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Poll: Overall, being a freelance translator is...
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
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SITE STAFF
Oct 7, 2013

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Overall, being a freelance translator is...".

This poll was originally submitted by Helen Portefaix. View the poll results »



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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2011)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Yes Oct 7, 2013

But I think it gets less stressful as you get older and you've seen it all before

I don't worry in the same way if I have a quiet week, and I'm much better at judging whether a job/deadline is doable

That said, Trados still stresses me out big time whenever I have to use it


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:30
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Oct 7, 2013

Rather than "is", I'd say that it "can be" fairly stressful at times.
However, in my case anyway, the plus side of not having a boss or fixed schedule per se usually makes up for the drawbacks.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 22:30
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Not very stressful! Oct 7, 2013

With age and experience, I learned to manage stress, mainly by saying no to rush jobs or very tight deadlines...

PS My answer would be completely different 10/15 years ago!


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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:30
Member (2006)
German to English
fairly stressful Oct 7, 2013

but not only because of the job, it is trying to find a healthy balance between work and "normal" life which is not always easy when you have a lot of work on.

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Ashish Kumar Jaiswal  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 03:00
Member (2013)
English to Hindi
+ ...
It is upto you Oct 7, 2013

It is upto you, how stressful YOU make it.

It is about balancing between finances and stress.

Less money, less (or zero) stress and so on.

Wish to make more money ? Go through more stress. Simple.

Though sometime exceptions can prevail (once in a blue moon) when a small job can give you big stress or big project get done without much stress.


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David Wright  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 23:30
German to English
+ ...
Other Oct 7, 2013

It can occasionally be very stressful (but not usually because of the work but because of the blasted computer not doing its job properly). Otherwise, as has been said already, the older you get, the more you learn how to minimise the stress by avoiding taking on too much work.

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Marjolein Snippe  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 23:30
Member (2012)
English to Dutch
+ ...
I was thinking the other way! Oct 7, 2013

Ashish Kumar Jaiswal wrote:

Less money, less (or zero) stress and so on.



I find it most stressful when there is no (or very little) work for a period of time!
I am usually able to estimate whether or not I can make a deadline, so as long as there are enough jobs coming my way, I don't find translation a very stressful job. Exciting and challenging, yes; stressful, no.


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:30
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not very stressful Oct 7, 2013

I get so interested in what I'm doing that I don't feel stressed when I do it. But sometimes I work crazy hours, and then I feel wiped out afterwards, so it's stressful on my body but I don't feel it while I'm working.

P.S. If my computer is acting up, then it's VERY stressful - but not the translation task itself, just the part about trying to get back in business. I recently went through one of these crises when my computer crashed and had to be replaced.

[Edited at 2013-10-07 10:36 GMT]


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telefpro
Local time: 03:00
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Stressful Oct 7, 2013

I love translating, but turns out stressful because of the accuracy that I try to get, making it like flawless.

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Allison Wright  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 22:30
German to English
+ ...
Not very Oct 7, 2013

When I worked in the corporate world, I found the following things stressful:

- office chatter about nail polish, and babies, and rugby (I have nothing against any of these - but, at the office?)
- having 5% docked off my annual performance-related salary increment because one senior partner of the accounting firm happened to notice me arriving 10 minutes late for work on *one* day, despite countless hours of unpaid overtime... (I resigned.)
- stockings!
- making packed lunches, and then not having the time to eat them

There were probably other stressors, but I have forgotten what they were. In any case, none of the above currently pollute my life.

Tight deadlines are stressful; the sense of achievement in meeting them, however, is most pleasurable.


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Helen Hagon  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:30
Member (2011)
Russian to English
+ ...
Not too stressful Oct 7, 2013

Translation is much less stressful than some other jobs I have done in the past. Working for myself, I have the freedom to set my own parameters, so I can reduce the number of stress-causing factors. It isn't completely stress-free, but I no longer have a daily commute through terrible traffic, the worry of what to do when my children are ill, or irritating office politics. I can choose whether to accept or decline work, I attend only the training courses or conferences I think would be interesting, and if I feel like going out for a walk the middle of the afternoon I can just do it without asking, and catch up on the work later in the day.

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DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:30
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Other ... Oct 7, 2013

Just like NeilMac said - it can be stressful if you let it.

My key to managing stress is being realistic (and experience really makes it possible to estimate that more accurately) what is and isn't possible for me within a given time limit) and being equipped to withstand the occasional act of god doesn't hurt either. Having a positive attitude and honest communication also help.

I do take on urgent jobs and sometimes I even take on texts in new fields. Of course things still do go wrong and equipment fails, CAT tools lose their minds and throw up crazy exceptions, power cuts happen, urgent requests come in ... and life goes on.


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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 00:30
Turkish to English
+ ...
stress-free Oct 7, 2013

I am my own boss, do not have to follow any stupid rules or orders, work from home, get up when I like, wear what I like, have my cats about me for moral support ... Compared to most other things I have done, there is little stress.

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Thomas Pfann  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:30
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
Other Oct 7, 2013

Being a freelance translator is as stressful as you want it to be (just like pretty much everything else in life).

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