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Capacity issues when applying for many jobs
Thread poster: Ali M. Alsaqqa

Ali M. Alsaqqa  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:07
English to Arabic
Aug 20, 2010

Hi

Suppose that someone has a monthly capacity of 50,000 words.
He want to apply for, say, four jobs...What should he say in his cover letter ?

should he say that he have a capacity of a) 50,000 words per month, thus
assuming implicitly that he will do only one job at a time, or b) 25,000 words
per month thus assuming implicitly that he will do two jobs at a time or
c) 16,600 words per month or even d) 12500 words per month ???

In case a) ,if, presumably, all the clients gave him the work, he will be in a
trouble, he could not do all the jobs at the same time with a 50,000 words
capacity...he could do that only with 12500 words capacity for each job, so
either he loses three of the four jobs, or he could, somehow, tell the clients
that he will work with a reduced capacity of only 12500 words..

What's your opinion? what should one do when applying to many jobs ??


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:07
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Better one bird in the hand... Aug 20, 2010

Ali Al-Saqqa wrote:
should he say that he have a capacity of a) 50,000 words per month, thus
assuming implicitly that he will do only one job at a time, or b) 25,000 words
per month thus assuming implicitly that he will do two jobs at a time or
c) 16,600 words per month or even d) 12500 words per month ???

State your full monthly capacity. If you are so lucky that you are awarded more than one big job at a time, just count your blessings and accept the first actual order that comes in. The rest of the customers will have to wait or look for another resource. All customers know that we have a capacity and understand that you can be fully booked occasionally.


 

Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:07
French to English
+ ...
I wouldn't give overall monthly capacity to a particular client Aug 20, 2010

I would personally tell a client on average how many words I can commit to to that client assuming that I'm "free" as far as that client is concerned.

It's common for me not to dedicate 100% of my time to the "main" job I'm working on at any moment, to allow for e.g. odd bits of project management of other jobs with other collaborators or the occasional emergency job that somebody will pay a premium for.

So for me personally, how many words I get through overall in a month is a piece of confidential information that I consider irrelevant to any individual client.


 

Ali M. Alsaqqa  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:07
English to Arabic
TOPIC STARTER
yes but... Aug 20, 2010

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

Ali Al-Saqqa wrote:
should he say that he have a capacity of a) 50,000 words per month, thus
assuming implicitly that he will do only one job at a time, or b) 25,000 words
per month thus assuming implicitly that he will do two jobs at a time or
c) 16,600 words per month or even d) 12500 words per month ???

State your full monthly capacity. If you are so lucky that you are awarded more than one big job at a time, just count your blessings and accept the first actual order that comes in. The rest of the customers will have to wait or look for another resource. All customers know that we have a capacity and understand that you can be fully booked occasionally.


Aha, but this may be misunderstood by clients...you
replied to them and sent your CV and rate...then when
they send you the project you just reply with "sorry, I
have another project..."


What do you think ??

[Edited at 2010-08-20 18:48 GMT]


 

Ali M. Alsaqqa  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:07
English to Arabic
TOPIC STARTER
They ASK you.. Aug 20, 2010

Neil Coffey wrote:

I would personally tell a client on average how many words I can commit to to that client assuming that I'm "free" as far as that client is concerned.

It's common for me not to dedicate 100% of my time to the "main" job I'm working on at any moment, to allow for e.g. odd bits of project management of other jobs with other collaborators or the occasional emergency job that somebody will pay a premium for.

So for me personally, how many words I get through overall in a month is a piece of confidential information that I consider irrelevant to any individual client.


But they ask explicitly about one's monthly or weekly capacity...


 

mediamatrix (X)
Local time: 11:07
Spanish to English
+ ...
It's none of their business! Aug 20, 2010

Ali Al-Saqqa wrote:
But they ask explicitly about one's monthly or weekly capacity...


Agencies and clients ask for all sorts of information - a lot of which is idle curiosity on their part and totally irrelevant to their business decisions.

Your 'monthly capacity' falls into the same category as questions about the colour of your underwear - it's none of their business.

All they really need to know, as regards productivity, is whether or not you can commit to doing x words for them before the deadline.

The mere fact they they ask you about other things doesn't mean you are obliged to answer them. However, their impertinent questions can serve as a pointer for you in deciding whether or not you really want to work for these inquisitive people, or as a hook on which to hang your own entirely relevant questions about their professionalism - for example as regards payment dates.

MediaMatrix

[Edited at 2010-08-20 22:20 GMT]


 

Mirella Soffio  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 16:07
Member (2002)
English to Italian
+ ...
Give them a very broad range... Aug 21, 2010

... and tell them that, as your actual capacity may vary depending on your existing commitments, it will have to be assessed on a case by case basis. Afer all, you never really know whether the job will actually land on your desk, and when...

Mirella

Edited to fix a typo

[Edited at 2010-08-21 12:01 GMT]


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:07
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Quite normal Aug 21, 2010

Ali Al-Saqqa wrote:
Aha, but this may be misunderstood by clients...you
replied to them and sent your CV and rate...then when
they send you the project you just reply with "sorry, I
have another project..."

What do you think ??

Quite simple: you are a freelance professional, and there will be times at which your capacity, which is a limited asset, will be booked and won't be available for more customers. This is quite normal business and a normal situation in any kind of specialised service. Outsourcers know that quite well, and they will not be disappointed if they find you busy some time.

A quite different situation will arise when you have a group of trusted, good, frequent customers who send you work regularly. With them you might not want to say "Sorry, I am full!", and might want to work harder at times to please them all. You will have to sacrifice part of your free time, but pleasing good customers is critical in any industry.


 

Annamaria Amik  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:07
Romanian to English
+ ...
Simple logic Aug 21, 2010

Just as your client's inquiry about your capacity does not mean a firm order, your reply about your capacity cannot be construed as a firm commitment.

I think Mirella's suggestion is the best approach.

Annamaria


 

Ali M. Alsaqqa  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:07
English to Arabic
TOPIC STARTER
thanks Aug 21, 2010

Your replies were very informative and I think that now I know what really happens in real business situations..

Many thanks for your kind replies,

Ali


 

Arianne Farah  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 10:07
Member (2008)
English to French
my standard quote: Aug 22, 2010

I can translate up to ___per day/week/month, subject to availability.

Et voilàicon_smile.gif First come, first serve unless the client agrees to a surcharge to get bumped to the front of the lineicon_smile.gif or unless the client "books/reserves" time in advance - in which case you should get the terms in writing (ie., if the project does not materialize, how will you be compensated for loss of work turned down).


 

Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 21:07
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
It is flexible Aug 22, 2010

I adjust my monthly job capacity with seasonal change. I have business high time and low time. I tell the agencies about this. In fact, the prospected agencies rarely give me jobs. I have continuous jobs from my old contacts who never ask me for monthly capacity!

Best regards,
Soonthon Lupkitaro


 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:07
English to German
+ ...
Such questions may be trick questions Aug 22, 2010

This way the outsourcer can figure out easily if you are "in demand" ( = Always booked up? You must be good and customers are fighting over you) or if you are sitting idly in front of your computer, twiddling your thumps ( = Nobody wants you. You suck.).

Beware of such questions.


 

Suzan Hamer  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 16:07
English
+ ...
Thumps? Aug 24, 2010

Nicole Schnell wrote:

This way the outsourcer can figure out easily if you are "in demand" ( = Always booked up? You must be good and customers are fighting over you) or if you are sitting idly in front of your computer, twiddling your thumps ( = Nobody wants you. You suck.).

Beware of such questions.


Sorry, Nicole.... just had to comment... put a smile on my face.
(We are all entitled to typos.... no condemnation here.)


 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:07
English to German
+ ...
Ooooops... Aug 24, 2010

Suzan Hamer wrote:

Nicole Schnell wrote:

This way the outsourcer can figure out easily if you are "in demand" ( = Always booked up? You must be good and customers are fighting over you) or if you are sitting idly in front of your computer, twiddling your thumps ( = Nobody wants you. You suck.).

Beware of such questions.


Sorry, Nicole.... just had to comment... put a smile on my face.
(We are all entitled to typos.... no condemnation here.)



Eek, I am sorry. Blush.icon_smile.gif


 
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