Poll: When you have lots of work available, do you take as much as you can or keep some leeway?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 16:09
SITE STAFF
Mar 4, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "When you have lots of work available, do you take as much as you can or keep some leeway?".

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DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:09
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Keep some leeway Mar 4, 2015

I always try to factor in extra time and leave space between projects, but I am a one woman operation and sometimes do get overloaded and under pressure and have to work longer hours than I'd ideally like to. But I think this question of how to manage peak load is THE eternal challenge of being a freelancer.

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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:09
Member
English to French
As much as possible Mar 4, 2015

Which means for me 2000-2500 words/day, 5 days a week.
And then there are those jobs I can't turn down.

Philippe


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Vera Schoen  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 01:09
Member (2008)
German to Swedish
+ ...
Keep some leeway Mar 4, 2015

One never knows what may happen. Instead I use the weekends or very early morning hours.

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 00:09
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
As much possible! Mar 4, 2015

I am always prepared and willing to do as much work as possible within my language pairs and my fields of specialization…

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Augusta Habas
France
Local time: 01:09
Italian to French
+ ...
I said keep some leeway... Mar 4, 2015

... which means as much as reasonable to fill my planning (ProZ availability table is very useful for this!), while keeping many hours off work (to rest and live). In practice, if I am proposed an interesting project in these extra hours, I can still decide to take it.

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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:09
French to English
lots of work available Mar 4, 2015

I must be getting old as I had a hard time understanding what this meant. If I have work available, does that mean I have enough to give away? Does it mean that I have lots of offers of work, that the work is made available to me, but that I have not accepted it? It is only when reading the posts in reply that I realize it means when you have lots of offers of work. Maybe I need a holiday?

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Michel Virasolvy  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:09
Member (2012)
English to French
As much as possible. Depends on situation. Mar 4, 2015

When I took a 2-month job in a company to translate some IT docs, the schedule just seemed empty. As a freelancer trying to find regular clients in 2013-2014 peaks were so rare I'd just take as much as possible provided I was fit for the position, staying awake overnights just to make some dough. Now the situation is slightly more stable, but peaks are still a rare thing. I think that time passing makes workload peaks more common and thus well-established full-time freelance translators might just want to keep some leeway for their family and friends (if any).

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Noni Gilbert
Spain
Local time: 01:09
Spanish to English
+ ...
Keep some leeway Mar 4, 2015

Because experience tells me that the dream project always comes up when your are full to bursting.

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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 09:09
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
I take on more Mar 4, 2015

as far as physically possible, that is, if this is what the question is implying.

Once again, the 'feast or famine' question.

I will take on more than I can handle in a 'regular' 9-5 working day simply because there will be slack periods further on down the line. Hopefully, it all balances out in the end.
I'm afraid that a little 'discomfort' - working late, irregular hours and on weekends/public holidays - is part of the translation territory since there is no assurance or guarantee that clients will give you steady work for months on end. The good old days of people lining up at the door ready to throw high-paying work at me are long and gone. My advice? From a realistic point of view, enjoy the sunny days with more than enough work coming in because there will be times when work will dry up.

Nevertheless, I'm still confused as the meaning of the question. I'm with Nikki on this one. Work 'available'


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Abraham Abukar  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:09
Member (2005)
English to Somali
+ ...
Take as much as possible. Mar 4, 2015

Take as much as possible, at the meantime, if I require some leeway, I ask help from colleagues.

[Edited at 2015-03-04 15:17 GMT]


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Hege Jakobsen Lepri  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:09
Member (2002)
English to Norwegian
+ ...
I'll take on rush projects Mar 4, 2015

that force me to do 3000-3500 words per day (i.e. 10+ hour days) - but always make sure I have a couple of days off (or more if possible) after I'm done.
I'm too old to believe that working around the clock in the long run will make me rich. It's better to maintain a rhythm that allows me to work until I'm 70 and beyond, instead of being burnt out by too much work at 60 or before).
In the long run I make more money that way too.


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Erzsébet Czopyk  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 01:09
Member (2006)
Russian to Hungarian
+ ...
welcome Mar 4, 2015

Teresa Borges wrote:

I am always prepared and willing to do as much work as possible within my language pairs and my fields of specialization…


Welcome to the workaholic club... same to me and far beyond.

I had a friend after my divorce. Since 4 years I am alone, just me and my children. I share my life between my children and my work, that's it. This question inspired me of thinking even if I had a friend, I maybe could not reorganize my life. I simply get used to owl-style.

[Módosítva: 2015-03-05 00:03 GMT]


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:09
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Leave some leeway Mar 5, 2015

Noni Gilbert wrote:
Because experience tells me that the dream project always comes up when your are full to bursting.


I have one client that pays 5 cents more per word than any of the others and I like the work and the people. I never know when I'm going to hear from them, so I try to leave a little leeway in case one of their jobs comes along.

Also, I write in my "spare" time, whenever I can grab a moment. I have a blog and I'm revising my memoir, Finding My Invincible Summer.


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Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 01:09
English to Polish
+ ...
Both Mar 22, 2015

I keep some leeway for accidents (hand injury, migraine, power shortage etc.). If rates are unspectacular, I may keep some leeway for any urgent jobs with better rates.

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