From Independent to In-House translator
Thread poster: Jason Roberts

Jason Roberts  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:37
Dutch to English
+ ...
May 5, 2003


I have been an independent translator for some time now, and find that many aspects of it suit me wonderfully. I have even been able to find ways around many of the things I find to be a struggle by cooperating with other independent professionals in marketing, accounting, etc.

Now, however, I find myself in a position to accept a permanent, full-time translation job with an excellent company (not a translation agency). Has anyone out there ever done this? I know lots of people go the other way (from full-time employee to independent) but what are the challenges I might not be able to see going to work for someone full-time? Is it common for companies to require that their translators do no outside work in translation?



Mónica Machado
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:37
English to Portuguese
+ ...
As far as I know May 5, 2003


I have worked in-house and think it is a wonderful experience. Every translator should try this as we do learn a lot about many things including other processes related to translation but that we, translators, don\'t usually do when freelancing.

However, it seems to me that the natural process is to start as an in-house translator and progress to a freelance and independent one, not the opposite. Unless, a translator is not happy with being a freelancer or the opportunity is too great to say no.

However, from my own experience it seems translation companies do require an in-house translator to work for them only. You can try going against this (many might do) but it might however still be against that company\'s rules.

Think carefully and if it is really good don\'t hesitate. Nevertheless, do think whether you will loose clients that might be difficult to get back again in future.

All the best



Monika Coulson  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:37
Member (2001)
English to Albanian
+ ...
Congratulations May 6, 2003

Hi Jason,

First, congratulations on your new offer. I think it is great and working as an in-house translator will give you a great experience that you will appreciate it a lot, even if you decide to go back to freelancing. As an in-house translator, most likely you will get a payment cut, but hey, money is not everything. If you have a family (and most likely you do icon_biggrin.gif,) then you will enjoy spending more time with them. Also, no more working after midnight or having really tight due dates... And you will meet real people face to face. You might even get benefits from this company. You might also want to take into consideration how much you like to work under a new boss, traveling to work (you know, as a freelancer, you are your own boss and set up your own schedule... at home), dressing up nicer, shaving every day icon_lol.gif... Nevertheless, I would say that working as an in-house translator is a great experience, no matter the stage of your career. If you decide to go back as a freelancer, I think that with your experience as an in-house translator and as a freelancer, you will get back on your feet really soon. Good luck.

Monika Coulson

[ This Message was edited by: monika on 2003-05-06 07:05]


Mary Lalevee  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:37
French to English
Working in-house May 6, 2003


I used to work in a large translation dept (13 translators) for one of the big six (as it was then..)in Paris. I was in charge of hiring new translators. Some freelance translators came for interviews and one of the problems they had when they were doing the short test we gave everyone was working in a busy office with the phone going all the time, people coming in and out with questions, etc etc. They found it very hard to concentrate as they had been used to working alone in a quiet atmosphere. Working in-house may mean having to interrupt one translation to start another that is even more urgent. It definitely means working with constant interruptions.

I loved working in a team and really miss it now I am freelance, but those are some factors you might consider before accepting.

Good luck whatever you decide!



Dave Greatrix  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:37
Dutch to English
+ ...
Beware May 6, 2003

Some months ago, I jumped at an offer to look after a millionaire\'s villa on the Costa del Sol.

I was given a rent-free, bill-free bungalow in the grounds of the villa.

All that was expected of me was to keep an eye on things, keep the pool clean, and keep the gardens tidy.

I had a panoramic view of the Med, a heated swimming pool, and around 60 wild parrots for company. However, I now regret taking it on, and have now moved into my own apartment which I had originally intended to rent out.

The problem is, unless you stay focused on translating as a career, you will soon be forgotten.

Since I was distracted by this \"dream job\", my work load has gone right downhill to the extent that I now have to start almost all over again with promoting myself.

Your new job may be tempting, but the fact that you are asking advice means that there is an element of doubt.

My advice is unless you are totally convinced you\'re doing the right thing, forget it.

All the best.

[ This Message was edited by: (Dave) on 2003-05-06 10:53]


Marc P (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:37
German to English
+ ...
Previous in-house experience? May 6, 2003

I presume you\'ve never worked as a staff translator, otherwise I doubt you\'d be asking the question.

If that\'s the case, then I\'d advise you to get the extra experience. Even if you don\'t think you need it. This is on the assumption that your new job is in a proper set-up with other staff from whom you can learn, and that you won\'t simply be \"left to get on with it\".



Jason Roberts  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:37
Dutch to English
+ ...
Thanks all! Jun 13, 2003

David, you in particular gave me advice that really hit on something I was thinking about. And I love your example (although I sympathize with you greatly!)




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