Poll: Did you receive help/mentoring when you first started as a freelancer?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 19:28
Oct 16, 2010

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Did you receive help/mentoring when you first started as a freelancer?".

This poll was originally submitted by Irène Guinez. View the poll results »


Local time: 04:28
English to French
+ ...
Yes Oct 16, 2010

I would rather call it support and trust, though.


Local time: 05:28
Arabic to English
+ ...
No Oct 16, 2010

A rephrasing of the question may be necessary: Have you ever received help throughout your freelance career?

I could hardly remember any. Forms of assistance came indirectly and unintentionally in informal exchanges with colleagues.

Two of a trade never agree ... perhaps never help too.

[Edited at 2010-10-16 18:06 GMT]


Thayenga  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:28
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
No, but... Oct 16, 2010

I'm learning as I go.

And then there is a colleague who has answered my questions as they arose.
So that is help.icon_smile.gif


Local time: 22:28
Spanish to English
+ ...
No Oct 16, 2010

I got no help from anyone when I started freelancing – and didn’t want/need any either, since I already had around 25 years’ experience of translation / editing / publishing and related activities under my belt, gained in-house in a well-known international organization.

It wasn’t much different when I first joined that organization as a translator, back in 1978, having previously qualified and worked in engineering. The only help I got on my first day in Brussels was being shown to my new office and presented with a freshly-sharpened pencil and a notepad to write down the translations of the documents that were already overflowing from the in-tray.

Self-reliance and the ability to think laterally lead to survival - and success - on both occasions.



Amy Duncan  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:28
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Never received any myself, but... Oct 16, 2010

...I have mentored several colleagues in recent years.


Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:28
Member (2008)
English to Italian
yes Oct 16, 2010

My ex girlfriend introduced me to my first client, and, as she worked for the same company(as in-house translator), she was my proofreader, and taught all the things I needed to know. Now we have separate lives, and every now and then I receive some translations she does and I am the proofreader. I still can learn something, I have to admit, and anyway, without her help at the beginning, I wouldn't have started working as a freelance translator.


Marlene Blanshay  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:28
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
none Oct 16, 2010

I did have a friend of my sister who sent me some clients and names early on, but that's about it. I started on my own, gathered my own clients, made all my own contacts, etc. I had been a freelance journalist before, but I admit I'm more successful now! I am proud to say I did this all on my own, starting from ground zero, with no help from anyone! I am woman hear me roar!


Caryl Swift  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:28
Polish to English
+ ...
Other Oct 16, 2010

Help, support, advice, you name it, they gave it. They know who they are. And it's ongoing. I just hope the people to whom I continue to be deeply indebted feel that it's a bit more mutual now than it was at the start...


LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:28
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Mentor Program Oct 16, 2010

No help for me. If fact, in 1994, one of the articles I wrote for the ATA Chronicle was about the need for the creation of an ATA mentoring program. Scroll down to Newcomers' Column:


I also wrote a review that was published in the Chronicle in '94 or '95 (which I cannot find) about one of the first electronic dictionaries.

Guess I was just ahead of my time.

[Edited at 2010-10-16 16:25 GMT]


Stephanie Mitchel  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:28
French to English
Thankfully, yes. Oct 16, 2010

Some clients I already knew through various avenues took a special interest in me and gave me a "push" right after I got my MA. It was very good experience and I'm still grateful for it.


Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:28
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Had already been a staff translator Oct 16, 2010

During my career as a staff translator I received wonderful mentoring from senior colleagues - I owe it all to them.

But once I became a free lance, I was on my own!


Rebecca Garber  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:28
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Yes Oct 18, 2010

Although it was more help than direct mentoring.

I was referred to agencies through friends.
I was helped through the invoicing process by an accountant.
I met a few times and emailed often with another local translator. We didn't end up collaborating, but that's more because he works in automotive and I can tell a sedan from a truck, but not much more than that.

I got a lot of informal help at ProZ, both directly from KudoZ and indirectly by reading what others had written.


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Poll: Did you receive help/mentoring when you first started as a freelancer?

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