| United we stand, divided we fall? || Oct 29, 2001 |
I see what you are getting at. However, I am not sure that there is any cause for concern. The positive aspects just have to outweigh the negative ones.
I have been on Proz for over a year now and in that time I have been contacted by other Proz to help them out with a particular job. I too have called upon others to assist me in times of need too. I have absolutely no intention of setting up as an agency. I love running my own show, but what I love about it most of all, is being able to chose those with whom I work. And I mean clients and fellow translators.
Proz is good exposure, particularly if you remember that you are exposing yourself. Self-restraint is not always easy but gains respect and makes you someone others want to work with. Unconsciously to start with, but, as time went on, extremely consciously indeed, I started to sit up and take notice of the way certain people worked. Subject knowledge, curiosity, intellect, analytical skills all count. Quite apart from the amount you can learn from observing how others work, you start to see who thinks like you do, who works like you do, and who might write the same way you do. From then on, Proz is your oyster!
Off-stage, all sorts of contacts are made. Semi-formalising associations in the form of teams in a friendly way is positive publicity for you too. Your client will realise that you can work with others and get your act together. This makes you more attractive to work with.
I have had first-hand experience of this sort of informal team. My main speciality is yachting, and if push comes to shove, I could easily say just in 60 foot open class monohulls and multihulls. I started noticing the names of one or two other people doing similar work and one name stood out. I contacted the person, we met and now when he goes on holiday, he tells his clients to contact me, I do the same. Similarly, when I am really busy, I send clients his way. Neither of us has lost clients in doing so. Quite the opposite has happened. Clients are happy as they get their work done on time, the workload is spread but each client tends to contact their original translator first.
Furthermore, the type of text can come into play too. X is stronger on the engineeringy side of things and I am better when legalese comes into play. In either case, the specific technical boat context is still required. A relief too to know that you can always bounce ideas off each other. On one occasion, we were both having trouble getting one client to pay up after having done tons of work for him. The client asked us (separately) to lower our rates, contrary to what had been agreed before we started the work. United we did not just stand, we stood firm and got our money - at the agreed rate. Safety in numbers! We fall in line on rates for clients for whom we both work. No way would I ever want to set up a partnership, but working in parallel with someone as and when needed is truly beneficial all round... as long as you can find the right person, which can take time of course. Give it the time it needs, it may turn out to be worth it.
[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-10-29 16:58 ]
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