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Poll: What do you do if you get more job offers than you can handle?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 00:55
SITE STAFF
Sep 9, 2013

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What do you do if you get more job offers than you can handle?".

This poll was originally submitted by Marjolein Snippe. View the poll results »



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dasein_wm  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 09:55
Member (2009)
Italian to English
+ ...
Other Sep 9, 2013

What in the world does having a lot of requests for work (offers in this poll) at a particular moment have to do with rates? Yes, I understand supply and demand but....I don't up and down my rates on any kind of merry-go-round frequency that would allow me to see the validity of any of the proposed answers to this poll.

'Got 5 job offers this week....hmmm, better see how much these suckers will pay'
or
'Didn't get any offers this week....better adjust my rates again'

This makes no sense to me.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 08:55
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
This hasn't happened to me! Sep 9, 2013

I have never raised my rates because of too much job offers. Each time I have raised my rates, factors in play have been things like rates of inflation, planned investments or any increasing costs. In 30 years I only lost an existing client because of higher rates.

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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:55
Member (2006)
German to English
Other Sep 9, 2013

None of the above because I simply negotiate the deadlines or turn down the jobs...

How can you negotiate higher rates just because you are busy?


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Carmen Grabs
Germany
Local time: 09:55
Member (2012)
English to German
+ ...
It's either no jobs or too many... Sep 9, 2013

I always hate having to turn down a client.

I then explain that I am currently working on another project until date/time. They can decide if the deadline can be extended (which it usually cannot!).

What I don't understand is the dynamic of those projects. They either don't come or they come in "bunches" that are impossible to handle.

If I started a job I finish it first, even if I have to turn down a better client. If I haven't agreed to any job, I go with the client I have worked for longer.

[Edited at 2013-09-09 10:00 GMT]


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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 10:55
Turkish to English
+ ...
Other Sep 9, 2013

If this is just a temporary phenomenon, then it is a question of first come, first served.

On the other hand, if this situation were to persist for a number of months, with every indication that it is likely to continue, then I would raise my rates.


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:55
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Exactly Sep 9, 2013

Michael Harris wrote:

None of the above because I simply negotiate the deadlines or turn down the jobs...

How can you negotiate higher rates just because you are busy?


In the (thus far rare) cases this has happened, I went by the first come, first serve rule, but always tried to "squeeze in" long-standing clients.

Negotiating the delivery deadlines is the first step to spread the projects and be able to acommodate all clients.

Raising my rate just because I am (temporarily) fully booked, is not a very good idea. This can easily backfire and, in a worst case scenario, lead to no work. However, raising my rate for new customers might be worth considering.


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Heather McCrae  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:55
Member (2012)
German to English
be happy Sep 9, 2013

as this is a sign that your clients like your work!
try to refuse/negotiate gracefully
try to pass on work to colleagues
try to work more for a couple of weeks to be able to treat myself/my family to something nice
add a surcharge if extra work means working in the evening or over the weekend (sorry, but I do have another life apart from translation!)
try to raise my rates if a new client gets in touch

[Edited at 2013-09-09 11:04 GMT]


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Maria Dimitrova  Identity Verified
Bulgaria
Local time: 10:55
Member (2011)
Bulgarian to English
+ ...
A combination of the above Sep 9, 2013

I actually increased my rates in January this year and one of the reasons was that I kept on receiving too many jobs that I can't handle (the other reasons being that I invested in some CAT tools, improved my quality and that I hadn't updated my rates for years). So, I decided to do this to balance supply and demand, hoping that this will either increase my income or will decrease the workload. For the past 2 years when translation became my primary job I have NEVER had a slow period, so I was not afraid to lose some of my workload. Actually I was HOPING to decrease my workload, because sometimes I just can't say "No" to regular customers begging me to do the job and "save" them, which often leads to less sleep and spare time, exhaustion, etc.

Increasing my rates, however, had the exact opposite effect - I started receiving more jobs than before (from the same customers, I don't have room for new ones). Because increasing my rates again is not an option (it does not look serious, if I do it I will at least wait till January 2014), what I do now, is a combination of these:

1. I try to negotiate the deadline and if this is not possible, I turn down the job
2. I try not to occupy more than 50% of my time with just one client, so that I have some room for my other clients and not turn down jobs from the same client too often.
3. I turn down jobs that are outside my fields or jobs that would request more time than usual (e.g. scanned texts with too many tables or badly written texts)
4. I favor my best clients

High demand means that you are doing a good job. When you do a good job in a company, you get promoted, so I don't see a reason why I shouldn't get promoted just because I am my own boss


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Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 09:55
English to Polish
+ ...
Where is: 'start yet another translation agency'? Sep 9, 2013

As per title.

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Anthony Baldwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:55
Portuguese to English
+ ...
indeed Sep 9, 2013

dasein_wm wrote:

What in the world does having a lot of requests for work (offers in this poll) at a particular moment have to do with rates? Yes, I understand supply and demand but....I don't up and down my rates on any kind of merry-go-round frequency that would allow me to see the validity of any of the proposed answers to this poll.

'Got 5 job offers this week....hmmm, better see how much these suckers will pay'
or
'Didn't get any offers this week....better adjust my rates again'

This makes no sense to me.


I concur.
If I am offered more work than I can reasonably do,
I refuse some of it, or recommend a colleague, or, in some cases, take it and outsource it to a colleague.


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Heather McCrae  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:55
Member (2012)
German to English
cuts down on job offers (usually) Sep 9, 2013

dasein_wm wrote:

What in the world does having a lot of requests for work (offers in this poll) at a particular moment have to do with rates? Yes, I understand supply and demand but....I don't up and down my rates on any kind of merry-go-round frequency that would allow me to see the validity of any of the proposed answers to this poll.

'Got 5 job offers this week....hmmm, better see how much these suckers will pay'
or
'Didn't get any offers this week....better adjust my rates again'

This makes no sense to me.


like Maria said, raising rates will generally cut down on the amount of jobs offered (especially from the poorer paying clients), but this does not always work! in my case, I did not raise my rates but lost a big client because they were being forced to be more competitive (IMO, a bad idea as they are sawing at the wrong end of the branch and will eventually compete themselves out of the market!).


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R-i-c-h-a-r-d  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 04:55
Member (2006)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Negotiate deadlines Sep 9, 2013

Getting two jobs at exactly the same time with very short deadlines can happen, especially small jobs.

I have a smallish job this morning, for example, but if that deadline is only two days and another potential customer requires similar delivery, the subsequent offer has to be re-negotiated in terms of deadline or, unfortunately, refused.

That's the way it works for me. It's not a question of price, but which job is agreed upon first.

Perhaps I should be more flexible, but then again the same can be said for the sometimes mercenary attitudes of a number of agencies and their first come, first served attitudes, which I find testing, frustrating and rather demoralising, at best.

All The Best


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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 16:55
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Wonderful correlation Sep 9, 2013

"Raise rates across the board" -- I can start charging more when I get more jobs than I can handle.

"Cogito ergo sum. Translato ergo chargum"

I wish I could get away with this -- life would be such a bowl of cherries. Sigh.....(he says, as he languishes at his 24-carat gold-plated mouse)

"Time for bed," said Zebedee. Or, am I already in the Land of Nod?


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:55
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Sep 9, 2013

I pass them on, i.e. I tell other translator colleagues or acquaintances about them, or give the contact details of said colleagues to the client.

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