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Not a single job in the whole year - normal?
Thread poster: Batichtchev

Katalin Szilárd  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 18:52
Member (2006)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Good old days Aug 10

Chris S wrote:

No jobs through ProZ is not surprising if you are fussy and/or pricey.

I am both, and I've never had work through ProZ. Could've done all kinds of crappy jobs for peanuts though.

You just have to decide what level you want to operate at.


Chris, it was not like that before. I and many other (ex) and current members received many good clients through proz (long time ago) and I'm not cheap at all.

[Edited at 2018-08-10 11:20 GMT]


Angie Garbarino
Vi Pukite
Morano El-Kholy
 

Alistair Gainey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:52
Member (2009)
Russian to English
Statistics Aug 10

According to the job browser, there have been slightly over 80,000 jobs posted on here across all language pairs in the past two years. I don't know how many paid members this site has, but I would venture to suggest that the number of job posts per member per year is not high. In my own language pair, it seems we have 721 members, and 1276 jobs have been posted in the past two years. So less than one per year per member. Restricting the search to jobs with over 500 words slashes the total to 271.

Oleksandr Ivanov
 

Mair A-W (PhD)
Germany
Local time: 18:52
Member (2016)
German to English
+ ...
what's normal Aug 10

Batichtchev wrote:

Hi, folks!
Just of curiosity. A top notch translator with over 25 years of experience in the Translation Service of the United Nations. One year of paid membership on this site.
Not a single job.
I can live without freelancing. But doesn`t it look a bit weird?


Who knows? I've received jobs both via the boards and via direct contacts here. Either your prices aren't right (... for these customers), or your marketing of yourself isn't right, or your deadlines aren't right. I don't know what the market is like for your pair, though.

If you're curious, you could try posting a job in your pair (you don't have to actually assign it to anyone) and see what the quotes look like, to give yourself some idea of what you're competing against.


Batichtchev
Jorge Payan
Morano El-Kholy
 

Tina Vonhof
Canada
Local time: 10:52
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Profile Aug 10

Take heart: most people will tell you that it takes a year or two to get started in translation - getting jobs and making money. Forget about applying for posted jobs unless they mention that they have a specific document they need translated and it is within your areas of interest and expertise. And don't fill out any forms until you actually get a job offer.

As others have suggested as well, begin by improving your profile. Maybe there is more but I can see only one line of your description about your skills, past experience, etc. That section needs filling out. Write out your credentials in full, no-one would know what that abbreviation means. I would suggest adding a picture - I always like to see the person I'm talking or emailing to. If you have not already done so, start participating in Kudoz; you learn from them and that is where you get to know your colleagues and potentially make connections.

I also notice that you specializations don't seem to have any relationship to the experience I assume you have as a UN translator. Your specializations would need to more or less reflect your experience, otherwise they are not credible. You have that UN experience so make the most of it. If you want to diversify, you could add one or two other fields but only if you have experience in them. Look at some other profiles, not to plagiarize of course, but just to get an idea of what other people's profiles look like and what they say about themselves, to get some ideas on how best to construct your own profile. Your profile is the first step in your marketing strategy.


Valérie Ourset
 

Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 18:52
Member
Italian to English
Conspiracy theories Aug 10

While some of the posters in this thread seem to think there is some sort of conspiracy afoot to sabotage its lower-paying users (of course there are added benefits for Plus members but that's the reality of certain business models), there are also plenty of ways to get the site to work for you, which are FREE and accessible to everyone.

Tighten up your CV and your profile. If YOU don't know what your strengths are, how do you expect to communicate them to your clients and convince them to give a particular job to you instead of to someone else?

Specialise. I don't know much about your language pair, but I imagine the competition is fierce, and offering knowledge and skills that not all translators possess is one way of standing out.

Add a picture, and your real name. Although some extremely successful translators on this site use pseudonyms, I think clients generally appreciate knowing who they are dealing with (just my opinion).

Answer Kudoz questions. It shows you know your subject area, and helps you move up in the directory, which in turn gives you more visibility.

Stop relying on finding jobs through the Proz job postings. Look through the forums and you'll find dozens of posts like yours - people who have paid their membership and expect jobs to arrive for that reason alone. Good opportunities do come along, but you need to start working on making clients come to you, rather than the other way around, which means marketing yourself more effectively, and adopting some of the suggestions I've given above.

[Edited at 2018-08-10 15:36 GMT]


Josephine Cassar
Kay-Viktor Stegemann
writeaway
Vera Schoen
Teresa Borges
Tina Vonhof
Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
 

The Misha
Local time: 12:52
Russian to English
+ ...
The way you write in English inspires little confidence, to say the least Aug 10

I do realize you do not claim to be able to translate INTO English (which is a real feather in your cap, truth be told, unlike with quite a few others in your situation), but one still keeps wondering: if that's the best someone who claims to have worked at the UN can do in English, maybe his Russian isn't all that much better. Or maybe the guy is simply not telling the truth, at least not all of it.

In addition to what others have said, may I suggest you begin by polishing anything and everything you post in a public forum, regardless of the language you write in because this is all those who don't know you will have to form their initial opinion of your professional worth. This applies to "little things," such as seemingly casual forum posts, as much as it does to whatever goes into your resume and ProZ profile. Little things are just as telling, you know. If you cannot produce flawless copy in English yourself, find someone to help you. Surely, that shouldn't be a problem in Florida.

Second, and I know plenty of others would disagree with me on this, I would downplay my own UN experience if I had any (which I don't, thank God). I don't know about other pairs, but the reputation the UN's Russian Service enjoys is by far not "all that it can be," for more reasons than one, and that's even before you consider people's personal attitudes towards that organization, which are far from uniform, especially here, in the US. Let's leave it at that.

Good luck to you.


 

Katalin Szilárd  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 18:52
Member (2006)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Facts Aug 10

Fiona Grace Peterson wrote:

While some of the posters in this thread seem to think there is some sort of conspiracy afoot to sabotage its lower-paying users (of course there are added benefits for Plus members but that's the reality of certain business models), there are also plenty of ways to get the site to work for you, which are FREE and accessible to everyone.


No conspiracies, but facts. When Plus membership was introduced, (maybe you missed that conversation) but Henry guaranteed that Plus members would not gain any benefits in the directory over standard members. This is why many members (just like me) decided not to have a Plus membership. And time went by without visitors and accidentally a member found out that only Plus members can be reached from Proz Mobile directory for example.... then we also found out that in the normal directory a potential new client needs to be registered to contact the translator... fortunately if you click on someone's name you can open up his/her profile without registering but a new potential client will not bother with this but he/she will rather leave the site. Membership details were also changed (directory benefit was added) without notifying us.

Conspiracy theorists would lick their 10 fingers now: now that I was talking about that I had no visitors from Proz Find I received 1 visitor from Proz Find a freelancer from Argentina!


 

Sorana_M.
Romania
Local time: 19:52
English to Romanian
English Aug 10

Carlos Maturana wrote:

Nowdays is not only a matter of expertise but to develop aditional skills.



No offence, but... why? Since you translate INTO English?


 

Batichtchev
United States
Local time: 12:52
Member (2017)
English to Russian
TOPIC STARTER
Excuse me? Aug 10

Tina Vonhof wrote:

Take heart: most people will tell you that it takes a year or two to get started in translation - getting jobs and making money. Forget about applying for posted jobs unless they mention that they have a specific document they need translated and it is within your areas of interest and expertise. And don't fill out any forms until you actually get a job offer.

As others have suggested as well, begin by improving your profile. Maybe there is more but I can see only one line of your description about your skills, past experience, etc. That section needs filling out. Write out your credentials in full, no-one would know what that abbreviation means. I would suggest adding a picture - I always like to see the person I'm talking or emailing to. If you have not already done so, start participating in Kudoz; you learn from them and that is where you get to know your colleagues and potentially make connections.

I also notice that you specializations don't seem to have any relationship to the experience I assume you have as a UN translator. Your specializations would need to more or less reflect your experience, otherwise they are not credible. You have that UN experience so make the most of it. If you want to diversify, you could add one or two other fields but only if you have experience in them. Look at some other profiles, not to plagiarize of course, but just to get an idea of what other people's profiles look like and what they say about themselves, to get some ideas on how best to construct your own profile. Your profile is the first step in your marketing strategy.






Honestly, I cannot comprehend what is meant by this "I also notice that you specializations don't seem to have any relationship to the experience I assume you have as a UN translator."
That you know better than me what fields are covered by the UN documents? OK then.


 

Alistair Gainey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:52
Member (2009)
Russian to English
Profile v CV Aug 10

Batichtchev wrote:

Honestly, I cannot comprehend what is meant by this "I also notice that you specializations don't seem to have any relationship to the experience I assume you have as a UN translator."
That you know better than me what fields are covered by the UN documents? OK then.


I can see where Tina's coming from. In the 'Expertise' section in your profile, you say you specialize in

Automotive / Cars & Trucks Business/Commerce (general)
Poetry & Literature Education / Pedagogy
General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters Sports / Fitness / Recreation
Certificates, Diplomas, Licenses, CVs

Which is fine, but it doesn't reflect what you've put in your CV.

[Edited at 2018-08-10 21:56 GMT]


B D Finch
 

Batichtchev
United States
Local time: 12:52
Member (2017)
English to Russian
TOPIC STARTER
Bad for me Aug 11

Alistair Gainey wrote:

Batichtchev wrote:

Honestly, I cannot comprehend what is meant by this "I also notice that you specializations don't seem to have any relationship to the experience I assume you have as a UN translator."
That you know better than me what fields are covered by the UN documents? OK then.


I can see where Tina's coming from. In the 'Expertise' section in your profile, you say you specialize in

Automotive / Cars & Trucks Business/Commerce (general)
Poetry & Literature Education / Pedagogy
General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters Sports / Fitness / Recreation
Certificates, Diplomas, Licenses, CVs

Which is fine, but it doesn't reflect what you've put in your CV.

[Edited at 2018-08-10 21:56 GMT]


So what can I do if I am closely familiar with all these various fields of expertise and directly related to them? Both as a translator with 40 years full-time experience, and as a practitioner/user.


 

Ricardo Suin  Identity Verified
Spain
Member (Jun 2018)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Elaborate more Aug 11


So what can I do if I am closely familiar with all these various fields of expertise and directly related to them? Both as a translator with 40 years full-time experience, and as a practitioner/user.


Just put it in a more professional and elaborated way, maybe a bit more of description of your experience in those fields would be enough.


 

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:52
French to English
JobZ via ProZ Aug 11

Some translators on here do get jobs via ProZ. Some say they do so at their usual rate. The fact remains that when the rates are provided, they are too low if you are living in certain countries.

ProZ is not a job agency. The job offers are on a virtual noticeboard. Take it or leave it. There are payment conditions for clients and for bidders. I'm not shocked by that. ProZ is a business and has to make money for the services it provides. So you need to bear in mind that the criteria upon which jobs are obtained are not necessarily ones you might expect. It is not unusual to see a job posted, with a rate I would not even get out of bed for, and for the next few days a series of questions to be posted on the KudoZ pages, which are obviously from the job that was on the board. It is not unusual that the questions asked reveal that the person has obtained the job in a field about which they do not have a lot of knowledge.

However, if you contribute to KudoZ, you are demonstrating to fellow translators how you work. They will see your research ability, your determination and success in understanding the source text and the pertinence of the solutions you come up with, together with the quality of the sources upon which you rely to do so. Now that is good advertising, as colleagues may consider referring clients to you. Some clients may contact you directly for the same reasons. Showcase your skills here. You can do that for no cost.

I looked at your CV/résumé. I found that your skills do not stand out. It might be better to present it is a more aired format. Clients need to know what type of translation expertise you have. Is that expertise something they can use? To say that you have worked for the United Nations does not inform potential clients where your skills lie.

[Edited at 2018-08-11 12:28 GMT]


José Henrique Lamensdorf
Morano El-Kholy
 

Batichtchev
United States
Local time: 12:52
Member (2017)
English to Russian
TOPIC STARTER
What "services" ? Aug 11

Nikki Scott-Despaigne wrote:

Some translators on here do get jobs via ProZ. Some say they do so at their usual rate. The fact remains that when the rates are provided, they are too low if you are living in certain countries.

ProZ is not a job agency. The job offers are on a virtual noticeboard. Take it or leave it. There are payment conditions for clients and for bidders. I'm not shocked by that. ProZ is a business and has to make money for the services it provides. So you need to bear in mind that the criteria upon which jobs are obtained are not necessarily ones you might expect. It is not unusual to see a job posted, with a rate I would not even get out of bed for, and for the next few days a series of questions to be posted on the KudoZ pages, which are obviously from the job that was on the board. It is not unusual that the questions asked reveal that the person has obtained the job in a field about which they do not have a lot of knowledge.

However, if you contribute to KudoZ, you are demonstrating to fellow translators how you work. They will see your research ability, your determination and success in understanding the source text and the pertinence of the solutions you come up with, together with the quality of the sources upon which you rely to do so. Now that is good advertising, as colleagues may consider referring clients to you. Some clients may contact you directly for the same reasons. Showcase your skills here. You can do that for no cost.

I looked at your CV/résumé. I found that your skills do not stand out. It might be better to present it is a more aired format. Clients need to know what type of translation expertise you have. Is that expertise something they can use? To say that you have worked for the United Nations does not inform potential clients where your skills lie.

[Edited at 2018-08-11 12:28 GMT]


"ProZ is a business and has to make money for the services it provides."
What services did it provide to me specifically? I never mind to pay. But I expect to get something in return. Am I wrong?


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:52
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
ProZ.com provides a meeting place Aug 11

Batichtchev wrote:

Nikki Scott-Despaigne wrote:
"ProZ is a business and has to make money for the services it provides."

What services did it provide to me specifically? I never mind to pay. But I expect to get something in return. Am I wrong?

Probably the majority of the world's translation agencies have an account here; a good percentage of professional, experienced translators who receive far more work than they can cope with (and so outsource the rest) have an account here; the site itself appears in a dominant position in any search anybody does if they're looking for a translator, be they an individual wanting a certificate or a CV translated, a translation agency, some other sort of intermediary (marketing or communications agency, web portal, publisher, etc.), or a business just branching out into a foreign market, or ...

None of that would be possible if ProZ.com wasn't being run as a business. Yes, I know that "in the good old days" it was more of a community than a business, but we're in 2018 now and things have changed, worldwide.

Whatever presence you have here is going to be better than no presence -- in the event that you have a shortage of clients. There's always a chance of picking up some crumbs. But most of the best jobs here are never advertised anywhere (on-site or off-site), and ProZ.com provides facilities for those who pay or gain a good reputation among other professional site users to become far more visible. If you both pay AND gain a good reputation then you're likely to get a very good ROI from the site. You just need a marketing message that's strong and unambiguous, so that potential clients find you and have confidence in you.


Ricardo Suin
Matthias Eng
Morano El-Kholy
 
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