Can part-timers also be deemed as freelancers?
Thread poster: Ali Bayraktar

Ali Bayraktar  Identity Verified
Turkey
Member (2007)
English to Turkish
+ ...
Nov 11, 2009

Hi,

I would like to start my points with an extract from Wikipedia.
Wikipedia defines the word Freelancer as follows:

A freelancer, freelance worker, or freelance is a self-employed person who pursues a profession without a long-term commitment to any particular employer.

I think, according to the above description those who do this profession in spare times should not be deemed as freelancers.

And, I also think that we need another member classification option here, in the site, which classifies the account type of the translators more broader. (But not collecting all who register here into the group freelancers)

Am I wrong? What are your opinions?

Thanks

MAB


 

Dan Marasescu  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 04:42
Member (2003)
English to Romanian
+ ...
Part-timers Nov 11, 2009

Hi Ali,

I'm not sure I understand your position, but I imagine you see part-timers as somehow less professional. Here are a few facts:

According to a recent poll on ProZ.com, about 1/3 or more of the site members are part-timers. Very few of them I suspect would define themselves as doing translations in their spare time. Some of them may work partially as in-house translators and some of them may have been full-time translators in the past and have made a different choice now. I know a few people who are practicing as doctors or engineers and dedicate some of their time to translating in their field. I don't think they are less professional just because they are not available all the time.

From the point of view of the client (agency or direct client), the main concern could be competence and availability, but competence has nothing to do with the part-time status and availability can be tricky even for full-timers. What is the difference if a part-timer can only give you say 2 hours/day or if a full-timer can give you the same 2 hours because s(he) is busy working for other clients?

You can state your availability on ProZ.com and if the client accepts that, I see no problem.

[Edited at 2009-11-11 04:21 GMT]


 

Alex Lago  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:42
Member (2009)
English to Spanish
+ ...
You have your concepts mixed up Nov 11, 2009

Being a freelancer does not have to do with how long you do it for, or if you do other things, it has to do with working for yourself, you do not work for a company or another individual, you provide services and you invoice them, so when the service ends so does your relationship with the company/individual.

You could do a freelance job that lasts hours and another that last years, as long as there is no employment contract, but rather a service contract, you are a freelancer.

You could be employed and a freelancer at the same time, say you work as an accountant and have an eight hour job in an accounting company and then evenings you translate accounting or other documents for different companies/people and do this independently from your company, then you would be an employed accountant and a freelance translator, both at the same time. As freelance translation is not your main job in this case you could say you are a part time freelance translator, but you are still a freelancer.


 

Ali Bayraktar  Identity Verified
Turkey
Member (2007)
English to Turkish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
And? Nov 14, 2009

Alex Lago wrote:

Being a freelancer does not have to do with how long you do it for, or if you do other things, it has to do with working for yourself, you do not work for a company or another individual, you provide services and you invoice them, so when the service ends so does your relationship with the company/individual.

You could do a freelance job that lasts hours and another that last years, as long as there is no employment contract, but rather a service contract, you are a freelancer.

You could be employed and a freelancer at the same time, say you work as an accountant and have an eight hour job in an accounting company and then evenings you translate accounting or other documents for different companies/people and do this independently from your company, then you would be an employed accountant and a freelance translator, both at the same time. As freelance translation is not your main job in this case you could say you are a part time freelance translator, but you are still a freelancer.


In theory you are right, but:
What is the reason that makes a person live two lives?
Does not it look like as if you are married to one wife but you still keep relationship with another girl? (And the most interesting thing that wife never knows about it)


 

Alex Lago  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:42
Member (2009)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Wel... Nov 17, 2009

M. Ali Bayraktar wrote:

In theory you are right, but:
What is the reason that makes a person live two lives?
Does not it look like as if you are married to one wife but you still keep relationship with another girl? (And the most interesting thing that wife never knows about it)



The more variety in your life the better and more interesting it is, if you are lucky enough to have 2/3/4 or x amount of jobs (unless of course it is because you cant make a living from just one) life is so much more interesting, and so long as your bosses (if you have any and are not so lucky as to have all freelance jobs) know I see no problem. I fail to see how having 2 jobs is anything like having 2 wives, some people say jack of all trades master of none, but personally I don't agree, it always depends on the actual person.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:42
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
conflict or dishonesty? Nov 18, 2009

M. Ali Bayraktar wrote:
What is the reason that makes a person live two lives?
Does not it look like as if you are married to one wife but you still keep relationship with another girl? (And the most interesting thing that wife never knows about it)


You are assuming that all part-time translators have secrets in their lives. That simply isn't true.

There are many reasons for working in more than one area of expertise (in my case I combine teaching with translating), and many reasons for combining salaried and freelance work. An example of the latter is that I have a teaching client who sometimes employs me on short-term contracts and sometimes assigns me freelance contracts. Weird, but that's life!

What can be a problem is the possibility of conflict of interest. Sometimes, clients see that as a problem, but it's normal for contracts to have clauses clearly forbidding disclosure of information and poaching of customers. There are certainly rules to be followed. When I'm with a student (contact arranged through an agency), can I take their money for translating a document? Can I give their brother/wife etc lessons? The answer has to be: discuss it with the agency, come to an arrangement.

What you are referring to, Ali, is dishonesty; honesty is not a virtue which is restricted to, or absent from, the life of a freelancer, full or part time.


 


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