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Poll: Has the economic crisis affected your workload?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 14:44
SITE STAFF
Aug 8, 2013

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Has the economic crisis affected your workload?".

This poll was originally submitted by Maya Fourioti . View the poll results »



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tilak raj  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 04:14
Member (2012)
English to Panjabi
+ ...
Yes, I get fewer jobs than before Aug 8, 2013

Yes , In starting of translation career, there was good time. but after a few months. There was economic crisis for me which forced me to think another alternative with translation. But fortunately after two months I get good translation work which make my economic position back on the way. But after that time, I worked hard and make relation with more and more agencies and companies which improved my situation. Now I have regular clients which give work and I have been enjoying almost satisfactory working life.

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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:44
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Aug 8, 2013

Initially, I was getting fewer jobs, but that was several years ago. I've been fine for the last three years.

This question has been asked at least once before.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 22:44
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Aug 8, 2013

Yes, it did, but things seem to be on the right track again. I'm not sure if the European crisis is really over though...

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:44
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes Aug 8, 2013

For example, my market research agency clients are getting less work from their own (mostly European) clients and the knock-on effect means I get fewer things from them. However, I can usually make up for this with other jobs, so it's not the end of the world.
Other clients are also tending to shop around to see if they can find providers with the same reliability and quality at cheaper rates, but luckily enough most of them don't seem to have had any joy so far. With this in mind, a while ago I decided not to put my rates up (unless I really have to) until the general economic situation in Spain gets better, which I think could mean at least another few years.


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Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 23:44
Member (2008)
English to Italian
other Aug 8, 2013

It is not a matter of "quantity", but in my case I have found a difference concerning conditions and in detail:

- a long-term client was not able to change my rates
- some clients tend to pay after 60 days instead of the usual 30
- new clients ask for very low rates

I trust my clients and I now that if they were not able to agree with my requests they had a good reason. On the other side, I am sure that a lot of people took the opportunity of the economic crisis, to get better conditions for themselves (i.e. lower rates, long terms of payment).


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:44
English to Spanish
+ ...
Deja vu polls? Aug 8, 2013

Muriel Vasconcellos wrote:

Initially, I was getting fewer jobs, but that was several years ago. I've been fine for the last three years.

This question has been asked at least once before.


Perhaps Proz could take a page from software companies' customer relationship management (CRM) software used for customer support. If you click on Contact us or Support, you are taken to another page. In that page's box, you write your question (or poll question) and a second pane shows if there have been similar questions (or polls) like yours in the past, with similar wording. You're allowed to post a question only if it doesn't already exist in the database (in most cases).

It could prove a nice investment for everyone involved. But here at Proz, we're stuck in the late 90s.

Back to the poll: it depends on your geography. I don't know much about San Diego, Muriel, but I suppose Southern California fortunes go up and down all the time (having lived there myself, just not in SD).

I live and work in Ohio, where we're having a soft economic revival: more hiring, some construction going on, higher housing sale prices, etc. I bet that translators living in Germany or Austria are doing better than us. I don't think there is one single, homogeneous economic crisis that comes in one fell swoop. There are stages, degrees of worsening or improving. Talking to fellow small business owners from time to time, or reading some local business paper always gives me some perspective.

But I don't let any crisis determine how I will charge my customers. I recently raised my rates to an old-time customer in TX (a 17% increase) and there was not a veil of complaint, but a hint of more work to come. I have a new client for the last 3 months on a long-term contract for an hourly rate twice as the going market rate. So it pays (pun intended) to sniff out the opportunities and persevere.

As for Proz, I predict a decrease in relevance in the next 5 years. And if I'm wrong, sue me.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 22:44
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
In fact! Aug 8, 2013

Muriel Vasconcellos wrote:

This question has been asked at least once before.


At least two with slightly different wordings:

http://www.proz.com/polls/7541
http://www.proz.com/polls/9079

+ others formulated differently...


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njweatherdon
Canada
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
I think so Aug 8, 2013

But it's the lack of change that leads me to believe this.

I'd expected business to grow faster. The fact that business is no busier leads me to believe that a) the economic situation may be limiting opportunities, b) I may have an inflated sense of how good I am, leading me to believe that it's the economy when it's actually me, and c) previous marketing efforts have had nearly zero results, as proven by the fact that almost 100% of my work is based on referral.


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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 00:44
Turkish to English
+ ...
Yes ... and no Aug 8, 2013

Yes, my workload started to fall soon after the crisis first erupted in the summer of 2008 and continued to do so up until last year. The second half of 2012 was a very lean period for me. However, 2013 came in with a bang and demand for my services has remained very strong so far this year.

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Steve Kerry  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:44
German to English
Workload no, price pressure yes Aug 8, 2013

Since joining ProZ last September I am getting far more job offers than ever before. However, the rates offered are often inadequate. Fortunately I am able to reject those agencies who will not pay a fair rate - at the moment!

Steve K.


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Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 23:44
English to Polish
+ ...
The jobs are fewer, shorter and messier Aug 8, 2013

With a tendency towards incomprehensible requests and instructions, unrealistic amounts of reference materials relative to the size of the job, as well as all sorts of corner cutting and making the jobs onerous and unprofitable to me.

Thankfully, there are still enough sensible jobs to take a small pay hit in exchange for avoiding the messy ones and their associated problems.


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Edgar Baradlai  Identity Verified
Slovakia
Local time: 23:44
Member (2010)
German to Slovak
+ ...
Workload no, price pressure yes Aug 8, 2013

Strongly agree!

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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:44
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Translation markets Aug 8, 2013

Mario Chavez wrote:

I don't know much about San Diego, Muriel, but I suppose Southern California fortunes go up and down all the time (having lived there myself, just not in SD).


I don't think it's necessarily geographical, Mario. In my case, I don't have any local clients, and one San Diego-based agency that approached me recently was writing from their branch in China!

The market is becoming increasingly globalized (which is yet another reason to hold out for decent rates - to ensure that they are uniformly appropriate).

My sense was that for a while a few years ago people were postponing or re-considering their decision to have projects translated. In business and industry, I suspect some products may not have been launched in markets (countries) that might have been pre-crisis staples. I definitely did feel a pinch for a while. However, the jitters seem to have passed. At least that's my impression.


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Chun Un  Identity Verified
Macau
Member (2007)
English to Chinese
+ ...
More Aug 9, 2013

jobs...

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