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Poll: How does your stress level as a freelancer compare to other jobs you've had?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 11:19
SITE STAFF
Feb 14, 2008

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How does your stress level as a freelancer compare to other jobs you've had?".

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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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Myriam S  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:19
Spanish to English
the best commute ever Feb 14, 2008

Now my commute to work takes 3 minutes, including my stop at the coffee maker for a cup of coffee. At one point I use to travel an hour to and from work. Now I use those two hours to get some exercise or play with our pets in the yard.

Yes, it is true that freelance work is stressful because the work load changes from month to month, sometimes there's too much work and sometimes not enough, and in addition there is the stress of tight deadlines. However, I have learned to manage those two things by reminding myself to take full advantage and do other things when I don’t have work.

In addition, when I receive requests to translate something urgently, I pause and ask myself, have I not left emergency medicine for something more humane? And the answer continues to be yes, so I politely decline, and wait for the next offer. And the next offer always comes.

If you are organized and disciplined, this is the type of job that allows you to better manage the stress of daily life.


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Juan Manuel García  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:19
English to Spanish
+ ...
Different kind of stress Feb 14, 2008

I would say I'm more stressed now, because you always have to deal with new challenges, tight deadlines and difficult jobs, sometimes, but I definitely believe that this is a "good" kind of stress. The negative part is that you get stressed (who doesn't?!!), but the positive one is that you work in what you love, so, blessed be this stress!!

Juanma


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Catherine Shepherd  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:19
Spanish to English
+ ...
Still stressed :p Feb 14, 2008

It's a different kind of stress compared to other jobs, but it's the one I prefer! Because being a freelancer has so many other advantages...

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lillkakan
Local time: 19:19
English to Swedish
Agreed - different kind of stress Feb 14, 2008

It's a completely different stress, that I find easier to cope with. It doesn't make me sick the way I was before.

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Diana Arbiser  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:19
English to Spanish
+ ...
Less stressed Feb 14, 2008

I'm less stressed now, simply because I LOVE what I do. Nothing can be more stressful than hating your job. Nothing can be more rewarding than doing what you love/loving what you do. I'm blessed.


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Keren Terret
Israel
Local time: 20:19
Hebrew to English
+ ...
Much less stressed! Feb 14, 2008

I am a former teacher, a job which I found to be quite stressful. Teachers in Israel have a tough time - classes are overcrowded, children unruly, parents demanding, etc. I used to come home "on all fours" after a day's work!

Now life is sweet! No commute, no rowdy kids, no boss looking over my shoulder. I love my work and feel very fulfilled. The only stress factors I can claim are meeting tight deadlines (which doesn't get me too riled up), slow periods where work has petered off (things always pick up eventually), and collecting money from reluctant payers (happens fairly infrequently). Other than that I feel like I have it made!


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Fabio Descalzi  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 15:19
Member (2004)
German to Spanish
+ ...
This is like a dream come true Feb 14, 2008

In 2003 I attended a telework seminary. They told us, in short, that we were about to face a new sort of commuting:
- live here
- work far away
- cash your salary far away
- spend your money here
All four points are absolutely true.

AND: I work all by myself. My only responsibilities are: deliver in time, and ensure the quality of my own work. The rest is up to me. So... the only stress I eventually have is up to me too.

Do you want anything better?


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Joeri Van Liefferinge  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 19:19
Member (2002)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Different (and better) kind of stress, exactly! Feb 14, 2008

Juan Manuel García wrote:

I would say I'm more stressed now, because you always have to deal with new challenges, tight deadlines and difficult jobs, sometimes, but I definitely believe that this is a "good" kind of stress. The negative part is that you get stressed (who doesn't?!!), but the positive one is that you work in what you love, so, blessed be this stress!!

Juanma
That's exactly what my first thought was!

Joeri


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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:19
French to English
+ ...
My thoughts entirely Feb 14, 2008

Diana Arbiser wrote:

I'm less stressed now, simply because I LOVE what I do. Nothing can be more stressful than hating your job. Nothing can be more rewarding than doing what you love/loving what you do. I'm blessed.


I agree entirely. I get the occasional day when I'm wading through something boring, but most of the time, as a freelancer, you can pick and choose. You can organise your workload to suit your own constraints, walk the dogs when you like, get some fresh air in the garden, cook your own lunch.... bliss! And of course, there's no commuting or office politics to contend with. And on top of that the huge bonus of a job you love - absolutely.


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 18:19
Dutch to English
+ ...
Far less stress Feb 14, 2008

I sometimes really miss the buzz of legal practice though. Legal practice involved constant deadlines too - the zero-tolerance from judges' kind - so it placed me in good stead for the time-driven aspect of full-time translation work. I function best under pressure, and manage time well, so I usually don't find deadlines stressful.

The only real "stress" I encounter with translation work is if the damn computer/Internet is playing up.

However, these days I have two backups for each, so it rarely happens.


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yam2u  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:19
Member
English to Malay
+ ...
"the only stress I eventually have is up to me" Feb 14, 2008

Can't say it better!

-may-

Fabio Descalzi wrote:

AND: I work all by myself. My only responsibilities are: deliver in time, and ensure the quality of my own work. The rest is up to me. So... the only stress I eventually have is up to me too.

Do you want anything better?


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R-i-c-h-a-r-d  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 15:19
Member (2006)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Worry, not stress Feb 14, 2008

I certainly don't suffer from the same levels of stress that I used to, simply because I mostly enjoy my job now, even when the source material is really boring. The majority of people in the translation industry are really great too

However, worry is a more appropriate emotion. I didn't use to worry so much as I do now because I used to have a fixed salary and was able to organize my investments, holidays etc... Now I worry about those things, but then that's maybe also due to the fact that I've got a wife and three kids to look after. The right sort of worry I think.

I think that if you're happy in what you do then you don't really feel such high levels of stress. There are more important things to 'worry' about.


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Fernando D. Walker  Identity Verified

Local time: 15:19
English to Spanish
+ ...
I prefer this one Feb 14, 2008

Catherine Shepherd wrote:
It's a different kind of stress compared to other jobs, but it's the one I prefer! Because being a freelancer has so many other advantages...


Catherine: You couldn’t have said it better. I totally agree with you.
Best,
Fernando


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Harry Hermawan  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 01:19
Member (2005)
English to Indonesian
Totally different stress Feb 14, 2008

In the past the stress is usually on getting to the place of work...traffic.

Now, past stress as above is non-existent (except if there's a interpreting job..in this case getting to the client not so much a stress rather an enjoyable trip down memory lane...even though there is traffic).

The new stress level is doing the marketing i.e. when not translating or interpreting, you know lah


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