Poll: How long did it take you to get established as a freelancer?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 04:19
SITE STAFF
Jul 21, 2013

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How long did it take you to get established as a freelancer?".

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



 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:19
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Less than a month Jul 21, 2013

I was lucky. I had my clients already lined up when I started. In fact, I had a large contract waiting for me: a project that took up much of my time for the next 24 months. That was my cushion, as I started to reach out and build my client list.

[Edited at 2013-07-21 08:20 GMT]


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:19
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Jul 21, 2013

I started out in TEFL, then gradually drifted into translation without any conscious effort until the latter eventually took over completely. The whole process may have taken about five years, but I've never sat down to try to work it out. I haven't done any teaching work to speak of for years now, although I still get the occasional offer and could go back to it if the need arose.

[Edited at 2013-07-21 17:58 GMT]


 

David Wright  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 13:19
German to English
+ ...
Other Jul 21, 2013

I honestly can't remember. But it was very gradual (and anyway, what does "established" mean?)

 

Tatty  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:19
Spanish to English
+ ...
I ran out of money Jul 21, 2013

I set up one September, and almost immediately I was sent some documents to translate and two books. Unfortunately I spent two months translating these books only never to get paid. My finances started to look really shaky so I looked for an in-house position, where I remained for two months. I learnt all I could there, actually I stayed for a month too long, and then shortly afterwards I moved to another in-agency position, where I stayed for another two months. All this time, I was registered as a freelancer though, no-one had actually employed me. And it was all roses from then onwards.

 
Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member because it was not in line with site rule

Cristiana Sima  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 14:19
English to Romanian
+ ...
1-3 months Jul 21, 2013

I answered 1 to 3 months - that is the period it took since taking the decision to start as a freelance translator (and give up my already buit-in career as attorney-at-law) and having my first client/job.
I believe I am established as freelance translator because I do not intend for a second to go back to my former occupation. The money covers only 25 - 30% of my financial confort, but I cannot complain because I take care of my toddlers meanwhile and work only when they are asleep or at night. Probably, in time, I will be able to dedicate more time to my career and the income will increase.


 

Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:19
English to Spanish
+ ...
Seriously... Jul 21, 2013

In less than 100 years. Happy now?

Come on, this poll question was posted a few weeks ago.


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 12:19
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Seriously... Jul 21, 2013

Mario Chavez wrote:

In less than 100 years. Happy now?

Come on, this poll question was posted a few weeks ago.


My previous comment was removed by a moderator because it goes against Rule 4 ("Replies should not stray from the posted topic"), but the fact is that Rule 3 says: "Postings should not be made more than once. Do not post the same topic multiple times or to multiple forums."!!!

[Edited at 2013-07-21 18:13 GMT]


 

Rolf Kern  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 13:19
English to German
+ ...
With David Jul 21, 2013

What does "established" mean?

 

Marlene Blanshay  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 07:19
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
a few months.. Jul 21, 2013

if 'established' means having several regular clients.
it took at least a year to get MORE than several regular clients.


 

Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:19
Spanish to English
+ ...
Established = Able to pay my bills + having money to play with? Jul 21, 2013

I started freelancing during my last year working in-house. I found my main client within a month of full time freelancing and have been working steadily with them for almost three years. It took me maybe 6 months to get to the point where I could rely solely on my translation work to cover my expenses. I've been working as an interpreter/translator and language trainer since early 2007.

I personally don't see myself as fully established yet because there's still so much more that I want to do.


 

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 13:19
English to Polish
+ ...
Three to six months Jul 21, 2013

The first job came in February 2009 and paid the best non-rush rates I've collected in my entire life of PLEN translation. There was subsequently a drought until late May when I come in touch with the first agency to give me work, and then I was lucky to come into contact with a pair of translators who took me on board for some large projects and recommended me to their agencies. Plus, I had a convincing presence at Globtra. By July I was pulling all-nighters.

 

Elías Sauza  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 06:19
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
1 to 3 months Jul 22, 2013

I decided to stop working as a corporate translator for a large oil and gas company. I thought I'd try to make a living as a freelancer for a year. I already had a few clients and small jobs, few and far between. About a month after I had made that decision, I started receiving quite large projects from a translation agency. That was 10 years ago.

 


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Poll: How long did it take you to get established as a freelancer?

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