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Poll: How often have you considered changing your career as a translator?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 12:26
SITE STAFF
Jul 8, 2014

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How often have you considered changing your career as a translator?".

This poll was originally submitted by Morano El-Kholy. View the poll results »



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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:26
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Jul 8, 2014

I didn't get into translating full time until quite late in life, and now have no inclination to give up what I believe was always my calling.

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 20:26
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Never... Jul 8, 2014

... over the last 30 years! I had another career(s), which ran concurrently with my part-time freelance translation activities for a few years. I was in my late 30's when I started translating full time and then I landed an in-house job through an open competition. I worked there for 20 years and retired 8 years ago. I’m still going strong and loving it!

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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:26
Member (2006)
German to English
Other Jul 8, 2014

Never really, but when I am really busy over a longer period, I do get fed up though. Seeing as this is self inflicted, I have not really considered changing anything though.

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Liena Vijupe  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 22:26
Member (2014)
French to Latvian
+ ...
Other Jul 8, 2014

I do consider it every now and then (when the business is slow or clients too annoying), but not very seriously.
I've been doing well so far and have never actively searched for anything else but at the same time I can also easily imagine myself doing something different if such an opportunity presented itself.


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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:26
Spanish to English
+ ...
Ditto Jul 8, 2014

Liena Vijupe wrote:

I do consider it every now and then (when the business is slow or clients too annoying), but not very seriously.
I've been doing well so far and have never actively searched for anything else but at the same time I can also easily imagine myself doing something different if such an opportunity presented itself.


That's the same way I look at it. The problem is once you reach the big 5-oh opportunities don't present themselves as often as they used to.


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Georgia Morgan  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 20:26
Member (2011)
Portuguese to English
Me too! Jul 8, 2014

neilmac wrote:

I didn't get into translating full time until quite late in life, and now have no inclination to give up what I believe was always my calling.


I wish I had got into it years ago...........


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Neil Teixeira  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:26
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Not at all!!! Jul 8, 2014

I am currently only translating part-time along side my main job in the telecommunications job. I am actually thinking of quitting my main job and start translating full-time as I really enjoy it and it gives you so much knowledge.

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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Once Jul 8, 2014

A few years ago I was sorely tempted to accept the offer of a job as Beyonce's masseur, it really was a very attractive package, but ultimately I decided my true calling lay in manipulating a keyboard all day for a bunch of bankers

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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:26
French to English
Well yes! Jul 8, 2014

Much as I love translating, I mean really enjoy it (and interpreting, which I prefer), just before the crisis hit the fan in 2008, chains of payment with big clients were getting, longer, slower and in spite of a full order book, I found myself having to hold on much longer - too long - to be paid. That put me off continuing full-time. I'd been translating full time for more than 15 years and had been averaging more than twice the average annual income in the years before I changed tack.

I'd been reading about the brain and language, did a couple of uni correspondence modules, wangled my way onto a research masters in biology and cognitive neuroscience, passed it and am now working through a degree to become a clinical neuropsychologist. So I thought about it and am doing it.

I'm financing this career change through work though so juggling is another skill I should stick on the list perhaps?


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:26
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Never Jul 8, 2014

Why should I?

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 21:26
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I'm unemployable, but retirement may have its charms... Jul 8, 2014

John Cutler wrote:

... The problem is once you reach the big 5-oh opportunities don't present themselves as often as they used to.


When I was interviewed for my in-house job, I looked at the two mature gentlemen interviewing me and pointed out desperately that I had an other 20 years on the job market, and I got away with it! But that was before I passed the 5-oh (well, a little).

I was incredibly lucky to get the job, and really sorry to leave. I had tried several others, and finally landed in the right place. So no, I have never seriously considered changing again. Luckily, we parted as friends, and that agency was my biggest client for several years when I started freelancing.

Now I'm past the big 6-oh as well, but keeping going to qualify for a full pension. I haven't a hope on the employment market, but as long as I can juggle clients and Trados...

After the last spring I am trying to remind myself that there is a life outside work... but I am still enjoying work, especially as I have to pick the jobs I do - there is not enough time for them all!

As more and more and more friends retire, however, I can see it might be fun to join them. On the other hand, they have grandchildren, voluntary work, gardens, cars to repair, whatever... and are always amazingly busy at other people's beck and call. They draw pensions and I invoice clients.

There is not always a lot of difference!


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:26
English to Spanish
+ ...
Only once...when I thought I had won the lottery Jul 8, 2014

Who hasn't?

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James McVay  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:26
Russian to English
+ ...
I did switch once already... Jul 8, 2014

...and switched back after retiring.

I did a little freelance work while in college, then got an job as an in-house translator with a government agency when I graduated. After 10 years and two promotions, I realized I was in a dead-end, low-paying job, so I competed for and switched to a different job series, still in government. Knowing a couple of different languages definitely gave me an edge over the competition. I retired after another 25 years and decided to go back to translation. I'll keep at it until I can't do it anymore -- or until it stops being rewarding.


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Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:26
Spanish to English
+ ...
Branching off Jul 8, 2014

I really enjoy the freedom that translation provides, but I would like more money. I'm working on a side project right now that will hopefully become full-time. It's still heavily dependent on translation, but I would be handling more of the administrative and business aspects, while outsourcing the actual translation.

I'm already in negotiations with a couple of potential clients right now, so hopefully I'll be posting a lot of work soon ^_^


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