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The Vacationless Translator
Thread poster: Trevor Chichester

Trevor Chichester  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:06
Member (2012)
German to English
+ ...
Jul 9, 2012

Hey Guys,

I hope everyone is having a rather smashing summer. It's been over 37 C for almost two weeks straight here in NYC. On top of that I've been absolutely CRUSHED by projects left and right. This has me thinking that I REALLY need a vacation...soon.

How do you guys go about taking a vacation? Are you ever worried that your clients will find other translators to replace you while you're gone? How long are your vacations? What are the steps you take to prepare your clients for your upcoming absence?

Anyway...its back to back to work for me...ugh...Mondays!


Cheers,

Trevor


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:06
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Mutual help Jul 9, 2012

The only sensible solution if you don't want your customers to go to the market is to look for someone who is similarly qualified, has similar working methods and, above all, is an honest person.

You can ask this person to check a temporary email you can get your emails forwarded to, respond to customers, and perform the jobs coming around while you are away.

In exchange, you can do the same for the other person. Mutual help is the best solution if you find a good, sensible, honest colleague.


 

liz askew  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:06
Member (2007)
French to English
+ ...
Life is too short Jul 9, 2012

I never worry about where my translation work may go to when I am on holiday...I work hard so take time off when I need it. My clients always come back to me. What I do do is to let my clients know that I am taking some time off, they always appreciate being kept in the picture.
As for contacting other translators to take on my work, I don't bother. If the client likes my work I trust them to send me projects when I am back from my holiday.
It works for me and I have no complaints.
But don't sacrifice yourself just because you are snowed under, take your holiday when you need one:)
Cheers!

Liz Askew


 

Terry Richards
France
Local time: 10:06
French to English
+ ...
Communicate! Jul 9, 2012

Send all of your customers an e-mail saying that you will be on holiday from x to y. About a month before should do it and a reminder a week before wouldn't hurt.

Put up an out-of-office message saying when you will be back.

After you get back, send all of your customers another e-mail telling them that you are back.

Don't forget to turn off your out-of-office message.


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:06
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
The picture Jul 9, 2012

liz askew wrote:
What I do do is to let my clients know that I am taking some time off, they always appreciate being kept in the picture.

Makes sense, but many customers have translation needs while we are away so, unless we work in a team, they will certainly go to the market. I know that no good professional can be replaced easily, but nobody is really irreplaceable.icon_smile.gif


 

Trevor Chichester  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:06
Member (2012)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Interesting suggestions Jul 9, 2012

Thanks so much for the good advice all.

You know, I never really even thought about recommending a colleague to fill my place while I'm gone. To be honest, I've always worked alone so finding such a colleague would prove difficult. All of my clients also require a lot of testing to be able to do heavy clinical research/ pharma material so that would prove difficult also if I were to find someone.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:06
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
All the more reason to find someone Jul 9, 2012

Trevor Chichester wrote:
All of my clients also require a lot of testing to be able to do heavy clinical research/ pharma material so that would prove difficult also if I were to find someone.

It sounds as though it would do both you and your clients a favour if you were to start the process of getting another translator accepted as a stand-in a.s.a.p.

As Tomás says, it must be someone honest. If they are ready to stand in for you, you can give them and the client notice of your holiday and relax in peace, knowing that on your return you can take the work back. If you arrange this now, you will have cover if you are unfortunate enough to have an illness or accident.

I'm sure that if the day comes when you can't respond to your clients, causing them to urgently seek others they can rely on, they won't come back.

Sheila


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:06
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Then just leave... with proper warning Jul 9, 2012

Trevor Chichester wrote:
You know, I never really even thought about recommending a colleague to fill my place while I'm gone. To be honest, I've always worked alone so finding such a colleague would prove difficult. All of my clients also require a lot of testing to be able to do heavy clinical research/ pharma material so that would prove difficult also if I were to find someone.

Hm... Then I think that your best bet is to follow the colleagues' advice about informing your customers in advance and letting them be responsible of finding someone for the time you are away if they really can't wait. If your work is really tricky and they are pleased with your services, they will surely come back to you as soon as you are available.


 

Rachel Fell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:06
French to English
+ ...
UK Jul 9, 2012

Trevor Chichester wrote:

It's been over 37 C for almost two weeks straight here in NYC. ... This has me thinking that I REALLY need a vacation...soon.

It's been unusually cool and rainy, with flooded crops et al. here in the UKicon_wink.gif


 

Trevor Chichester  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:06
Member (2012)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Well... Jul 9, 2012

Rachel Fell wrote:

Trevor Chichester wrote:

It's been over 37 C for almost two weeks straight here in NYC. ... This has me thinking that I REALLY need a vacation...soon.

It's been unusually cool and rainy, with flooded crops et al. here in the UKicon_wink.gif


Well...I suppose I can't complain too much about the blistering 37C we have over hereicon_smile.gif .


 

Nouri Adam  Identity Verified
Malaysia
Local time: 17:06
Member (2011)
English to Malay
+ ...
Good Topic Jul 9, 2012

Hi Trevor,

Greetings from Malaysia.

It seems like I am facing the same dilemma here.

So thank you for coming up with this topic. I can see many positive and reply and sensible solutions here.

Nouri


 

Wolfgang Vogt  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:06
English to German
+ ...
Too late ;) Jul 10, 2012

Hey Trevor, your topic came too late for me. It's already winter down here...
I was facing the same problem, however, in January. I was working on a bigger project since before christmas, had a constant stream of smaller stuff and had another big project coming up. So I decided to take a week off towards the end of January. I went camping on the beach in Uruguay and, as there was no chance of getting an internet access, I told all my clients that I would be unavailable for a week. And what happened? I received at least 10 requests from one client and the project I came back for early was postponed for another weekicon_frown.gif
Next time I'll make sure I won't re-arrange my holidays for work...


 

ladytraduk
Italy
Local time: 10:06
English to Italian
+ ...
August holidays Jul 10, 2012

A good thing about having Italian customers is that in August EVERYBODY is on holiday. Italy almost "closes down" . Most of the companies force their employees to take holidays between 5th and 20th August. Requests decrease by 95%... So if I want to have a relaxing holiday, I just need to schedule it in August...

P.S. I'm not sure, but I think in Finland, Sweden, etc. is almost the same in July...


 

Rebecca Hendry  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:06
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Plan in advance and let your clients know Jul 10, 2012

Hi Trevor,

Over the last couple of years, I've become more and more convinced of the need to take holidays at least twice a year, and to plan them far enough in advance to a) let clients know and adapt your work to fit, and b) look forward to them!

Sometimes I'll take a few shorter breaks (long weekends or 5-7 days), but if you really want to switch off then 10 days or a fortnight will do it! Just let your clients know in advance. As far as I'm aware, I've not lost any regular clients because I've taken holidays. We're all only human after all, and everyone needs a break.

I always put an out-of-office on, and usually keep on top of my emails while I'm away, too. That way if something comes in for the week I get back then I'm able to negotiate a longer deadline and everyone's happy.

Becky.


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:06
Spanish to English
+ ...
Just tell them Jul 10, 2012

Let them know in advance if you need to take a break. If you're lucky, anyone else they might resort to will turn in a worse job than you would've and they'll appreciate you even more when you get back!

In my case, I tend to remain available for my best clients even when "officially" on vacation. My summer "holiday" usually consists of playing host and entertaining family and friends anyway, so I am usually glad to get back to my relatively hassle-free working routine after a week or two of that.


 
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