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Have you ever considered leaving this industry and this site?
Thread poster: Little Woods

Little Woods  Identity Verified
Vietnam
Member
English to Vietnamese
Apr 6, 2015

Recently, I grew tired of the industry and the site to the point that I stop applying to new project posts. Just spending my time on the holiday and daily activities, sleeping, meeting friends. It wasn't that I overworked. Last year I had moderate workload and I was satisfied with that but the last few months made me thought alot and just got depressed and tired of the working and participating here.

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Radian Yazynin  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:47
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
Even if you consider any other industry Apr 6, 2015

you will see that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence.

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Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:47
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Would a 9-to-5 job suit you any better? Apr 6, 2015

Little Woods wrote:
Last year I had moderate workload and I was satisfied with that but the last few months made me thought alot and just got depressed and tired of the working and participating here.

The problem is that most of us do not grow up knowing what profession we want. Most of us do not go through childhood and adolescence thinking "My only wish is to be a translator" or "I just want to be a policeman" or "My goal is to become a great tree surgeon". These people who know exactly what they want to become in life and can focus on achieving that are very lucky.

For the rest of us, we work out what we're good at and try a variety of jobs. In the absence of that drive, those lifelong goals mentioned above, every job has parts that are tedious and unpleasant. In a regular job, fear of being fired drives one to work every day. When you're a freelancer, nobody is holding your feet to the fire, so it's easy to slide into a mode of inactivity.

Translation has its ups and downs. I come to it from another industry that I found far more stressful so for me, translation has been a positive change. Regular jobs will have their ups and downs too. But I think you know this already. Why not try a 9-to-5 job for a year in a different field in which you are interested, see if that makes any difference?

Regards
Dan

[Edited at 2015-04-06 08:38 GMT]


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:47
Member (2008)
Italian to English
No Apr 6, 2015

Little Woods wrote:

Recently, I grew tired of the industry and the site to the point that I stop applying to new project posts. Just spending my time on the holiday and daily activities, sleeping, meeting friends. It wasn't that I overworked. Last year I had moderate workload and I was satisfied with that but the last few months made me thought alot and just got depressed and tired of the working and participating here.


No. Having spent a long time getting into this industry and reorganised my life around it, I have no intention of giving up. I enjoy translating and like Dan, I came to it from another industry that I found far more stressful and far less satisfying.

[Edited at 2015-04-06 07:38 GMT]


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Kuochoe Nikoi  Identity Verified
Ghana
Local time: 04:47
Japanese to English
Any alternative sources of income? Apr 6, 2015

Little Woods wrote:

Recently, I grew tired of the industry and the site to the point that I stop applying to new project posts. Just spending my time on the holiday and daily activities, sleeping, meeting friends. It wasn't that I overworked. Last year I had moderate workload and I was satisfied with that but the last few months made me thought alot and just got depressed and tired of the working and participating here.

I haven't thought about it because there's nothing else I'd rather do for a living. Like you I have a moderate workload which makes me happy enough, but if it got to the stage where I didn't want to do this any more, I'd just start something else. How about investing in some local businesses as a silent partner? Or buying some bonds (over here we get 27% interest per annum, don't know about Vietnam)? Open up a small store and hire someone to run it? Translation isn't the only way to work from home.

Lastly it probably isn't my place to say this, but if you've been depressed for a few months, it might be a good idea to talk to a doctor about it. Just in case there's some medical reason that needs to be looked at.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 05:47
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I prefer to call it a profession... Apr 6, 2015

... But never mind.

I am another who ended up here by a long and windng route. I have considered giving up, because in fact I have now reached the point where I could retire.

It is definitely to my advantage to carry on for a few years more, assuming I live long enough to benefit from the pension I will then have available. Apart from that, I finally feel I have landed 'on the right shelf' as the Danes put it, so I am staying for the time being.

However, I have felt like you in earlier jobs, and felt trapped by the need to earn a living because bills and taxes won't go away, but knowing the job was not what I wanted to spend my life on, or that I was not particularly good at it, so I was just not satisfied.

It really can be hard to get up in the morning and start working. Possibly even more difficult as a freelancer than as an employee with working hours, an employer and colleagues to apply group pressure and sanctions if you are late.

As Dan suggests, perhaps you should try to find another job. It is far easier these days to commit yourself for a year without needing to pretend it is your vocation for life. Sometimes I found more in the job than I expected, and was happy to stay on longer.

Find something that is worth doing here and now, and put your heart into doing it well. If you like the people and they accept you, that is a good sign.

It will give you time to settle down. If you get the chance to do something more attractive later, then take it. If not, console yourself that many people have earned their livings with jobs that were simply ways of paying the bills, and then made their 'real' contribution in their free time. There are always periods when work is hard and boring, but it should have its rewards too.

Raw onions make you cry, but think of the good meal you are making! Or the results you are contributing to when you finish the hard work.

Volunteering or taking part in a sport or social activity is important. It is not always possible to make your living by it, but once you have made a living, you are entitled to a life!

I hope you find your way forward, and wish you luck.


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:47
Member (2008)
Italian to English
27 % !!!!!! Apr 6, 2015

Kuochoe Nikoi-Kotei wrote:

......... buying some bonds (over here we get 27% interest per annum


!!! Tell me how !!!!


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XXXphxxx  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:47
Portuguese to English
+ ...
"this industry and this site" Apr 6, 2015

There is a lot more to this profession than this site. You might wish to explore that before giving up on translation altogether.

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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:47
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Pension(s) Apr 6, 2015

Christine Andersen wrote:

....assuming I live long enough to benefit from the pension I will then have available.


Don't worry Christine - these days we're all living longer. 60 is the new 50!

I must admit: I don't need to worry too much about income so long I earn a monthly average from translation that's based on what I need to break even.

I already have other income from 3 or 4 different small pension funds in Italy and the UK including the UK state pension, plus small amounts of monthly income from savings I've been investing over the years. It helps to have an extremely simple, though not particularly frugal lifestyle. For example, living here in London, there is absolutely no need to own a car.

I imagine it would become quite stressful were I to be relying 100% on translation to actually stay alive and pay my bills.


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Richard Foulkes  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:47
German to English
+ ...
Considered? I've tried! Apr 6, 2015

Like you, after working as a translator for a number of years, I hit something of a wall and decided on a new career. For various reasons, that didn't go as planned and a few years later I was back as a translator but now with a solid specialisation. I also had the knowledge that 'the grass is not always greener on the other side' and I could compare the pros and cons of freelance and full-time work.

However, the downsides of translation compared to a full-time career for me include lack of interaction, a lack of 'good stress' or general sense of challenge that keeps you mentally sharp and a lack of compulsion to continuously learn, retain and apply new information, such as legislation, in your day-to-day work. Obviously, I do keep abreast of news and developments in my other profession but it's not quite the same in terms of mental stimulation.

I think this can become a problem when work is slow because your brain needs stimulation or it can start to work against you. I think a caged animal in a zoo walking around in circles is a good metaphor. Perhaps this is why you're feeling down or lacking in motivation.

If translation is not currently providing the stimulation you need, then my suggestions would be a different full-time job, a part-time job or other freelance work you could combine with translation, a full-time translation job, sharing an office with other translators or freelancers (you don't have to work from home) or a new course of study to give you a challenge.

As Christine says, hobbies, keeping physically fit, etc. are also important.

Good luck and keep us updated on what you're thinking of doing.


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Richard Foulkes  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:47
German to English
+ ...
Yeah I thought that Tom! Apr 6, 2015

Tom in London wrote:

Kuochoe Nikoi-Kotei wrote:

......... buying some bonds (over here we get 27% interest per annum


!!! Tell me how !!!!


Are these corporate, municipal or government bonds?

Actually, I've just had a quick Google and short-term government bond coupons are around this level. Obviously, that reflects a fairly low level of confidence in their ability to repay!


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:47
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Seconded! Apr 6, 2015

Lisa Simpson, MCIL MITI wrote:
There is a lot more to this profession than this site. You might wish to explore that before giving up on translation altogether.

This "industry", or better said profession, goes far beyond Proz.com or other translator portals. It is best to explore other possibilities, among which are translator certification, continuous training, translator associations, and of course translation agencies and direct customers.


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Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:47
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
I quote you and agree Apr 6, 2015

Tom in London wrote:


No. Having spent a long time getting into this industry and reorganised my life around it, I have no intention of giving up. I enjoy translating


Seconded, the only difference is that I did not come from another industry.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 04:47
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No! Apr 6, 2015

I didn't start out my career as a translator. There were a couple of other completely different professions (civil servant, senior secretary, hotel manager, junior director, account executive, public relations officer, vocational trainer) before this one. I do not regret at all this intricate weaving as it gave me a valuable insight of different areas of business. Then translation found me: part-time for a few years followed by 20 years as full-time in-house translator and reviser (retired now). In this last job we had not only an excellent working environment but we just made up a fun, friendly and enjoyable team. It was a pleasure working with them and of course sometimes I miss the camaraderie, but working as a freelance translator is now the ideal job for me and I wouldn’t consider leaving it! Not only I love the idea of being at home and avoiding the traffic mayhem but also I love the freedom it gives me and the variety of work! Like Tom I must say though that I don't need to worry too much about my income as I receive a comfortable pension…

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Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:47
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Envious Apr 6, 2015

Teresa Borges wrote:
Like Tom I must say though that I don't need to worry too much about my income as I receive a comfortable pension…

Oh to have been a child of the defined benefit pension era!

Dan


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