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Poll: Do you find it difficult to turn down job offers?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 02:26
SITE STAFF
Feb 6, 2015

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

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Victoria Batarchuk  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 12:26
Member (2015)
English to Russian
+ ...
It's a liitle bit difficult psychologically, Feb 6, 2015

because you think: if I decline an offer once, then twice, the client would stop contacting me at allicon_smile.gif
Though I know it is not the case, for the third time I'll do my best to accept the offer.
Valuable clients don't come along every day.icon_smile.gif


 

Marta Cervera Areny
Spain
Local time: 11:26
Catalan to Spanish
+ ...
It's a matter of practice... Feb 6, 2015

It was difficult for me at first. Now I've learned to prioritize what I really need/can/want to do.

I always felt I couldn't say no unless I had a good reason for it, and not feeling like it or wanting a free weekend to do nothing didn't seem like a good reason, but it is! It was difficult for me learning to say no without giving a reason. Once I learned to do that, my life was so much easier and I'm so much happier!

Just say no, no explanations. People will learn to respect that.


 

Harald Roald  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:26
English to Norwegian
+ ...
not difficult at all Feb 6, 2015

I turn down jobs all the time - mostly because the rates are not worth working for and/or deadlines are too tight ( not to mention all the desperate job offers Friday afternoon/evening from agencies I have never worked for before, who have promised a delivery Monday to their client, without having skilled resources to do the job).

But when it comes to regular clients, I never say no - just negotiate the deadline

[Edited at 2015-02-06 09:35 GMT]


 

Victoria Batarchuk  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 12:26
Member (2015)
English to Russian
+ ...
I mean only regular clients Feb 6, 2015

When it comes to new clients with cheap rates or unreal deadlines, there are no difficulties so far.

 

dasein_wm  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 11:26
Italian to English
+ ...
No, but I often find it hard to do so graciously Feb 6, 2015

I generally work on a first come, first served basis and I am usually booked out at least a week or two in advance because I am blessed with a good mix of private client/agency requests.
Private clients don't ever give me problems, I simply tell them when I can deliver the work and we come to an agreement.
Agencies, on the other hand, can be quite pesky. No matter how many times you tell them you are not available at the moment, they keep coming back with endless requests and some of these can be quite time consuming to exchange e-mails with or stop what you're doing and Skype with to explain that 'I can't right now,' really does in fact mean 'I can't right now.'
It can be quite irritating when the same PM comes back to you later that afternoon or the next day with yet another request for which you have to repeat the same e-mail/Skype exchange you already had earlier.


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 10:26
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Not at all (meaning not any more)! Feb 6, 2015

It comes with the territory… If I’m not available, or even overbooked, I will have to say: “I can’t take anything else on at the moment, please get back to me on XXX.”

But, like Harald, I never say no to my regulars, I just negotiate the deadline…


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 06:26
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Different levels of difficulty Feb 6, 2015

EASIEST - Very low rates, i.e. half of my rate or less. I tell them to use Google Translate. Though the flaws will differ in their nature, the overall quality will be the same.

EASY - Low rates, i.e. between the previous one and my rates. I stick to my guns. If they ask me for a discount, I explain that if I gave it merely for their asking, my rates would be dishonest, an attempt to rip them off. Either they step up to my rates, or they stick to theirs and go find a translator elsewhere. I don't keep stats on it.

MODERATE - The request is outside my language pairs, or within the subject areas I've declared 'off-limits' for me. I refer them to reliable colleagues I know, wish them all good luck, and step out. Problems come up when my recommended colleagues are unavailable and/or the client insists in hiring me to outsource the job myself.

TROUBLESOME - When the deadline is too short, and they waste an enormous amount of time trying to convince me that I must do it in the time they have allotted to it.

DELICATE - When my time is already taken, and a good, relatively constant client needs me immediately. Had such a case last week. I was already doing four jobs for one same client, and they came up with a fifth one, all tight deadlines. Eventually they wrote me that they had found someone else to do it. I delivered all four, moved to another client's job, and then the first one came back... whoever they hired had botched it up so badly, that the end-client wanted it completely redone immediately.

DIFFICULT - When a new PM at a former client that I've mentally blacklisted says the boss wants me and no other, adds that 'things have changed a lot here' (and the Blue Board et al. tell me otherwise), insists, and says they won't give up.

IMPOSSIBLE - When a thoroughly good, long-standing client is in a fix, has exhausted all other options, and I feel that no matter what, I must find a way to help them out. By all means, I always do it.


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 11:26
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Thanks, that just about says it all! Feb 6, 2015

Why was there no 'Depends' option?

There are some jobs I can turn down just like that. I spend a couple of seconds considering whether I will answer the mail. (If it is a ridiculous offer sent to a group, then I don't even want to react.) If someone has taken the trouble to spell my name correctly, even if I can't or don't want to help them, I usually send a single, firm line saying thanks, but no.

Then there is the whole spectrum, up to jobs I have to do, no matter what.
I have one at the moment... icon_smile.gif


 

Helen Hagon  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:26
Member (2011)
Russian to English
+ ...
Depends Feb 6, 2015

I agree with Christine. If I'm already very busy, and the job is not very interesting and/or not well paid, it's quite easy to say no. However, when it's something I would really like to do, e.g. it falls right in the middle of my field of expertise, or it's for a regular customer or a new customer I would very much like to work with, then it is much more difficult even if the rate is low or the deadline tight.

 

Michael Wetzel  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:26
German to English
How often do clients propose a rate to you? Feb 6, 2015

I don't know if I've ever had a potential client actually propose a rate to me (with the exception of junk mail calls for bids that occasionally [maybe a few times a month] somehow end up in my mailbox). Sometimes potential clients respond to my offer with a counter-offer, but that is very rare.
They don't even tend to request a specific deadline (it would be easier and save time if they would do that more often).
Is the situation described here really normal in some contexts or am I missing something?


 

DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:26
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Sometimes ... Feb 6, 2015

If I am overbooked or the project or client or anything else about the job doesn't appeal to me, then NO - no problem at all. If it is a job I do want - then I just explain under what conditions I could do the job and maybe we can work it out.
I guess I rank my clients and try not to say NO the best ones too often, but they are usually the ones who will bend the job conditions they initially proposed, so I can still undertake the job anyway.


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 06:26
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Good point! Feb 6, 2015

Michael Wetzel wrote:

How often do clients propose a rate to you?

I don't know if I've ever had a potential client actually propose a rate to me (with the exception of junk mail calls for bids that occasionally [maybe a few times a month] somehow end up in my mailbox). Sometimes potential clients respond to my offer with a counter-offer, but that is very rare.
They don't even tend to request a specific deadline (it would be easier and save time if they would do that more often).
Is the situation described here really normal in some contexts or am I missing something?


In fact, no CLIENT - actual or potential - ever proposes me any rates. They describe/show me the job and ask me how much it will cost to get it done.

PROSPECTS offer rates all the time, either via the Proz job board, or directly. Some of them occasionally become clients.

Deadlines are more common, however CLIENTS often ask when I can get it finished.


 

Paul Dixon  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 06:26
Portuguese to English
+ ...
I never turn down jobs Feb 6, 2015

I never turn down jobs unless the deadline is impossible or the text is a sworn translation (which I can't do for legal reasons - I'm not a Brazilian citizen). I have bills to pay.

[Edited at 2015-02-06 13:22 GMT]


 

Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 11:26
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
Depends Feb 6, 2015

Most of my clients are international agencies with tight deadlines, so they understand perfectly well, when I have to decline a job because I am currently working on another.

With my best regular clients I suggest an extended deadline, sometimes this works but often it doesn't.
That's just the terms of our industry.

But once in a while I have felt bad that I had to say no - sometimes for my own sake ($).


 
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