The Process of Employment/Outsourcing From an Agency?
Thread poster: Kobus
Kobus
South Africa
Local time: 21:58
Nov 13, 2014

Hi there,

I am relatively new to the translation industry and don't really know the process of how to get work from agencies etc so any advice from your own experiences would be greatly appreciated! My main questions are -

- How do I contact an agency? The most popular places on the web agencies look for translators?

- Do I get employed or outsourced from an agency? Will I get a zero-hour contract or something?

- Will they make me sign a contract of employment?

- Is there a Skype interview? Will they give me a questionnaire on a word document to fill in?

- What do I need to provide them with? My qualifications as a translator, resume & the governing bodies I am qualified for?

- And lastly how does payment work? Will they just make a payment to me through PayPal or something? How do I ensure payment from them so they can't just ignore me without paying?

I know there's a few questions but If you can help me with any of them I would be very grateful.

Thanks in advance for any information!


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:58
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Welcome to ProZ.com! Nov 13, 2014

Hello,

Firstly, it's difficult when you know absolutely nothing about someone so do you think you could fill in the basics in your profile?

You clearly need to spend some time studying how things work, but fortunately you're in the perfect place for that. Take full advantage of the site: the forums, articles, webinars (some are free), Wikis, the spam alert centre, the site guidance centre...

Most translators are freelancers, self employed (only a very few are salaried). I don't know how freelancing works in your country. You will need to be able to issue invoices to your clients. In most countries that means registering as self employed, paying our own social security contributions and keeping accounts so we pay our taxes.

We quote for jobs, sometimes for jobs posted here although we wouldn't rely only on this site. It's up to us to negotiate rates etc and collect payment of our invoices. Clients pay by various methods, whatever suits both parties best.

Have a good read: research is an essential skill for a translator. And feel free to ask questions you can't find answers to.


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

MODERATOR
I'll try my best to answer Nov 13, 2014

[quote]Kobus wrote:


- How do I contact an agency? The most popular places on the web agencies look for translators?


Search google, most agency websites have a 'translator's section'. But the agencies that I get the most work from have contacted me directly through PROZ.


- Do I get employed or outsourced from an agency? Will I get a zero-hour contract or something?


Not really

- Will they make me sign a contract of employment?


Some do, most ask you to sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement)


- Is there a Skype interview? Will they give me a questionnaire on a word document to fill in?


I have never had an interview, many ask you to do a translation test. If you pass this then you'll fill in their generic form specifying your areas of speciality etc.


- What do I need to provide them with? My qualifications as a translator, resume & the governing bodies I am qualified for?

Most just ask for a CV.

- And lastly how does payment work? Will they just make a payment to me through PayPal or something? How do I ensure payment from them so they can't just ignore me without paying?

Most use Paypal, 1 % use bank transfer (in my experience)


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eVeritas  Identity Verified
Puerto Rico
Local time: 15:58
Member (2012)
English to Spanish
+ ...
A few tips Nov 13, 2014

You can verify an agency's reputation regarding payment at the Blue Board on this site. Members are able to read the comments posted by other translators, non-members can only see the agency's rating. Payment Practices (www.paymentpractices.com) is another site that you can use for this purpose. You would have to become a member and this requires payment of a small yearly fee.

Check out the webminars on this site because there is one specifically designed for those getting started in the industry. I can also recommend the book "How to Succeed as a Freelance Translator" by Corinne McKay sold by Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and the American Translator's Association.

You must prepare your CV because every agency will require it. It is good have a scanned copy of your diplomas or certificates because some agencies ask for those as well.

Good luck!


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Kobus
South Africa
Local time: 21:58
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Nov 17, 2014

Great, thank you for your replies everyone, very helpful.

I'll be filling in my profile and learning how to navigate around this site to delve into some more research on getting started.

Thanks a lot!


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