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ProZ job offer which never came through
Thread poster: Laurence Fogarty

Laurence Fogarty  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 19:00
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
Jul 3, 2012

Hi

I submitted a quote via ProZ for a translation job last week, and needless to say was quite pleased to receive a message from ProZ saying that my quote had been accepted. In that message there is a link which allows you to contact the job provider, so I used that to get in touch with him subsequently rather than any other non-ProZ method.
But that was the last I heard from him. In other words, no other contact has been received from him. Needless to say the job deadline for completion is long passed, but what is most annoying is that I let 2 days go by without quoting for other jobs.
Anyway, as I have not been on ProZ for too long, I'm not sure about what exactly can be done in this case, if anything. Of course I have his ProZ reference and so on, but before posting it publicly I want to be sure I am responding in the correct way.
Your suggestions are welcome at this point.
Thanks, Laurence.


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:00
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Don't be downhearted Jul 3, 2012

Hi Laurence

I have never, ever, received a reply from anyone for any Proz jobs for which I have quoted. I gave up doing this a long time ago. My impression is that outsourcers are simply looking for the cheapest rate, and that they don't bother replying to anyone else (they probably get hundreds of quotes). It's a tough world out there !

[Edited at 2012-07-03 15:51 GMT]


 

Laurence Fogarty  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 19:00
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, Tom.. Jul 3, 2012

...for your reply. I have to admit it is a little disconcerting for me to see you write that you have never had any contact vis the ProZ job board, because you have been on ProZ a lot longer than me ! The fact that this 'offer' was the first response I have had in a couple of months of quoting only confirms what you are saying.
I probably am too impatient also. But apart from that, if you don't even bother going down the ProZ road anymore (apparently with good reason) then my newbie's question is : how do you manage to find jobs so that you manage to keep going ? Or are there on ProZ other job avenues that can be explored, e.g, using the list of agencies registered to be contacted directly ?
I do appreciate your feedback.
Laurence.


 

Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:00
French to English
+ ...
See it like this... Jul 3, 2012

Firstly, the situation you mention of being *accepted* but then the job never materialising sounds odd and it sounds like an individual unscrupulous outsourcer. I would probably contact ProZ support about it, but not lose too much sleep over that particular instance.

Then, in general what Tom says is true. On average, you chances of being picked for any one particular job are quite low unless (a) you have a particular unique specialisation suited to that job, and (b) the outsourcer is actually looking primarily for that specialisation and not, for example, simply the cheapest offer as Tom says.

So I would certainly recommend that you quote selectively. I personally don't bother with e.g. jobs that say they are in the "general" field where 50 other people have replied in my language pair: I'm not going to be offering the cheapest rate and it's impossible to specialise in "general", so how on earth will my quote stand out...?

*BUT* in general the few jobs that I have got through ProZ-- generally ones where my particular specialisation in IT is key to the job in question-- have then led on to further jobs for the same client.

So I think that on the whole, you should see the ProZ job board as a means of selectively quoting in order to try and make long-term contacts, not as an actual stream of jobs.


 

Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:00
French to English
+ ...
P.S. Jul 3, 2012

I should say that if your offer isn't accepted, it is quite usual not to hear anything at all. And while it doesn't leave you with a great feeling, I do understand why: as a job poster (I occasionally post jobs myself when I need consultation/collaboration with other colleagues) it is quite common to receive 50-100 responses to a job posting. Precisely at the moment when you're busy completing a translation job for a client, it's simply impossible to start going through replying to 100 e-mails.

 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:00
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
This isn't normal, AFAIK Jul 3, 2012

Laurence Fogarty wrote:
I submitted a quote via ProZ for a translation job last week, and needless to say was quite pleased to receive a message from ProZ saying that my quote had been accepted. In that message there is a link which allows you to contact the job provider, so I used that to get in touch with him subsequently rather than any other non-ProZ method.


What Tom says is certainly true: most of the time when you quote on jobs here, you never hear from the client at all. I suspect that they open mine, read my rate and reach for the "X"icon_smile.gif - not that my rate is high, but often (though not exclusively) the jobs posted here are looking for low rates.

But you were actually accepted. Congratulations! So why didn't it materialise? I really don't know, except that I did once have this happen, I remember. I quickly sent an email to the outsourcer through their profile and received the reply "Oh there you are! I didn't think you were going to answer!". I've never posted a job so I don't know what outsourcers see, but it clearly isn't foolproof.

It doesn't help this time (and please don't reveal the identity as it's against the rules), but next time I'd advise you to be a bit more pro-active. Of course, they could have found someone else (cheaper) in the meantime, but without chasing them you'll never know if they were wasting your time or feeling let down by you.

Sheila


 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:00
English to German
+ ...
ProZ.com is neither an employment office nor a temp agency Jul 3, 2012

Laurence Fogarty wrote:
needless to say was quite pleased to receive a message from ProZ saying that my quote had been accepted. In that message there is a link which allows you to contact the job provider, so I used that to get in touch with him subsequently rather than any other non-ProZ method.



The most important word: Good jobs are never advertised. What is advertised are jobs that no-one else wants to take, comparable to a clearance sale.

However, look out for requests for long-term cooperation, especially when special and particular skills are involved. This way I started out in my translator career making US $ 6,500-9,500 per month, thanks to ProZ.com.

Forget about the one-off jobs.

The confirmation that your application has been received properly doesn't mean that the job is yours. ProZ.com is a portal for professional linguist, no cheap job-board, thank God.


 

Laurence Fogarty  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 19:00
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Commenters' comments.. Jul 3, 2012

..thanks to each of you. I must say when I read Nicole's view, it was with some trepidation. ProZ is not an employment office...fair enough, but then that raises the question of why translation jobs are posted on the site. Reading her message it seems that ProZ is simultaneously a clearance sale site advertising jobs that no-one else wants to take as well as being a portal for professional linguists. Confusing place this ProZ...

 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:00
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
There is a sense to it, actually Jul 3, 2012

Laurence Fogarty wrote:
it seems that ProZ is simultaneously a clearance sale site advertising jobs that no-one else wants to take as well as being a portal for professional linguists. Confusing place this ProZ...


The thing is, it's a commercial site first and foremost, in a deregulated industry. So, people who are not translators can register as such e.g. anyone with some level of a foreign language who is: unemployed, studying, housebound for any reason, retired or in full-time employment but struggling to make ends meet. Some agencies who care not a fig about quality are quite prepared to offer jobs here for ridiculously low rates.

On the other hand, the professional translators among us (and I hope I'm right in saying we are the vast majority), maintain a high profile here by providing clients with a full profile showing experience etc., network with colleagues, buy full membership... and so become known to interested clients who then send messages to us with job proposals. This is the other side of ProZ.com.

It looks to me as though you are already doing the right things to get noticed, but you may like to take advantage of one or more of the free webinars to help you get the most from the site. Don't be discouraged from quoting for jobs that really suit you, but my advice would be not to depend on the job board, either.

Sheila


 

Woodstock  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:00
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
You should also be wary of some job offers Jul 3, 2012

because there has been a recent spate of scammers registering with ProZ and offering fictitious jobs. How this works is documented in the Scams section of the forum, so if your rate was accepted and the person offering "disappeared", it could be that it was not a serious job offer to begin with. Always check to see if the agency/person has a Blue Board entry and check the comments of the people posting there. If there is no Blue Board entry, be very wary.

This may be unfair to people/agencies posting legitimate jobs for the first time, but my motto is "better safe than sorry". It helps, of course, that I have plenty of work and am not dependent on these offers, but even if you are desperate for work (not saying you are, but all new beginnings can be tough), always exercise caution and use the resources available here and through Google to check up on outsourcers you don't know. That's better than losing time and/or money on a possible scam.


 

Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:00
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Maybe agency's client cancelled job Jul 3, 2012

This happens sometimes, and if it does, of course from the point of view of common courtesy and business etiquette they should inform you, and most do, but some don't bother.

 

Valerie35 (X)
Local time: 19:00
German to English
Better ways to market Jul 4, 2012

I wouldn't waste my time with the bottom-feeding offers here. There are plenty of ways to market yourself - responding to ads here is probably the worst way to get any kind of connection going with a client.

 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:00
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Fair's, fair, Valerie Jul 4, 2012

Valerie35 wrote:

I wouldn't waste my time with the bottom-feeding offers here. There are plenty of ways to market yourself - responding to ads here is probably the worst way to get any kind of connection going with a client.


I really don't think we should assume that Laurence accepted for a job at 0.03 € or similar.icon_wink.gif Not every job posted here is posted by bottom-feeders. Many of us have found good clients that way, ones who pay reasonable rates and respect payment periods etc. Yes, the others exist, the ones who want the earth, yesterday, for slave wages. I certainly wouldn't advise anyone to use the job board as their main way of finding new clients, nor am I willing to turn off the job alerts I receive. I'd say that about 1 in 25 for which I am qualified give me the right vibes so I spend a few minutes sending a quote. I maybe hear back from 1 in 5 to 10 of those - usually with a "yes, you've got it" or a "not this time, but let's keep in touch". So, not a good hit rate but then I don't spend a lot of my time on it. I have to say that jobs posted from India or China no longer get a response from me as I've wasted too much time on them in the past. Their idea of a fair rate for the job is too different from mine.

Sheila


 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:00
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
The possibilities I can think of are Jul 4, 2012

1) They will still let you do the job. Don't trust the "Date of Completion" on the system. It is irrelevant for most outsourcers. So the job might still be pending and be materialized soon;

2). They clicked "accept" on your quote by accident;

3) They changed their mind and decided to use someone else;

4)The end client cancelled the job;

5) They are a bunch of new PMs testing the system out and learning to use it, and you got caught.


 

Niina Lahokoski  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 20:00
Member (2008)
English to Finnish
+ ...
Accepted quote is not a confirmation Jul 5, 2012

My tip is not to turn down other projects while waiting for the files and a proper go-ahead from the client. Thank them for accepting your quote and ask for details and a confirmation, and if you don't hear back from them in a reasonable time, just treat the project as cancelled. The others have already outlined some possible scenarios why the client might never get back to you.

 
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