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Poll: Do you find it difficult to turn down jobs?
Thread poster: Staff Staff
Local time: 18:29
Sep 20, 2013

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you find it difficult to turn down jobs?".

This poll was originally submitted by Rodrigo Gaion. View the poll results »


Teresa Borges
Local time: 02:29
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes, somewhat! Sep 20, 2013

But as always it depends! It becomes extremely easy to turn down some "offers"...


Michael Wetzel  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:29
German to English
Yes and no Sep 20, 2013

I almost never directly refuse to send an offer in response to queries, because I almost never receive queries outside of my subject area or from agencies.

However, if I already have more work than I want (and any work is more than I want if it is a weekend or holiday or if I am on vacation), I send an offer that is high enough to make it a win-win situation (unless it is a regular client). Either I'm happy to not have to work or I'm happy to work at the rate I've offered.

I think that is the only really good way to find out how much our work is worth and to earn as much as we can.


neilmac  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:29
Spanish to English
+ ...
Somewhat Sep 20, 2013

I don't like turning down offers of work, but am getting better at it these days. I have a set of conditions for collaboration (basically what I am prepared to do or not regarding formats, scans, images, acronyms...) and if my clients - regular or potential - pay attention and agree to them, I usually accept the job.


Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:29
Turkish to English
+ ...
No, definitely not Sep 20, 2013

If I cannot do the job - either because the subject matter falls outside my areas of specialisation or because I am not available - then I have no option but to turn it down.


Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:29
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
No, definitely not Sep 20, 2013

I have no qualms whatsoever about turning down jobs that I feel are going to be a can of worms.
By nature, I try to help out people by accepting their offers; however, some projects appeal to me like rotting fish, and I put my foot on the brakes right away. I have found this to prevent lots of regret and anguish later on. icon_smile.gif


Heather McCrae  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:29
German to English
sometimes Sep 20, 2013

It is always difficult to say no, but getting better at it these days! Anything I really don't know or don't like gets a no and, if my workload is busting out all over, then I have to say no too. I only work to live, living for work is not my idea of a good timeicon_smile.gif Like Julian, I want to have my glass of vino and drink it tooicon_wink.gif


M. Anna Kańduła  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:29
English to Polish
Depends Sep 20, 2013

The answer could easily be "no", but if it's a good and regular client and it's a deadline issue (I'm not available at that time), then both the PM and I try to extend the deadline or try to find another solution.


Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:29
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Depends Sep 20, 2013

Sometimes it is easy enough to turn the job down - and no amount of negotiation will help. Low rate, deadline too tight... I just firmly say thanks, but no thanks, and move on.

On other occasions I am quite sorry - a good client, but out of my subject range is an annoying situation, and I try to recommend a colleague.

It is really difficult to turn down an interesting, well-paid job, simply because I don't have the time, and the client can't extend the deadline.


Thayenga  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:29
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
It depends Sep 20, 2013

Turning a job down that lacks the "appealing features" is very easy for me.

If I have to turn down a job that is either very interesting or comes from a loyal client (or both), then I am sorry to be unable to accept it. On the other hand, it's not a good idea to accept a highly appealing job when knowing a forehand that there is not enough time to complete it.


tilak raj  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:59
Member (2012)
English to Panjabi
+ ...
sometimes Sep 20, 2013

Every translator has some problems or emergency or inability to do any job so he rejects. There are same conditions with me. I turn down jobs in 3 conditions
1. If I have lot of deadlines already.
2. If I am unable to do that.
3. If I am out of station/out of access due to some problems.
I think most of translators have approximately same reason.

Turning down the high price job is more difficult than low price jobs. Overall, turning job is somewhat difficult for me.


DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:29
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Yes .... Sep 20, 2013

I try not to turn down jobs.
I always try to negotiate rather than just syaing no.
If the deadline is too tight I always give an alternative time of when I could have the translation ready, often that's enough.


José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:29
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I don't have to turn down jobs Sep 20, 2013

When I'm offered a job, if I can do it, I'll tell the prospect how long it will take, how much it will cost, and when and how they'll have to pay me. They'll be free to choose between hiring me or anyone else they consider as having a better proposition. I won't be turning their job down.

If I can't do it for any technical reason, I'll refer them to some other place/person I think that might fulfill their needs.

I'll only have to turn down jobs when I had trouble to get paid by that specific customer in the past. Nevertheless, I offer them the prepayment option, if they really want me to do it.

On negotiation, I'll do my best to spare them from unnecessary financial costs on top of the cost of the translation itself, by giving payment options. If they want me to lower my price/rates, I'll explain that I always give my most affordable price. If I could give a discount merely on their asking for it, my initial estimate would have been a blatantly dishonest attempt to rip them off, an unacceptable behavior according to my book.

As simple as that.


Michael Wetzel  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:29
German to English
As usual, agree with José Sep 20, 2013

I agree 100% with the beginning of what José has stated more clearly and to the point than I managed to do.

However, I'd like to take exception to the last comment in his post:

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

If they want me to lower my price/rates, I'll explain that I always give my most affordable price. If I could give a discount merely on their asking for it, my initial estimate would have been a blatantly dishonest attempt to rip them off, an unacceptable behavior according to my book.

I never studied business or economics, so I don't know the proper terminology, but my understanding was always that there is a range of prices between the lowest price for which I am willing to provide a needed service and the highest price that a potential client is willing to pay for that service.
I don't understand why doing my best at the tug of war over this middle ground is "blatantly dishonest" or an "attempt to rip [clients] off".


Steve Kerry  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:29
German to English
Not difficult, but sometimes frustrating... Sep 20, 2013

For example, I have one client I like very much, but he always sends me jobs with a "just sufficient if you start it now" deadline. As I usually have some work in progress, he gets "knocked back" frequently, while other agencies with more generous deadlines do not.
Other reasons for refusing jobs include "dead" PDFs full of tables and formulae, handwriting and excessive use of random, undefined abbreviations. If I don't think I can do a good job of the translation within a reasonable (and economic) time period, I don't accept it - it's as simple as that!

Steve K.

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