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the 2-year experience minimum barrage
Thread poster: Anne LE ROMANCER

Anne LE ROMANCER  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:00
Member (Mar 2019)
English to French
Feb 27

Hi fellow translators,

I'm getting frustrated because I'm trying to apply to agencies for some freelance work but all the reputable agencies I find seem to only take you on once you've had 2 to 3 years of experience. It's all very nice but I can't survive for 2/3 years without paid work. I've had a few direct clients, done some translations for Translators without borders (which I really enjoy by the way, the PM are nice and flexible) but it's not enough to survive. I have a seco
... See more
Hi fellow translators,

I'm getting frustrated because I'm trying to apply to agencies for some freelance work but all the reputable agencies I find seem to only take you on once you've had 2 to 3 years of experience. It's all very nice but I can't survive for 2/3 years without paid work. I've had a few direct clients, done some translations for Translators without borders (which I really enjoy by the way, the PM are nice and flexible) but it's not enough to survive. I have a second income on the side to survive financially. I'm 42, a mortgage, 2 kids...I can't just carry on working for caritative associations. Granted I came back to translation after having had my children and had to teach French for 10 years while they were growing but I am qualified and have worked for 6 years in Marketing/International Development before that. But it doesn't count towards years as translator.
How do people cope with this "2/3 years of experience" thing?

I've joined the ITI, bought MemoQ, created a website, a Facebook Page, a twitter account, etc....had some mentoring sessions with an ITI member to go over my social media stuff but still can't get my foot through the door. Any tips please? I'm slightly desperate I translate from English to French (France). I'm native French but have lived in the UK with my english husband and our kids for 15 years now. My thought is I'm not specialised enough ie only marketing/business but I have absolutely no knowledge in the legal or medical field. Any advice on that aspect?


Thanks for any tips or advice you can offer.

Anne
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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:00
Member (2008)
Italian to English
One tip Feb 27

Anne LE ROMANCER wrote:

Thanks for any tips or advice you can offer.

Anne


One tip: I suggest you complete your profile. This is very important.


Dan Lucas
Angie Garbarino
Philippe Etienne
Anne LE ROMANCER
Paul Malone
Jorge Payan
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:00
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Anne Feb 27

Anne LE ROMANCER wrote:
I'm getting frustrated because I'm trying to apply to agencies for some freelance work but all the reputable agencies I find seem to only take you on once you've had 2 to 3 years of experience.


Well, you can't tell people that you've had 2-3 years' experience, but you can always neglect to mention it, and you are free to apply even if the requirements state "2-3 years' experience", as long as the way you apply does not actually declare that you have 2-3 years' experience.

Once you've been a translator for 2-3 years, you'll know why clients prefer to work with translators who have 2-3 years' experience.


Anne LE ROMANCER
Paul Malone
Jorge Payan
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Keep at it Feb 27

It is a catch 22 situation, but try smaller agencies who are likely to be more flexible and emphasise the experience that you do have in other jobs.

Remember that even if you could claim 20 years' translation experience it would still be hard getting a foot in the door, so just keep at it is my advice.

[Edited at 2019-02-27 13:27 GMT]


Dan Lucas
Christine Andersen
Philippe Etienne
Anne LE ROMANCER
Valérie Ourset
Eleftheria Chrysochoou
tabor
 

Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
I suggest to become paying member here Feb 27

When jobs are posted by small agencies (for example) you have more chances if you are a paying member, In my opinion this site can give you the opportunity to have jobs but not as a non paying member, to me, only experienced translators with faithful clients can afford the luxury of not paying the membership.

Just my opinion based on my experience

Good luck!

[Edited at 2019-02-27 14:48 GMT]


Sabrina Bruna
Tom Stevens
Philippe Etienne
Paul Malone
 

Arianne Farah  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 16:00
Member (2008)
English to French
I worked in-house the first 18 months Feb 27

Just enough to gain some legitimacy and learn the business side of the translation business (since I had already learnt the translation side through a Bachelor of Arts specialized in Translation). No-one questions your freelancer credentials after a few years as an in-house translator, it's a guarantee that you did 35-40 hours of translation a week, every week and that you understand the level of quality required by the industry; while a few years of freelancing could just be a few hours here an... See more
Just enough to gain some legitimacy and learn the business side of the translation business (since I had already learnt the translation side through a Bachelor of Arts specialized in Translation). No-one questions your freelancer credentials after a few years as an in-house translator, it's a guarantee that you did 35-40 hours of translation a week, every week and that you understand the level of quality required by the industry; while a few years of freelancing could just be a few hours here and there in reality, and not much concrete experience.Collapse


DZiW
 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 22:00
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Agree with the advice about small agencies Feb 27

Smaller agencies tend not to have so many rigid rules. They look at who you are, not just how many boxes they can tick. Apart from that, I find they are much nicer to work with allround, experience or no.

Don't underestimate your experience of jobs in marketing and development.

Another tip I would give is to take some courses - Coursera is highly recommended by some colleagues, and there are others. Expand the subject areas you are comfortable with, or go into more det
... See more
Smaller agencies tend not to have so many rigid rules. They look at who you are, not just how many boxes they can tick. Apart from that, I find they are much nicer to work with allround, experience or no.

Don't underestimate your experience of jobs in marketing and development.

Another tip I would give is to take some courses - Coursera is highly recommended by some colleagues, and there are others. Expand the subject areas you are comfortable with, or go into more detail, so you can specialise a bit.

And don't give up!

Best of luck!
Collapse


Tom Stevens
Philippe Etienne
Anne LE ROMANCER
Valérie Ourset
Rachel Waddington
Dongwoo Lee
David Brown
 

Anne LE ROMANCER  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:00
Member (Mar 2019)
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
100% of the require profile done so far Feb 27

Tom in London wrote:

Anne LE ROMANCER wrote:

Thanks for any tips or advice you can offer.

Anne


One tip: I suggest you complete your profile. This is very important.



I have tried to complete it as much as I can but there are things that I can't "add" as such. I have 100% in the required and 75% filled in the optional. I have only 1 WWA and I can't fill up the blueboard thing because I'm yet to get a job via Proz (not that I don't answer the offers when they fit my profile but no answers so far). I have added feedback from direct clients on my CV/Facebook Pages. And I'm sure they'd act as reference if asked but they are not on Proz because they are not agencies (and I'm sure they don't know what Proz is frankly lol).

What else can I do to support my profile?


 

Anne LE ROMANCER  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:00
Member (Mar 2019)
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Is it worth it? Feb 27

Angie Garbarino wrote:

When jobs are posted by small agencies (for example) you have more chances if you are a paying member, In my opinion this site can give you the opportunity to have jobs but not as a non paying member, to me, only experienced translators with faithful clients can afford the luxury of not paying the membership.

Just my opinion based on my experience

Good luck!

[Edited at 2019-02-27 14:48 GMT]


I didn't invest in it as from what I hear people say it's really not worth it and my savings are getting lower and lower so I need to make the best investment with what's left. That's why I didn't go for it. If I increased my hours in my other job I could perhaps make it happen...but then I'd have less time to work on the translations....aaaaaargh what a headache!!!


 

Anne LE ROMANCER  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:00
Member (Mar 2019)
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Working as an in-house translator Feb 27

Arianne Farah wrote:

Just enough to gain some legitimacy and learn the business side of the translation business (since I had already learnt the translation side through a Bachelor of Arts specialized in Translation). No-one questions your freelancer credentials after a few years as an in-house translator, it's a guarantee that you did 35-40 hours of translation a week, every week and that you understand the level of quality required by the industry; while a few years of freelancing could just be a few hours here and there in reality, and not much concrete experience.


I know it would be ideal but unfortunately can't happen for the foreseeable future do to childcare issues. I'm stuck with school runs for a few more years, no help, a husband who works shifts... self-employment/working from home is the only way to make it work. I tried to have normal work hours for 2 years and just didn't work at all. It was super stressful for everybody.


 

Anne LE ROMANCER  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:00
Member (Mar 2019)
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
coursera Feb 27

Christine Andersen wrote:

Smaller agencies tend not to have so many rigid rules. They look at who you are, not just how many boxes they can tick. Apart from that, I find they are much nicer to work with allround, experience or no.

Don't underestimate your experience of jobs in marketing and development.

Another tip I would give is to take some courses - Coursera is highly recommended by some colleagues, and there are others. Expand the subject areas you are comfortable with, or go into more detail, so you can specialise a bit.

And don't give up!

Best of luck!


thanks for the tip! I'll check out coursera. I've seen them on google when I try to find free online training courses. I need to update my knowledge in SEO/copywriting.


Dongwoo Lee
 

Yoana Ivanova  Identity Verified
Estonia
Local time: 23:00
Member
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
Yes Feb 27

Anne LE ROMANCER wrote:

I didn't invest in it as from what I hear people say it's really not worth it and my savings are getting lower and lower so I need to make the best investment with what's left. That's why I didn't go for it. If I increased my hours in my other job I could perhaps make it happen...but then I'd have less time to work on the translations....aaaaaargh what a headache!!!


Take it from someone with two years of experience and not a lot of money to invest. Getting the Plus membership from the very beginning is likely the only reason I managed to get my first jobs here.

You can quote as soon as a job is posted, which I imagine is even more important in your pair, where there's plenty of competition. By the time restricted jobs become available to quote on for non-members the translator has already been found.

If someone searches the directory, you will appear on the first row. But you have to improve your ranking constantly by answering Kudoz questions. Set up notifications, so you can get in on them early.

It's my personal opinion, but I think you invested in MemoQ way too early. Plus Membership would have given you free access to a decent CAT tool for much less money.

And another suggestion is to add sample translations. If you don't have a lot of experience to offer, you can leverage your skills.

Edit: Just always point out the experience you do have, your background will help you stand out, especially in Marketing.




[Edited at 2019-02-27 16:17 GMT]

[Edited at 2019-02-27 16:21 GMT]


Angie Garbarino
JaneD
Melanie Meyer
 

Anne LE ROMANCER  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:00
Member (Mar 2019)
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
So hard to know what is the right thing to do Feb 27

Yoana Ivanova wrote:

Anne LE ROMANCER wrote:

I didn't invest in it as from what I hear people say it's really not worth it and my savings are getting lower and lower so I need to make the best investment with what's left. That's why I didn't go for it. If I increased my hours in my other job I could perhaps make it happen...but then I'd have less time to work on the translations....aaaaaargh what a headache!!!


Take it from someone with two years of experience and not a lot of money to invest. Getting the Plus membership from the very beginning is likely the only reason I managed to get my first jobs here.

You can quote as soon as a job is posted, which I imagine is even more important in your pair, where there's plenty of competition. By the time restricted jobs become available to quote on for non-members the translator has already been found.

If someone searches the directory, you will appear on the first row. But you have to improve your ranking constantly by answering Kudoz questions. Set up notifications, so you can get in on them early.

It's my personal opinion, but I think you invested in MemoQ way too early. Plus Membership would have given you free access to a decent CAT tool for much less money.

And another suggestion is to add sample translations. If you don't have a lot of experience to offer, you can leverage your skills.





[Edited at 2019-02-27 16:17 GMT]


OK, I'll try the Kudoz questions. I'm registered but didn't think it impacted massively.
I took Memoq with a 35% discount (via Proz) so it's not too bad but I suppose I could have waited. I thought it was one of the reasons I wasn't getting any work Made no difference unfortunately. But I suppose it's a mix of lots of different elements I need to get right! Aaaaaaargh....will add some translation samples now so that should help....Well every little bits help lol


 

Heike Holthaus  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:00
Member (2012)
German to English
+ ...
Focus on what you have to offer Feb 27

Think about and focus on what you DO have to offer, e. g. 10 years of teaching French, in your applications.

"While I do not yet have 2 years experience.....I can offer you....."
"During my 10 years of teaching French, I gained valuable insight into..."
"Teaching French in GB provided me with valuable insight into..."
"While living in GB and teaching French... cultural nuance ... which will be your benefit when working with me"

What other skills do you
... See more
Think about and focus on what you DO have to offer, e. g. 10 years of teaching French, in your applications.

"While I do not yet have 2 years experience.....I can offer you....."
"During my 10 years of teaching French, I gained valuable insight into..."
"Teaching French in GB provided me with valuable insight into..."
"While living in GB and teaching French... cultural nuance ... which will be your benefit when working with me"

What other skills do you have that may be relevant to an agency? Dedication, research ability, subject matter knowledge, CPD, etc, etc.
Collapse


Anne LE ROMANCER
Eleftheria Chrysochoou
Rita Translator
 

Anne LE ROMANCER  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:00
Member (Mar 2019)
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Feb 27

Heike Holthaus wrote:

Think about and focus on what you DO have to offer, e. g. 10 years of teaching French, in your applications.

"While I do not yet have 2 years experience.....I can offer you....."
"During my 10 years of teaching French, I gained valuable insight into..."
"Teaching French in GB provided me with valuable insight into..."
"While living in GB and teaching French... cultural nuance ... which will be your benefit when working with me"

What other skills do you have that may be relevant to an agency? Dedication, research ability, subject matter knowledge, CPD, etc, etc.



thank you. I shall have a rethink of my cover letters to include this. thanks


 
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