Objective assessment of a career
Thread poster: Rinta LSP

Rinta LSP  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 19:21
Member (2013)
English to Japanese
+ ...
Jun 30, 2016

Hi all out there.

How long did it take for you to gain stable volume of assignments since the outset of your freelancer career?
I want to know whether I'm in an average range of success/achievement.
It's been 3 years since I started my career as a freelance translator/interpreter on a full time basis.

So far, the achievement: 2 agencies, 1 end-client

However, the volume I monthly get is conservatively speaking small. And the rate for translation is at 0.10USD per source word, for your info.
I appreciate your stories and a comment on my career so far. If any advice, kindly give it to me. Thank you


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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 04:21
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Need more information Jun 30, 2016

It is quite normal in translation or any business for it to take a couple of years to begin showing some success. It's hard to say much about how successful you are without knowing what you have done so far to increase your client base.

Looking at your profile, I think you could improve it by, for example:

1) Mentioning only those specializations that you are really knowledgeable and experienced in. I think that would look more professional than mentioning such a wide range of topics. If you think you may not be proficient enough in some field that you would like to work in, take some courses or webinars and read up on it.

2) Increasing your Kudoz and forum participation.

3) In 'About me', you don't have to brag but you need to sell yourself. Don't say that you are aware that there is not enough information but instead provide the information that would convince a prospective client to give you a try. Include your background, interests, experience, mention some of your past projects, etc.

I wish you that success you are hoping for but you need to work at it.


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philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
. Jun 30, 2016

If you have fewer clients than you would like, it's probably because you're not marketing yourself enough. And I would have thought customers in English-speaking countries would be be prepared to pay quite high rates, certainly more than $0.10, for English to Japanese. You should probably concentrate on them rather than companies in your own country.

I agree with Tina that your profile could be more informative, and you should never say negative things about yourself in your advertising. And I think you should concentrate on English to Japanese: your English is good, but not perfect.

Having said all that, I'm sure you have the potential to make a big success out of translating, and I wish you lots of luck.


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Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:21
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Focus Jun 30, 2016

rintaro 107 wrote:
I appreciate your stories and a comment on my career so far.

First, stick to English to Japanese. Your written English is not good enough for J-E.
Second, focus on a small number of sectors in which you have expertise.
Find more clients.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:21
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
You are in a risky position Jul 1, 2016

If one of those clients files for bankruptcy, or even fails to send any more work, you'll be losing a very substantial part of your income. I'm hoping these are just your regular clients and you have some occasional ones too? You should be invoicing several clients every month, aiming for at least five.

I agree with the advice given so far. You really need to be more pro-active in making your ProZ.com membership work for you. Paying is good here but it isn't enough alone. You need to find out how to improve your visibility here. There's a very good - free - webinar on exactly that. Visit the Site Guidance Centre for lots of information. I too think that your About me text sounds unprofessional and needs to be replaced with something more positive and business-like.


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Rinta LSP  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 19:21
Member (2013)
English to Japanese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Gratitude Jul 1, 2016

Thank you all for your feedback.
In response to suggestion, I updated my About Me section.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:21
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Far better :) Jul 1, 2016

rintaro 107 wrote:
In response to suggestion, I updated my About Me section.

Far more suitable now. I would advise you to alter the experience a little as it does appear a little short on quantity, even taking account of your motto. I'm sure you've done other things too, so could you put "most relevant" or words to that effect?

I'm also quite surprised that you've done a degree in economics and yet that appears as the lowest of your specialisations. On the facts we have (not the whole picture, by a long way, of course) it would appear to be a good candidate for #1 spot. And I agree with others that specialising in three "generals" - law, business and finance - and not in the more specific fields relating to them, puts you in the generalist camp. Maybe you feel that's your place, maybe not. Don't confuse specialisations and working fields. Most of us work outside our specialisations from time to time - nothing wrong with that - but we should be sending a clear message to our potential clients about what we consider we do best.

[Edited at 2016-07-01 12:32 GMT]


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