Help oldie with this new method of job-finding
Thread poster: Polly Spencer

Polly Spencer
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:25
French to English
Sep 26, 2002

Help! Have just registered with PROZ and am so far confused and frustrated.

I have been translating for 30 years, 26 of these as virtually sole French-to-English translator for local agency. The agency sold out to a larger one which kept me on, but gave me less and less work as clients of the old agency withdrew. I am on the books of one more agency for which I do mostly proofreading. So after all this time, I’m suddenly very short of work.


I am QBE – qualified by experience. No official certificates other than language degree. After 30 years feel a bit old to sign up for a course and anyway I can do the job.

I’ve never specialised. As sole translator I did everything – and have never had any complaints.

But I took the advice and entered a specialisation for my profile – and then I see jobs I could do which aren’t my stated specialisation. Do I bid and keep changing my profile to fit (!!). The bids ask for a relevant tag – do I keep inventing this? Or should I ignore advice and put ‘Competent generalist, copes with anything’?

Bids also often ask for a field-relevant reference. Where do these come from? Working for an agency, I have had no direct client contact, and such references would have to be immediately to hand, or bid preparation would surely take too long.

If I should ever get a job through PROZ, can I just ask for a cheque by post, or do I have to do this on-line stuff, and if so, what about currency conversion charges since I see Paypal is in the US?

Sorry if the answers are obvious. I expect I’m panicking. I’ve been registered only a week. I read a bit more of the site each day – today I found these discussion forums – and I just wonder if anyone out there can help me to shortcut. Otherwise it will be months before I know enough to place a bid. I’m alarmed to note someone has had only 2 jobs through PROZ in a year.

Would be very grateful for any advice, providing it is not to quit!

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Arthur Borges
Local time: 14:25
+ ...
Identity Anguish Sep 26, 2002

Have you kept copies of everything you\'ve translated?

If yes, fine: just open a new MSWord file, and list everything.

Then add up the scores: how much marketing, how much genetic engineering, how much internatinal law, how many birth certificates.

Deduce your specialisaitons from that.

Then configure your ProZ profile and CV.

The mere fact of writing out all your experience (which MSUT be extensive, given your experience) and, at the very least, it\'ll bost your morale.

I\'ve hired kids with a master\'s in \"applied translation\" who couldn\'t even answer a phone properly or translate anything more detailed than a newspaper article. The schools are out of the reality loop.

On the other hand, there are a lot of people in the translation game because they\'ve failed at everything else, simply because they\'ve never overcome their dual culturalities, so to speak.

Direct advertising will work, but only if you get your i;age right. Once you\'ve itmized your experienc,e you\'ll have a far finer mirror image of who the translator within you is.

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Maria Knorr
Local time: 02:25
+ ...
Getting jobs through ProZ Sep 27, 2002


I am very young (I haven\'t even been around for 30 years) but I have been with ProZ for a while now and as far as I can tell not too many people actually get jobs here. Not to discourage you or anything - just a reality check.


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Local time: 16:25
Italian to English
+ ...
Well, I've been registered since june 2002.... Sep 27, 2002

and have had three jobs already! So, follow Arthur\'s advice and give yourself a real Moral Boost!

He who plays...WINS!


Your experience is GOLD!

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