, when translation is slow and the retail industry needs extra help. It gets me out of the house, provides a nice counterbalance to my otherwise solitary working hours, enables me to meet new people and helps me to keep up with retail and marketing terminology. It's a win-win situation. And of course, I get the added benefit of some extra "pocket money" - what's not to like about that?

[Edited at 2007-10-28 20:44]


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:55
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Why I couldn't do it Oct 29, 2007

In answer to John's request, since I am one of the people who answered, "No, I would not consider it.", I will explain my position.

Firstly, we need to distinguish between part-time and full-time translators anyway. There are people among us who translate part-time all the time, and there are people who all the time do a combination between translation and teaching, for example, which they have set up in a way that works for them. That gives them a lot more flexibility, due to the way they have organised themselves to begin with.

I run a full-time translation business here. Since I am in Germany, my end clients - especially the lawyers - do expect me to be available from Monday to Friday during normal office hours (although, in addition, they also sometimes expect me to "magic" translations for them between close of business on Friday and start of business on Monday). They also not infrequently need a document translated immediately.

Now, if I were to "abandon" this business to do something else, for even a week, because business had been slow recently, I could guarantee that on the Monday morning of the week I were away, I would be flooded with enquiries and urgent documents for immediate translation. If I were not there to answer those enquiries (or answered them from a mobile phone/mobile Internet device saying that I was presently unavailable to do the translations), my business would have come to an end by the following week! It's as simple as that.

Of course, I can go to conferences, or also go on holiday a couple of times a year, and notify the clients in advance. However, even then, for some of them I have to fix up a colleague to do their translations in my place.

Astrid


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David Brown  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:55
Spanish to English
Temporary Job? Oct 29, 2007

[quote]John Cutler wrote:

I’d really like to see a post from someone who answered that they wouldn’t consider taking another part time job to fill in the dry patches. I’d like to know their reasoning (or stubbornness) for not being willing to work, even part time, at another job.

I suppose I might just be a bit out of the ordinary, but I retired early (after 40 years as a health professional), and translation became a (fairly well paid) sideline to my life in early retirement. Now I work almost full-time, but with all the fiestas and holidays, and most weekends free. I see "slow patches" as rest periods, or times to visit local clients in their workplace (hospitals), or unfortunately, "little" jobs around the house.


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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:55
Spanish to English
+ ...
OK Oct 29, 2007

Astrid Elke Johnson wrote:

In answer to John's request, since I am one of the people who answered, "No, I would not consider it.", I will explain my position.

Now, if I were to "abandon" this business to do something else, for even a week, because business had been slow recently, I could guarantee that on the Monday morning of the week I were away, I would be flooded with enquiries and urgent documents for immediate translation. If I were not there to answer those enquiries (or answered them from a mobile phone/mobile Internet device saying that I was presently unavailable to do the translations), my business would have come to an end by the following week! It's as simple as that.


Astrid


Now I get it and understand you completely.


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M. Anna Kańduła  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:55
English to Polish
No Oct 29, 2007

For several reasons.

I don't want to. I've been working "9-5" and I hated every minute of it. I promised myseld - no more bosses (bad experiences from the past). Another matter that with my education there's little chance to find a job in Poland, and even less to find a well paid job. It's better to have slower period in translation and have little money and a lot of time for reading, writing and walking, than working 8 hours a day and have little money anyway Little = not enough for paying my bills.

When slow period would end what would I do - suddenly drop 9-5 work? I cannot - I am required by law to stay for a month longer from the date of giving my resignation on boss's hands. And a boss might not agree to let me go immediatelly, without that month.

I prefer to save every month a little money to make sure I'll manage through poorer days if/when they come.
And so far - poor months were usually followed by months of "we cannot live without you, we all need you translate this and that for tomorrow"


Anni


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Noni Gilbert
Spain
Local time: 20:55
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Sod's law Oct 29, 2007

...does dictate that if you were to commit yourself to anything else, your best translation opportunity ever would come up and you might lose it.

But on the other hand, direct contact with ANY area is always going to be useful, even, as Jane says above, if it's the inside of the fast food industry and the current jargon.


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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:55
French to English
+ ...
Agree entirely Oct 29, 2007

Astrid Elke Johnson wrote:


Now, if I were to "abandon" this business to do something else, for even a week, because business had been slow recently, I could guarantee that on the Monday morning of the week I were away, I would be flooded with enquiries and urgent documents for immediate translation. If I were not there to answer those enquiries (or answered them from a mobile phone/mobile Internet device saying that I was presently unavailable to do the translations), my business would have come to an end by the following week! It's as simple as that.

Astrid


I agree entirely with Astrid. I am normally pulled out of the place, but, on the odd occasion when I am quiet, as I have been this past week, it's actually a very welcome opportunity to catch up on other neglected tasks like cleaning the house or decorating my bedroom, as I did last week. I still had bits and bobs of urgent work coming in which I was able to do, but I now feel completely refreshed and ready to tackle this week's workload. Plus, as Astrid says, it would be typical that, if I were to accept another "part-time" job out of the house, urgent translations would suddenly arrive out of nowhere and I wouldn't be able to respond, thus potentially losing important clients.

To do this job properly, you have to be able to commit full-time and be available when your clients need you. Obviously that still means you often end up working in the evenings and weekends as well, but you're still in control, on balance.

I wouldn't have it any other way.

Claire


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