Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Requesting tips on managing work/life balance
Thread poster: Robin Joensuu

Robin Joensuu  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:07
Member
English to Swedish
Dec 18, 2015

I think one of the major perks with this job is that your time is your own. You can work when you want, how you want, and how much you want. At least theory. But in practice?

I make much more money than I need and I continuously try to find better paying clients to increase my income. I don't do it to make more money in total, but to be able to work less.

The big problem is that I realize that one of the reasons projects managers contact me is that I am always quick to reply and that I am mostly available. And I find myself working around the clock.

So how can you be available and free at the same time? Any tips? How do you do it?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

cranium
French to English
+ ...
"Not available" Dec 18, 2015

You simply thank them for the message and answer that unfortunately, you have no availability for that time frame. They will never ask why.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Paulo Eduardo - Pro Knowledge  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 06:07
Member (2008)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Mobile phone APPs Dec 18, 2015

With Skype, WhatsApp on a good smartphone (after all you´re in Sweden..) you can be in a Bar, Gym wherever, answer emails and phonecalls.
Start the assignment whenever you can/are free.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Catherine De Crignis  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 11:07
Member (2012)
English to French
+ ...
Time zone Dec 18, 2015

Robin Joensuu wrote:
I realize that one of the reasons projects managers contact me is that I am always quick to reply and that I am mostly available.


This is how I feel myself, however I work normal-ish office hours (and work in the office only; my smartphone is very convenient for checking e-mails whenever I need to pop out, but I keep this to an absolute minimum.


Robin Joensuu wrote:
And I find myself working around the clock.


From what you're writing now, I'm assuming this is because you deal with contacts in a variety of time zones.
One reason I quit working with agencies based on the US west coast is precisely this: to avoid those PM who expected quick replies no matter the time difference between us...


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Cristiana Coblis  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 12:07
Member (2004)
English to Romanian
+ ...
It's called being a freelancer, isn't it? Dec 18, 2015

Hi, Robin.
I don't think you are doing anything wrong, on the contrary. Some periods are just super-busy and it gets a bit overwhelming. For me, December is one of them, but really this year... it has been crazy busy.

I really doubt the only reason PMs contact you is because you are responsive and available. I am sure it is a plus, but not a deciding factor

You have a very good way of doing business in my opinion, a freelancer should always be looking for new clients and better paying projects. This way you can pick and choose projects and turn down those that are not in line with your goals. It's not that difficult to only work 3-4 hours per day if you really set your mind to it, you just have to manage your deadlines

Have a great weekend.

[Editat la 2015-12-18 10:05 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:07
Member
English to French
Don't be silly Dec 18, 2015

Robin Joensuu wrote:
I make much more money than I need and I continuously try to find better paying clients to increase my income. I don't do it to make more money in total, but to be able to work less.

Nobody makes more money than they need. And if you're really loaded, you can have (more) children to make sure they spend it all for you.

You can also prepare an early retirement and precisely enjoy that money you don't need.

You can buy a flat and rent it.

I can also help you spend it.

As regards life balance, you can create a preset e-mail with "sorry but my schedule is full and I will not be able to take on any more work until the end of the week/month/quarter" in order to have days off.
There is little benefit in working if you don't need the money and are interested in other things than work.

Philippe


Direct link Reply with quote
 

DJHartmann  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2014)
Thai to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
When the sun shines Dec 18, 2015

Make hay while the sun shines.

The rest of the time, do what ever you like

I'm in the same situation, am happy, have lots of time to ride my bike and spend with my family.
However, part of this job is that when it rains it pours.

This is just something we have to accept in order to benefit from the rest of the perks.

DJH


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Erik Freitag  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:07
Member (2006)
Dutch to German
+ ...
@Etienne Dec 18, 2015

Philippe Etienne wrote:
Nobody makes more money than they need.


Well, that's certainly one way to look at the world. Not the only one, though. Have you read Heinrich Böll's short story "Anekdote zur Senkung der Arbeitsmoral"? You should!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Robin Joensuu  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:07
Member
English to Swedish
TOPIC STARTER
Sometimes you have to be available Dec 18, 2015

SBlack wrote:

You simply thank them for the message and answer that unfortunately, you have no availability for that time frame. They will never ask why.


No, of course not, but aren't you afraid that they will not come back to you if you are never available when they need you? The only direct client I work with on a weekly basis, for instance, only have one Swedish translator and they need the work done.

Thanks for all the great tips! And Etienne, you can have too much money. There are numerous examples.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Catherine De Crignis  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 11:07
Member (2012)
English to French
+ ...
Small tip Dec 18, 2015

Robin Joensuu wrote:

only have one Swedish translator and they need the work done.



Then I would strongly recommend that you start considering outsourcing some of your extra workload - what if/when you're ill, on holiday, etc.? You can't let that particular client, no matter how valuable, rule your life.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Robin Joensuu  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:07
Member
English to Swedish
TOPIC STARTER
Good point! Dec 18, 2015

You can't let that particular client, no matter how valuable, rule your life.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 11:07
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Set up a dialogue with the client Dec 18, 2015

If you don't want to outsource work for your direct client, discuss with them when you are going to be available and when you are not. You are a freelancer, so it does not have to be typical office hours. It simply has to be an arrangement that suits you and covers their needs.

Good clients appreciate that you are human, and indeed they know it is important that you get time off, so that when you are working for them, you are at your best.

Arrange a Christmas break with them for a start. Have an agreement that when possible, they will let you know when work is in the pipeline, so you can reserve time for it. Tell them in good time when you intend to go on holiday, and ask how it fits in with their programme.

Think how to put your points so that you sound efficient and considerate. Clients respect you if you assert yourself in the right way. They won't value you more if you are available 24/7 all year round, they will just take you for granted!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:07
Member (2008)
Italian to English
$ Dec 18, 2015

Robin: it sounds to me that you must be a cheap translator, and that as a consequence you have to do a lot of work to make a decent income. Try increasing your rates.

[Edited at 2015-12-18 14:24 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 11:07
English to Croatian
+ ...
Staying up all night is not good for your system. Dec 18, 2015

I try to keep regular work, sleep and exercise patterns as much as I can.

With chaotic freelancer schedule it is not always possible but I do tend to choose clients who make this possible for me at least to some degree. I also want to synchronize my off-time with my family's and my friends' time as much as possible (everyone else works 8am-5pm, weekends off).

Yes, our time is flexible (advantage) but it is also chaotic and unpredictable (disadvantage).

Well OP it all depends on what you want and need. Do you want a possibility to be able to plan and organize your time ahead, do you need it? And what you said in introductory posting is just partially true since it's also the client that sets how much and when you work (deadline), and how you work (tools, files etc).

And you can't be available and free at once. Just because you choose where you work (your room or a bench in the park) with your laptop, it doesn't mean that time is your own or that you are free.

Best of luck whatever you choose. : )


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Robin Joensuu  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:07
Member
English to Swedish
TOPIC STARTER
Not really the issue Dec 18, 2015

Tom in London wrote:

Robin: it sounds to me that you must be a cheap translator, and that as a consequence you have to do a lot of work to make a decent income. Try increasing your rates.

[Edited at 2015-12-18 14:24 GMT]


No, I would not say that I am particularly cheap, and my point was that I do not need to work as much as I do to make a decent living. My concern is rather that I think it is hard to keep the workload at a comfortable and reasonable level, mostly because I am reluctant to turn down jobs and to be unavailable to clients.

[Redigerad 2015-12-18 17:36 GMT]


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 »

Requesting tips on managing work/life balance

Advanced search







Anycount & Translation Office 3000
Translation Office 3000

Translation Office 3000 is an advanced accounting tool for freelance translators and small agencies. TO3000 easily and seamlessly integrates with the business life of professional freelance translators.

More info »
SDL MultiTerm 2017
Guarantee a unified, consistent and high-quality translation with terminology software by the industry leaders.

SDL MultiTerm 2017 allows translators to create one central location to store and manage multilingual terminology, and with SDL MultiTerm Extract 2017 you can automatically create term lists from your existing documentation to save time.

More info »



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