Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
How do you cope with being a freelancer?
Thread poster: ViktoriaG

ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 21:58
English to French
+ ...
Nov 6, 2006

Being a freelancer, thaty is, working at home without supervision, can be tough for many people. In my experience, freelancing also overlaps on personal life (family members have to adapt to the lifestyle).

Do you have any tricks on how to live a balanced life as a freelancer? Any comments welcome - tools you use, stress prevention, motivational speakers, bad experiences... Anthing goes! Anxious to read!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Evi Wollinger  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:58
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
tough but wonderful.. Nov 6, 2006

I adapted to my family's lifestyle, rather than the other way around. Unfortunately - because that means that I work mostly in the evening and at night. I can count my nights off in the last 6 months on one hand.
Otherwise I love this lifestyle. I can shop for groceries when there are no lines, exercise whenever I feel like it (well, mostly..), drive my kids around whenever needed, which is very frequently...
Sometimes it is hard to get motivated, I have never missed a deadline, though.
What else can I say? It is now 10.45 pm and I have to get to work....


Direct link Reply with quote
 

BelkisDV  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:58
Spanish to English
+ ...
Think positive Nov 6, 2006

Focus on the wonderful choices we are able to make by working freelance. A few of them are quite obvious: working your own hours, not having a boss looking over your shoulder 8 hours a day or more, taking breaks whenever you need them, networking with wonderful people, learning something new every day by reading other's experiences in this field, enjoying both, the work and the free time and soooo many others.

Most of all...loving the profession, if you don't then that's a big problem in itself.

I see attorneys, engineers, architects, etc. answering questions on here. Why? Clearly they chose another career, a 'safe' one, a more lucrative one...so why are they wasting their precious time here? The answer is that these people really wish to be translators and because of the shortcomings of our profession (no accreditation in certain language pairs, no recognition of this field as a profession, etc.) settled for something else. Translation is a vocation, if you love it, if you're not happy doing anything else, then it's' for you. It takes a lot of personal sacrifice to embark on this "adventure", you have, so you must love it!

Kind regards,
Belkis


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Elena Pavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:58
Member (2005)
French to Italian
+ ...
I perfectly agree Nov 6, 2006

Evi Wollinger wrote:

I adapted to my family's lifestyle, rather than the other way around. Unfortunately - because that means that I work mostly in the evening and at night. I can count my nights off in the last 6 months on one hand.
Otherwise I love this lifestyle. I can shop for groceries when there are no lines, exercise whenever I feel like it (well, mostly..), drive my kids around whenever needed, which is very frequently...
Sometimes it is hard to get motivated, I have never missed a deadline, though.
What else can I say? It is now 10.45 pm and I have to get to work....


I perfectly agree with Evi, only that... I prefer working in the morning: it's now 5 o'clock and I try to work as much as possible while everybody is still sleeping.
Sometimes it's hard, but I would never change it for any reason!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 21:58
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Do you have any practical tips to share with us? Nov 6, 2006

As mentioned by many before, being your own boss has its advantages. Many people decide to become freelancers just because of this one factor. But I find that being your own boss has just as many disadvantages. For instance, you have to be able to motivate yourself alone. This is a requirement before even starting freelancing and it works fine for a while, but I find I have to constantly renew that motivation, and to me, it works much the same as a drug would: after a while, I get so used to the method (the drug) that its effects wear off and I have to reinvent a new method, which really calls for a lot of creativity.

Also, about family adjusting to our being freelancers, well, I have adjusted as much as I could, mostly by working afterhours, but then, when my boyfriend has his day off, he has to wait for a long time before I get up. I get up very late very often and it's hard to spend time together because of this.

Do you have any tricks on well-being as well? We overuse our eyes working on a computer, obviously (I don't need glasses but I have a pair of comfort glasses, as my optometrist calls them). We also overuse our wrists (I have Dragon now, but it's not yet as precise as I would like it to be and I still need to use my hands a lot, although less than before), out backs a WHOLE lot (no matter how good our work chair is, the human body was not meant to sit for 14 hours in a row, even if we take some breaks once in a while), our legs (my varicose veins are getting worse and I am considering getting treatment for this), etc. I've tried yoga, but I don'T have time to go for classes - do you know of a good book on yoga that focuses on relaxing, as opposed to strength training? Do you know of any practical exercises other than yoga that help a freelancer sitting on a chair?

Again, any trick, as meaningless as it may seem, is welcome

[Edited at 2006-11-06 04:45]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:58
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Exercises for translators Nov 6, 2006

Hi Viktoria,

There is going to be a session about this at the conference in Edinburgh:

http://www.proz.com/conference/8?page=schedule&mode=details&session_id=436

As you are rather far away from the conference location, however, maybe if you get in touch with Irene, who is running this session, she will give you some details.

Astrid


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:58
Dutch to English
+ ...
Get a dog Nov 6, 2006

I am a workaholic and it was getting really bad so I got a dog. Now I walk between one hour and 3 hours a day (depending on deadlines and such). It has done wonders for my health and social life (you meet absolutely everybody especially if you have a dead friendly dog). I'm in the perfect position to have a dog. Always at home and time to play and walk. It is also a good thing to do if you have children. My daughter who is 13 is half-responsible for the dog and she has coped very well.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jennifer Baker  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:58
Member (2004)
Italian to English
My routine- Nov 6, 2006

Viktoria Gimbe wrote:





Do you know of any practical exercises other than yoga that help a freelancer sitting on a chair?

Again, any trick, as meaningless as it may seem, is welcome

[Edited at 2006-11-06 04:45]


Hi Viktoria-
Thanks for the great topic. I've had to get organized, and very disciplined to manage my work, as well as my family and health.
As far as my family goes, I adopt the same strategy as Elena, and do the bulk of my work in the morning when my children are at school. From 2pm on I usually work in short bursts between Mom duties, unless I'm up against a tight deadline. If that's the case, I shut my door and have "trained" my kids (and dogs) not to disturb me unless its a case of life or death! And Dad takes care of the dinner.
As for your question about exercises, Pilates are a life saver for me. I've been doing these exercises regularly for over a year, and I no longer suffer from back and neck strain. You can learn Pilates easily from a good DVD if you don't have time for a class, and you can also do these exercises in short spurts (15 minutes every couple of hours), and still enjoy all of their positive benefits.
My other steadfast rule is keeping Sundays free, and going hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter with my family.

Jennifer


Direct link Reply with quote
 

ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 21:58
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Pilates Nov 6, 2006

Thanks for sharing your routine, Jennifer.

Can you tell me where you learn pilates from? It's hard to find a genuine resource, with all the DVDs and software out there. I've become cautious with such merchandise over the years, as the market is spammed with useless merchandise whose main purpose is making money without offering real help. Real good resources are buried under tons of garbage

I'd appreciate if you could share your pilates resource(s) with us.

Thanks!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Catherine Brix
Local time: 03:58
Swedish to English
+ ...
Power yoga, pilates and a dog Nov 6, 2006

Hi Viktoria

There are some excellent power yoga DVDs that you can use in the comfort of your own home. Power yoga includes meditation and concentration as well as strength training and coordination. You perform the exercises according to your level; the good DVDs will demonstrate beginner level and suggest movements for those more advanced. Every session begins with breathing exercises that help you to focus and clear your head (a type of meditation). Most DVDs include a 10 minute session that you can do to start your day, energize your body and soul.

Pilates, as well as yoga, will help you strengthen your core muscles. These are very important for those of us sitting in front of computers for extended periods of time. Pilates also includes breathing exercises. And both can be done in entire sessions or broken down into mini sessions of 10-15 minutes. I think you'll find that the moves are all gentle and flowing. You will feel your muscles stretching, you will feel a tingling sensation throughout as your circulation improves (which will help alleviate your varicose veins and wrist pains) and you will feel more focused. The breathing exercises that are fundamental to both pilates and yoga will make you feel more alert and charged.

A dog can be your best friend, come rain or shine. I have a German Shepard and she's only too happy to play with me. We go for hour-long walks at least three times a day. Or perhaps not "walks". We play with sticks - that means I throw the stick and then we race to see who'll get there first. I never win but I do get cardio-vascular exercise, the throwing movement helps circulation in my arms and shoulders (sensitive areas for people sitting in front of computers) and she and I bond. We race up hills, we climb in areas steep enough for me to need to pull myself up, and we take time to sit, catch our breath and just enjoy the time outdoors, breathing in fresh air (good for tired eyes). This helps me clear my head and I often find answers that previously eluded me.
There's no reason why children or boyfriends cannot go for walks and play in the exact same way as dogs. Nothing helps build relationships with children and boyfriends like playing, and both adults and children benefit from racing around the forest, kicking a ball for an hour outdoors or hiking and chatting.

Dinner is sacred. Decide on a time for dinner and keep it. Make sure you all sit together at least 30 minutes and talk. Catch up with each other - tune out your work. Don't go on and on about unreasonable customers with unreasonable demands and deadlines. That gets tedious real fast. Listen to others, and focus on their problems or successes for a while. It's real easy for us to get so wrapped up in our business venture that we wear everyone out. We are not the center of the world, just a part of it.

And most importantly, smile! Even if you don't feel like - do it. Children/boyfriends need to see you smiling, need to feel you happy. Your mood is contageous.

I wish someone had told me to smile and be happy and enjoy. I wish someone had told me that my children were so sensitive to my mood - that my stress and constant pursuit of achieving the next goal would color their worlds to the extent that they now feel they must be perfect. They have no complaints that I didn't spend time with them or do things with them - they do say that they wish I'd been happier, more easy going. Tough when you're a single mom of two, running a business and working against deadlines but crucial to relationships and our own well being. And in fact, even to a job well done.

I love my work, and thoroughly enjoy the challenges of translation. I like making a living doing something I enjoy so much. I can't imagine doing anything else ever again. But there's a time and a place for everything and balance in life is what makes life bearable.

Good luck!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jennifer Baker  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:58
Member (2004)
Italian to English
Amazon.com Nov 6, 2006

Viktoria Gimbe wrote:

Thanks for sharing your routine, Jennifer.

Can you tell me where you learn pilates from? It's hard to find a genuine resource, with all the DVDs and software out there. I've become cautious with such merchandise over the years, as the market is spammed with useless merchandise whose main purpose is making money without offering real help. Real good resources are buried under tons of garbage

I'd appreciate if you could share your pilates resource(s) with us.

Thanks!

I took a few classes in the US a couple years ago, and then couldn't find anything near my home in Italy, so I ordered a couple of DVD's from Amazon.com. There's a huge selection and you can read reviews and get what's best for your experience level. Pilates looks easy, but is actually quite challenging and takes practice. All of the postures can be executed on a more difficult level as you progress, so I would recommend something with varied levels on the same DVD as you get more flexible. You can also order the used DVD's and not spend much at all-
If you stick with it you will feel a difference quite quickly, especially in regards to your posture and flexibility.
Good luck-
Jennifer


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 04:58
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Also diet is important Nov 6, 2006

http://www.proz.com/translation-articles/articles/464/

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Michele Johnson  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:58
German to English
+ ...
Pilates recommendations: Lynne Robinson + Power Pilates Nov 6, 2006

Viktoria Gimbe wrote:
I'd appreciate if you could share your pilates resource(s) with us.
Thanks!


I like the following 2 DVDs:

Shape Up - The Pilates Way (2002)
Lynne Robinson
Great DVD for beginners. Beautifully filmed, soothing music, pleasant instructor. As I recall, it includes 2 30-minute workouts and a Back to Basics section. At some point in time, this got a little slow for me though, and I moved on to...

Power Pilates - Intermediate Workout (2004)
Much faster paced, more spartan (i.e. no distracting music), and certainly challenging. They always demonstrate modified (i.e. easier) versions of the exercises. You can customize your workout by combining individual workouts. One of the "Additional" workouts uses certain equipment (e.g. "magic ring", yoga ball) but I just adapt them to work w/o. Also features a 10-minute daily workout, so there's really no excuse anymore, is there?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Ruxi
German to Romanian
+ ...
Two different matters Nov 6, 2006

Victoria, reading the title of your thread made me answer to your posting, but then I found a different subject here, in the answers of the colleagues.
I initially thought it is about our status and the problems we encounter as freelancer (profesional).
To answer to your thread though:
I think there are two different matters here: profesional coping and familiar coping.
I am a beginner as freelance.
On the profesional matter the problems I have to cope with are:
1. finding clients and the fear of losing them - I got a huge fear in working with agencies and clients because I don't know yet what we expect from each other, what the limits are and what the "sins" are which can really lead to lose a client.
2. I have no support when having problems or questions (except the advice I can get on Proz).
3. The accounting matters I am not accustomed yet.
But it is here mainly about the pros and cons of being a freelancer: existential fears, investments of all kinds, nu support from colleagues (like in an office), less assurance (medical, pension, social aso), the accounting part you have to do alone.
I can not speak yet of routine, or to much work. I still dream of these.
Regarding the other side of a freelance existance:
I would try to make and keep working hours as I were in-house, only having a little more flexible starting and ending times and I don't think my family would be to short this way.
The pros of being a freelance are in my view: more flexible working times, lack of mobbing from colleagues and boss, being home for family and especial for children (the most difficult problem of our times).
Yes, we must also get out and move and also relax. Enough sleep is also important for the brain and this is why i would not work in the night.
Regarding diet: normal diet according to your body/weight.
The only thing I need more for my brain are sweets.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Orla Ryan  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 02:58
9-5 Nov 6, 2006

I stick to a 9-5 type of routine from Monday to Friday myself.

The way I see it, if I had a shop in town, I could not just close it whenever I feel like it, I should be there during the day when my customers want me and I apply that to my freelance life.
I don't want to work at 2am! Then again, I don't have kids or a boyfriend to worry about.

Of course, if I need to go to the post office or whatever, then I will do that. But all in all, I work standard office hours, just like my customers. It works for me anyway.

I am in the 2nd year of a postgrad right now, so time management is CRUCIAL for me this year. (aaaaahhhh!!)

As I share a house with 2 other people, I prefer to be finished work by the time they get home. I watch the Simpsons as a way to wind down and then I go out for a couple of hours, without fail. (I go to the gym twice a week, swing dancing on Wednesdays or go around to a friend's house.) If I do need to finish off something, I'll do it in my room later on that night when I get home from a walk/the gym.

HTH



[Edited at 2006-11-06 10:42]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

How do you cope with being a freelancer?

Advanced search







memoQ translator pro
Kilgray's memoQ is the world's fastest developing integrated localization & translation environment rendering you more productive and efficient.

With our advanced file filters, unlimited language and advanced file support, memoQ translator pro has been designed for translators and reviewers who work on their own, with other translators or in team-based translation projects.

More info »
PerfectIt consistency checker
Faster Checking, Greater Accuracy

PerfectIt helps deliver error-free documents. It improves consistency, ensures quality and helps to enforce style guides. It’s a powerful tool for pro users, and comes with the assurance of a 30-day money back guarantee.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search