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Low Season?
Thread poster: DorZL
DorZL  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 17:40
English to Hebrew
+ ...
Sep 5, 2013

Do you notice seasonal patterns in your work as translators? I plan on taking some time off soon (January/February), but last time I dared did that I lost some clients for a while on account of not being available to them.
When would be the best time to take a time off in this regard?


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Sarah McDowell  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 18:40
Member (2012)
Russian to English
+ ...
August Sep 5, 2013

I think the best time to take off has just passed. August is probably the least busy month for translation.

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Darko Pauković  Identity Verified
Croatia
Local time: 16:40
Member (2012)
English to Croatian
+ ...
whenever you feel Sep 5, 2013

I take my time off whenever I feel tired, exhausted by large projects or for some personal reasons. And I never lost a client due to my unavailability. I let them know in advance that I will be on vacation from-to. I think that a client will not stop giving you work just because you were on your holidays, especially if he/she knows that you are good translator.

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Amel Abdullah  Identity Verified
Jordan
Arabic to English
+ ...
Opposite Experience Sep 6, 2013

Without fail, August is always my busiest month.

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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:40
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Monday mornings. Sep 6, 2013

DorZL wrote:

Do you notice seasonal patterns in your work as translators? I plan on taking some time off soon (January/February), but last time I dared did that I lost some clients for a while on account of not being available to them.
When would be the best time to take a time off in this regard?


Just Monday mornings. Have every Monday morning off. Stay in bed.


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Noelia Ruiz Pérez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:40
Member (2010)
English to Spanish
Agree Sep 6, 2013

Amel Abdullah wrote:

Without fail, August is always my busiest month.


For me July and August are always the busiest months. And even Christmas sometimes.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 15:40
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Not in my neck of the woods! Sep 6, 2013

Sarah McDowell wrote:

I think the best time to take off has just passed. August is probably the least busy month for translation.


My workload has been for some time quite consistent all over the year with a peak in January/February/March and… July/August! Like Darko I take time off whenever I feel tired - that's the beauty of being a freelancer!


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Steve Kerry  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:40
German to English
No closed season Sep 6, 2013

Unfortunately, there is no closed season for translators. Christmas? They all want stuff done ready for the New Year. Summer holidays? Some translators are on holiday (gasp!) so demand increases. Autumn? Time to start on the Christmas issue of company magazines. Spring? Accounts, statements to shareholders...

The best thing is to just go when you want and hang a (figurative) sign upon your door... "Gone Fishin'"!

Steve K.


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DorZL  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 17:40
English to Hebrew
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Well Sep 6, 2013

The thing is, my last vacation was 50 days during fall of 2013, and I did did quite a lot of work on my trip from my laptop, but at some point it just got in the way of my vacation and I just had to say no. And it might be just timing or something else, but some clients took a while to "trickle back" to me afterwards.

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Steve Kerry  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:40
German to English
Trickle back... Sep 6, 2013

DorZL wrote:

... at some point it just got in the way of my vacation


That did make me laugh! And yes, it does take a while for customers to "trickle back", although a brief email reminding them that you are again available is a good idea. But there is more to life than work, so "when you gotta go, you gotta go!"

Steve K.


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Texte Style
Local time: 16:40
French to English
I know it must be a typo but I can't resist... Sep 6, 2013

DorZL wrote:

my last vacation was 50 days during fall of 2013


and you're already wanting more time off???? I advise taking summer 2012, shouldn't get in the way of too many deadlines


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DorZL  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 17:40
English to Hebrew
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Well... Sep 6, 2013

It was my first vacation in 4 years

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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:40
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Never Sep 6, 2013

We live in an industry with no or very little planning. If you take long periods ("long" meaning longer than two/three days) off without leaving a trustworthy and loyal backup behind to answer your emails and eventually translate smaller, urgent pieces, you clearly risk losing customers, since they will look for someone if their usual translator is not available.

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John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 10:40
Member (2008)
French to English
50 days? Sep 7, 2013

Vacations are an employee benefit and unfortunately we're not employees, we're freelance businesspeople.

I will take a few days off here and there, advising my clients ahead of time if I won't be accessible, but 50 days?? You are a business - think what would happen to any business that closed their doors and sent every single one of their staff away for 50 days! That's is exactly what a freelancer taking a 50-day vacation is doing - you're essentially going out of business for that period.


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svenfrade  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:40
French to German
+ ...
Agree with Darko Sep 7, 2013

Take time off when you need it.

I take a proper holiday every year - at least two weeks, this year I took three weeks of in July. I haven't lost a single client because of that. This year, one of the agencies I work with negotiated a deadline extension with their client because they wanted me to do the job.

I let regular clients know in advance when I will be on holiday and I try to check my at least once a day while I'm away so they can contact me if necessary but that's it.
I think it is essential to take more than just a couple of days off each year to recharge the batteries.


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