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Poll: How would you rate your working time/earnings ratio?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 08:49
SITE STAFF
May 9, 2012

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How would you rate your working time/earnings ratio?".

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:49
Spanish to English
+ ...
A jar half full May 9, 2012

The question is highly subjective. Many people do not enjoy their work, perceiving it as drudgery, and yearn for their "free" or leisure time.

However, having had several other, less rewarding jobs in the past, I enjoy translating and don't usually feel that working deprives me of anything I would rather be doing. I make enough to stay out of debt and that, for me, is the main thing.


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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:49
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
"Excellent" but... May 9, 2012

...the problem is the overabundance of idle time, during which I earn nothing.

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Natalia Pedrosa  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:49
Member (2012)
English to Spanish
+ ...
I' with Robert May 9, 2012

Robert Forstag wrote:

...the problem is the overabundance of idle time, during which I earn nothing.


And during that time that I use to search for jobs, sometimes it drives me crazy, if I'm not already.

It is a tough job not to know what the future holds tomorrow.

Happy searching!


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xxxjacana54  Identity Verified
Uruguay
English to Spanish
+ ...
I enjoy my work very much May 9, 2012

but I think I need to improve my rates because it's starting to get in the way of my birdwatching.



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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 18:49
Turkish to English
+ ...
Agree May 9, 2012

Robert Forstag wrote:

...the problem is the overabundance of idle time, during which I earn nothing.


I think I have interpreted the question in the same way as you. I would describe my hourly earnings when working with specialised texts in areas with which I am familiar (i.e. such that I do not lose a lot of time doing research) as 'excellent', and if I could get a steady 50 hour supply of such work for 50 weeks of the year, I would be delighted with my annual earnings. However, my experience of freelancing has always been of short bursts of frenetic activity interspersed with lengthy periods of forced idleness.


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Chun Un  Identity Verified
Macau
Member (2007)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Good May 9, 2012

if not excellent... My working hours are considerably less than when I had a nine-to-five job. And let's say so far I have been able to make ends meet...

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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:49
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Reasonable May 9, 2012

I understood the question to mean the relationship between productivity and the money we earn. If I put in 8 hours of work, am I satisfied with the money I get for the effort I spent? My answer is that I am reasonably satisfied.

When I compare what I bring on a per-word basis during a typical hour, it falls mid-way between the lowest hourly rate that I'm getting these days and the highest hourly rate. That tells me that I'm on track. The hourly rates, in my case, are calculated using sophisticated formulas that take into account what a full-time professional would earn as well as what the market would bear.

Of course, some translations take a lot longer than others, so we're talking about averages here.

I don't have a problem of down time. On the contrary, I turn down a lot of work because I'm already committed (we talked about this the other day). On the other hand, I can't push myself any harder than I do already, or I'd get sick. So I'd better be satisfied.


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David Wright  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 17:49
German to English
+ ...
I know what May 9, 2012

my father got as a factory worker, what my sister gets as a post office worker, what my wife gets as a teacher - and frankly there is no comparison - far fewer hours (if i want - which I do) and more money. (plus many other advantages that are not at issue here)

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Frances Leggett  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:49
Italian to English
+ ...
typing speed! May 9, 2012

I am a very fast typer. Makes a big difference in terms of the time it takes to do the initial draft.

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Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:49
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
unforced idleness May 9, 2012

Tim Drayton wrote:

Robert Forstag wrote:

...the problem is the overabundance of idle time, during which I earn nothing.


lengthy periods of forced idleness.


The problem for me is the unforced idleness. Right now, for example, I should be working rather than answering this poll.


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svenfrade  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:49
French to German
+ ...
Agree with Tim May 9, 2012

Tim Drayton wrote:

I think I have interpreted the question in the same way as you. I would describe my hourly earnings when working with specialised texts in areas with which I am familiar (i.e. such that I do not lose a lot of time doing research) as 'excellent', and if I could get a steady 50 hour supply of such work for 50 weeks of the year, I would be delighted with my annual earnings. However, my experience of freelancing has always been of short bursts of frenetic activity interspersed with lengthy periods of forced idleness.


I would even settle for 40 hours a week for 48 weeks of the year and I would still be more than delighted.
It really is the forced idleness that drives me up the wall sometimes, even more than the frenetic activity.


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DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:49
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Always looking .... May 9, 2012

I am always looking for ways to spend less time doing .....
and earning more.
Tools, etc., have helped, but I'm maxed out with technology now. Human elements such as how fast I can accurately proofread or think up the perfect expression mean that I don't think I'll be able to increase my word per day output much more.

Others more experienced than me might be able to give my some hints on how to do just that though .....

With that in mind I find I've almost stopped proofreading altogether ... more and more I see editing or retranslation sold as proofreading.

[Edited at 2012-05-09 14:20 GMT]

[Edited at 2012-05-09 14:22 GMT]


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Denise Phelps  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:49
Spanish to English
+ ...
Reasonable May 9, 2012

In that I'm happy with it. I reckon I could improve the ratio though, without raising my rates, by spending less time on Proz...

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 17:49
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Me too. May 9, 2012

Denise Phelps wrote:

In that I'm happy with it. I reckon I could improve the ratio though, without raising my rates, by spending less time on Proz...


I'm in trouble this week...
A couple of days off sick, mercifully nothing serious, and a large and demanding job that had one of those dangerously good deadlines. Suddenly it has become desperately tight instead, and I'm turning down work I would otherwise gladly have accepted.

Basically though, I have enough offers to turn down the ones I seriously don't like, and I do not rush my work.
I could earn more if I were better organised some weeks, and I could work more solidly and do the same in less time.

But I do feel for those who do not have enough to do... I have been there and done that so much in and between other jobs, and I do really appreciate the way I have landed on my feet in translation.

OK, breaktime over!


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