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Poll: Do you accept another job when you're already fully-booked?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 12:49
SITE STAFF
Oct 30, 2011

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you accept another job when you're already fully-booked?".

This poll was originally submitted by Silvia Barra. View the poll results »



 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 20:49
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Maybe... Oct 30, 2011

It depends on how overbooked I am. If it comes from a regular client I will try to negotiate a new deadline. If it is from a new client: Do I have time available to collect the necessary background information? Are they a potential good client? Is the job interesting? Is it well paid?

 

Angus Stewart  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:49
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
No Oct 30, 2011

No, I would not take on another job, if I am truly fully booked and working at full capacity. I would consider that to be very unprofessional, since it would be tempting fate. Working under such pressures I would either have to compromise on quality or risk missing the deadlines. I do not consider it to be in my own interests or those of my clients to do either of those things.

As Teresa already mentioned, I would try to negotiate a more manageable deadline in order to avoid turning the work away.


 

Koen Speetjens  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:49
English to Dutch
+ ...
With Angus Oct 30, 2011

When I'm fully booked, I'm fully booked. When I can fit in a little job, I'm almost fully booked.

 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:49
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Oct 30, 2011

It depends on the client, the job and how you define "fully booked". I can usually manage to squeeze shorter texts in somehow, even if it means foregoing even more of my non-translator life than usual. If unable to take on the work myself, I will usually try to find a colleague who can help out rather than let the client seek another translator.

I'm currently telling potential clients who ask me for "fully updated CV" or "copies of original diplomas and qualifications" or "test translations" that I'm fully booked whether I actually am or not, simply because all of these request would involve more of my time than I can bothered to spare. Especially if they approach me through proz, as I already have a profile they can look at.


 

Paula Hernández
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:49
English to Spanish
+ ...
Other Oct 30, 2011

As others mentioned, it depends on the client, the job (type and size) and on the flexibility of the project.
I can always try and squeeze it in for a special client.


 

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:49
French to English
Agreed! Oct 30, 2011

Angus Stewart wrote:

No, I would not take on another job, if I am truly fully booked and working at full capacity. I would consider that to be very unprofessional, since it would be tempting fate. Working under such pressures I would either have to compromise on quality or risk missing the deadlines. I do not consider it to be in my own interests or those of my clients to do either of those things.

As Teresa already mentioned, I would try to negotiate a more manageable deadline in order to avoid turning the work away.


Angus mentions every point I would have. The last point is a valid one too. If an acceptable deadline is possible, then yes, of course. Some things are possible, some things are not.


 

Marlene Blanshay  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 15:49
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
only a small job Oct 30, 2011

If i'm really busy, sometimes I may be able to accept small jobs, usually editing, for regular clients and if they need it fast. It usually takes less than an hour and i just bill the flat rate.

 

Hassan Lotfy  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 21:49
English to Arabic
+ ...
No Oct 30, 2011

With Angus

 

Gudrun Maydorn  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:49
Member (2008)
English to German
+ ...
It very much depends... Oct 30, 2011

... both on the customer and on the subject. I translate a lot of medical reports. Medical emergencies with urgent patient transfer to more specialised facilities tend to come without forewarning and usually need prompt translating. Some of my regular non-medical customers know that I do this sort of translations and usallly react in a cooperative manner.

My way around overbookings is to have one regualr weekday that I keep free of pre-bookings. I can use that day either for admin or as a buffer.


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:49
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Others Oct 30, 2011

Paula Hernández wrote:

As others mentioned, it depends on the client, the job (type and size) and on the flexibility of the project.
I can always try and squeeze it in for a special client.


icon_smile.gif


 

Dave Bindon  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 22:49
Member (2010)
Greek to English
Yes Oct 30, 2011

I do sometimes accept other jobs when I'm 'fully booked', but it depends on how 'fully booked' I am and the size of the new job (and the deadline).

In my case, unusually, another important factor is when the enquiry about the new job is received. My most regular client sends me many (usually smallish) medical files every week, and the translations are due on the 2nd working day after receipt. I never know how many files I'll receive in a week, nor on which day or days they will arrive. On average I work about 12 hours per week for this client, but that sometimes increases to 16+ hours so I always calculate my availability based on 2 days of medical translations.

Therefore, if a new request arrives on a Friday afternoon and I already have 3 days' work for other clients due the following Friday, I consider myself fully booked (unless I feel like working over the weekend).

However, if a request for additional work arrives late on Wednesday of my 'fully-booked' week and I don't already have medical files to complete, I can accept it because any medical translations which may arrive on Thursday or Friday will not be due until Monday or Tuesday of the following week respectively.

I should point out that I negotiated a very good rate for the medical translations, which more than compensates for the occasions when I turn down other jobs 'just in case'.


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 21:49
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
It's like the famous jar of stones Oct 30, 2011

There are days when I have to squeeze a couple of hundred words in for a good client who needed them yesterday... and there are weekends when I take on a job and plan to take a day off later instead.

I'm not so good at turning off my computer and taking time off when there really are no jobs, but it doesn't happen very often!

I do regularly tell clients I'm booked when I really can't press more in, or negotiate a better deadline if I can. Sometimes I am actually 'booked' for family commitments or just an afternoon walk with my husband, now he has retired - at this time of year I can always work in the evenings when it is dark.

It's a question of organisation and setting priorities, like so many things in life.

http://justinlim.wordpress.com/2006/11/28/of-rocks-pebbles-and-sand-who-are-the-rocks-in-your-life/


 

Kalinka Hristova  Identity Verified
Bulgaria
Local time: 22:49
Member (2007)
English to Bulgarian
+ ...

MODERATOR
Yes, but… Oct 30, 2011

In order to be able to manage my time and workload, there is one client only I am always available to, even on holidays, weekends, etc., if necessary. Yet, if I’m fully booked, I let them know about my schedule, we discuss their deadline and, if possible, they are the first in the pipeline.

 

Interlangue (X)
Angola
Local time: 21:49
English to French
+ ...
If it is ver small... Oct 30, 2011

... from the source language and about the subject I am currently working on. 50 extra words will not kill me. I call those "desserts".

 
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