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Poll: What is your main criterion when taking up a job?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 20:58
SITE STAFF
Mar 11, 2008

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What is your main criterion when taking up a job?".

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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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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:58
English to Arabic
+ ...
Set of criteria Mar 11, 2008

I'm rewriting the posting I wrote a few minutes ago, cause it occurred to me that I don't look at the criteria in a particular order at all!
Actually, when you're sent any job you're presented with several criteria at the same time, and there's usually one or more criteria which stick out - it can be a negative BB record, or a subject that I'm not specialised in, bad rates, incovenient deadlines etc. . So I wouldn't say there's a main criterion at all.



[Edited at 2008-03-11 14:27]


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Reed James
Chile
Local time: 23:58
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
Topic Mar 11, 2008

First of all, I am basing my answer on the premise that the job is coming from a known and trusted agency.

With that in mind, I size up the document and if it is too technical or requires too much research for the deadline given, I simply pass it up.

Sometimes the best job you did is the one you turned down!


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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:58
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Mar 11, 2008

I was going to answer “no main criterion” because there are a whole series of factors to take into consideration.

In the end, I answered “other”. My top criterion is how soon I’ll get paid for my work. A client who pays after 30 days definitely gets more preference than one who pays after 60 or 90.


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R-i-c-h-a-r-d  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 00:58
Member (2006)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
OTHER Mar 11, 2008

I hesitated and then responded "other".

My main criterion is 'whether I can do a good job' / 'the ability to do a good job'.

What is the point of accepting a job at high rates if the quality output is going to be low and slow?

I have many criteria I guess, but the main one I ask myself is 'do I feel comfortable with this', above all else.


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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 21:58
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
All of the above Mar 11, 2008

For me it's a combination of all those factors. I agree with Richard, my first question is: can I do a good job on this? But I took that to be included in "topic".

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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 04:58
Dutch to English
+ ...
Deadline ... Mar 11, 2008

... for me because I work with a select number of clients. Repeat business.

They all pay my requested rate within 30 days. I simply don't accept longer terms.

The subject matter is nearly always law. I am a qualified lawyer and so it's a natural choice. Otherwise it's business/finance. I stick to these areas because it's the areas in which I can produce the highest and most accurate output.

My rates vary from EUR xxx to EUR xxx depending on whether the text is general, semi-specialised or specialised, which they all know. Identifying which it is, is a quick enough exercise. Which it is, doesn't really matter, as I can handle all types in my specialised areas.

All that basically remains is whether I can meet the requested deadline. If I can't, I state my best available delivery date after seeing the file.

I often compare running my office to air traffic control at Heathrow. I have to stick to the allocated take-off and landing slots and avoid mid-air collisions, simple as that.

[Edited at 2008-03-11 18:12]


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:58
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Yes, I suppose that might be my top criterion, too Mar 11, 2008

John Cutler wrote:

My top criterion is how soon I’ll get paid for my work. A client who pays after 30 days definitely gets more preference than one who pays after 60 or 90.


I have a client who tries to monopolise me, though, and always succeeds, because he sends my invoices to the cash room of his firm the same day he receives the translation together with the invoice, and then the money is credited to my bank account three days later. This happens regardless of how large the amount involved is. However, I have to work for other people as well, inbetween, otherwise I would not be self-employed. This client does not - directly - make me work through the night and all weekend every weekend, but indirectly he does, because those are the only times I have free in the end to do the work that I get from anybody else.

Astrid


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:58
Spanish to English
+ ...
Previous working relationship Mar 11, 2008

... because I have 4 or 5 regular clients of long standing; then, but not in any order of preference: reasonable deadline, text complexity, Word compatible format (NO PDFs please!!), prompt payment and prestige ( I often do translations or revisions of articles for publication which are not big payers but the authors credit me in the acknowledgements, which cheers me up no end).

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Michaël Temmerman  Identity Verified
Costa Rica
Local time: 21:58
English to Dutch
+ ...
two main criteria Mar 11, 2008

My two main criteria are rate and deadline.
I have a minimum rate and if customers don't want to pay that much, I turn down the offer. It's amazing what ridiculous rates people sometimes suggest!

If the rate isn't a problem (e.g. for regular customers), the deadline has to be reasonable. If I have too much work already, I turn down the job. If it really pays well, I consider working late to finish the job in time (if possible taking my other work into account and if I have no other (private) plans already).


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David Russi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:58
English to Spanish
+ ...
There have to be SOME criteria... Mar 11, 2008

otherwise if you got two jobs at the same time and had to chose one you'd have to toss a coin!

For me it is subject matter first. If I am willing and able to work on the material, it is then a matter of rate and speed of payment. Somewhere in there is the issue of deadline, which trumps if it's unreasonable.


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janen
Local time: 15:58
Spanish to English
+ ...
Criteria for relationship Mar 12, 2008

I put no main criterion. On reflection it might be previous working relationship, but the relationship exists because I have wanted to keep working for the client based on other factors.

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Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:58
Member (2005)
English to Japanese
+ ...
All of the Above I agree with Tina too Mar 12, 2008

Yes, I agree to all of the above, just like Tina.
Even if the outsourcer offered me a job with a rate of "30 cents" per word to translate a text of 10,000 words in one whole day, that would be quite impossible. Therefore, rate, deadline, topic, previous work relationship etc, they are all important factors when taking a job.


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patyjs  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 22:58
Spanish to English
+ ...
Topic, Mar 12, 2008

because this is the only reason I would turn a job down flat. Rates and deadline can be negotiated and then turned down if the client can't come up with what's acceptable to me, but you can't do much about the topic. Even if they offered 30 cents a word, as Yasutomo suggested, some topics are definitely no-go areas.

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