Newbie seeks advice
Thread poster: jaybird
jaybird
English to Spanish
+ ...
May 14, 2006

I am just trying to get started and am fresh out of college. I continue my job search, but don't want a formal job. I don't see it fit for me, and since I am used to living in poverty and I don't have a mortgage I feel now is the time to go for it. I have been a registered user of Proz.com for a while and I monitor and pay attention, but before I "join" and become a paying member I need to know how hard is it to get work? I am young, but have purchased a lot of glossaries and have plenty of time to assure I can do precise translations, and judging by how helpful everyone seems on these forums, there is a little hope that I can probably get this started.

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Chanda Danley  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:30
Spanish to English
+ ...
Directory May 15, 2006

Just a small piece of advice...I would complete your profile in the proz directory. Even though you are only a registered member, you can still complete the profile and have it listed in the directory.

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Angela Arnone  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:30
Member (2004)
Italian to English
+ ...
Difference between "user" and "member" May 15, 2006

Chanda makes a very good recommendation. Just one clarification: both you and Chanda are "users" as opposed to "registered members". There has been a slight shift in how proz identifies its site users, so when we refer to a member we mean those who have subscribed for Platinum membership and therefore enjoy full site privileges and services.
Thanks to you both for using proz.
Angela


Chanda DANLEY wrote:

Just a small piece of advice...I would complete your profile in the proz directory. Even though you are only a registered member, you can still complete the profile and have it listed in the directory.


[Edited at 2006-05-15 10:19]


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M. Anna Kańduła  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:30
English to Polish
Difference... May 15, 2006

I registered here in October or so last year. I have been doing translations from time to time earlier, but it wasn't my full-time job (actually I didn't know it could be, I thought being a translator required being hired by some angecy and work on translation 8 - 16 hours every day in an office, I discovered that my dream can come true and I can work at home in my own "office hours" by finding this site through google).

I have been trying to get jobs here and on other big translation portal and since I started as a full-time freelancer my first job was from job ads - and I got it in February.

Only last month I could finally afford paying membership fee - partial membership, because full was too expencive - and it's only a month since then and my membership paid back... and still pays back, since I got a very good client soon after becoming a Member and thanks to becoming a Member.

So from my experience I can say that two things are important:
1. Investing
2. Grabbing a few free jobs to get some experience (a client, just as any other "employer", like us to have some experience)

If you don't have money for investing (just like I didn't) - then invest first money earned from first translations

From my experience I say it's a difference between being a member and a user.

And yes - I agree that working on your profile may help you find first jobs

Good luck!

Anni


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Karen Veldhuis
Netherlands
Local time: 06:30
Dutch to English
+ ...
Join up! May 16, 2006

Hi Jaybird!

I agreee with Chanda, too. I looked at your profile and to a visitor it says "I don't exist" - there is no information.

Even if you add what you can for the moment (languages, education etc.) and fill it out more as time goes on, your profile will at least say "I'm getting established" which is a big step in the right direction.

Also, if I were you I would seriously consider taking out full membership. You have nothing to lose and a greater opportunity to bid for work before non-members to gain. That gives you the chance a) to make back the fee and b) to begin establishing yourself.

On getting established: why not surf the site and others looking for agencies that look for translators with your languages and send them an email? They can only say no, or that you need more experience but you could always do test translations, bid for any small work they have, proofread short texts, anything that will get you going. So, get surfing, do your research and get translating.

You're young - take a chance!

Good luck..David


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Thor Truelson  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:30
Swedish to English
+ ...
A Better Way May 16, 2006

Hi. This might be heresy here on Proz, but I don't think that Proz is a viable source of jobs. Living in the US, and working from English into Spanish, you would be far better served by joining the ATA and becoming certified in your language combination since Spanish is one of the languages that one can receive certification in from the ATA. This is extremely important because in the US your combination is extremely saturated. Most agencies don't even want to bother with people who can only work either to or from Spanish unless they are certified or in some other way proven. That said, ATA certification also commands better pay which is crucial when dealing with Spanish since the rates are very low. Too low for most people who aren't living in Latin America where things are much cheaper. Because the cost of living is so cheap in Latin America, most stuff going into Spanish is outsourced there. It only makes sense. Therefore, if you only work in Spanish, you should maybe concentrate on medical and court interpreting which is fairly well paid, depending on where you live. Far better paid, in fact, than Spanish translating. You could pursue ATA certification on the side and then after receiving it, take on translation work as well. Until then, you probably wouldn't find it economically feasible if you're able to interpret. If you're looking for translation projects, you could approach clinics, hospitals and social service agencies and ask if they need any of their documents translated into Spanish. There are tons of these types of documents awaiting translation. You may find something there. Anyways, Proz is really not worth it in terms of looking for jobs. Non-members can still bid on jobs and use the Kudoz. The Kudoz is the best part of Proz hands down. The jobs posted on here are a little like going to a fire sale. While some people provided testimony about how quickly they recouped what they spent on a membership, I had a membership on here and it wasn't worth it. That was me though. Good luck with whatever you choose to do.

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Ingeborg Gowans  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 01:30
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
getting started May 18, 2006

the road to success is not always paved with gold, but little steps help..
my first job was pro bono (a website) which I found good exercise for me and I really tried my very best to get the job done.
Secondly, I have been doing and trying to help with Kudoz questions, i.e. helping other translators. This way, you get an idea what's out there and feel and understand the level you are comfortable in.
I also joined as a platinum member (for half a year for starters) because it does have advantages, i.e. being able to bid on a job before non-members.
So, all the best and don't give up...


Ingeborg


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Jessica Barreto  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:30
English to Spanish
+ ...
New freelancer trying to get a job May 29, 2006

Hi, I'm new in this business too. I've been doing translating jobs for free for my company for many years, but just now have decided to go freelance. I've been suscribed to Proz.com for a while now, and have recently purchased a partial job membership. My question is: how do I get a job? I've applied to a number of international agencies whose addresses I've found here at the site, with no results so far. I try to be active enough in the Kudoz section, and am translating a technical book for free, just to be able to list it as 'experience' (a very good experience, btw).

What am I doing wrong?

[Edited at 2006-05-29 19:42]


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lexical  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:30
Portuguese to English
save your money Sep 17, 2006

I agree with Thor - paying membership of Proz is a waste of money. Half the jobs advertised here are offered at ridiculously low rates and with impossible deadlines, and the other half are from agencies in dodgy third world countries who probably won't pay in the end. If you bid, you will probably find yourself undercut by 'translators' doing it for pin money. Better to build up your local contacts and build a lasting relationship that will bring you regular work, year after year.

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Angela Arnone  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:30
Member (2004)
Italian to English
+ ...
You're quite entitled to your opinion, of course Sep 17, 2006

But the sheer numbers of paying members on proz will be more than ample proof that yours is just one side of the argument.
We join proz for a whole bunch of reasons and bidding for jobs is just one of them.
There are several ways of getting work through proz and bidding is just one.
You can build up contacts through proz and get work by networking, and you will also be contacted by customers looking for people in your field of expertise.
Angela


quote]lexical wrote:

I agree with Thor - paying membership of Proz is a waste of money. Half the jobs advertised here are offered at ridiculously low rates and with impossible deadlines, and the other half are from agencies in dodgy third world countries who probably won't pay in the end. If you bid, you will probably find yourself undercut by 'translators' doing it for pin money. Better to build up your local contacts and build a lasting relationship that will bring you regular work, year after year. [/quote]


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