Poll: After how many days without work do you start to become worried?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 16:31
SITE STAFF
Jul 24, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "After how many days without work do you start to become worried?".

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Georgie Scott  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:31
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
Except during summer... Jul 24, 2015

... when France is visibly on holiday.

 

Alexander Kondorsky  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 02:31
English to Russian
+ ...
1-2 weeks Jul 24, 2015

Except January, which is a "dead" month. BTW, for me summer is one of the best seasons in terms of workload.

 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 00:31
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Jul 24, 2015

It depends! If I have just come to the end of a lengthy/difficult project, 2/3 days to breathe a long sigh of relief are more than welcome. In the end if it lingers on I cannot avoid feeling a bit depressed and worried, though I must say that in 30 years I have never been without work (except for holidays, obviously) more than 5 days...

 

Paul Adie  Identity Verified
Germany
Spanish to English
+ ...
After a week Jul 24, 2015

I'm quite lucky really, I don't go long without having some kind of work. I was on holiday last week and was contacted for translation work for the following week. I also find summer to be very busy, and I need the money, so I'm not complaining!

Cheers,

Paul


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:31
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Jul 24, 2015

I answered "4 to 7 days", but I wouldn't use the term "worried". It would indeed be an unusual situation if my inbox were to lie quiet for more than a day or two at a time, and I'd be pleasantly surprised. I wouldn't start to "worry" unless the situation persisted for 10 days or more.

In fact, today, Friday, I'm hoping beyond hope that no more work will appear in my inbox (except from one client, who I just remembered is going to send me something at some point today) until at least Monday, as I already have a pile of work accumulated that I would like to have done and dusted by the end of the month.

PS: My two best clients have already contacted me to enquire about my holiday arrangements and possible availability between now and September, which is nice. And the best of the two is even making arrangements to avoid having to outsource the work to anyone else, which I really appreciate.

[Edited at 2015-07-24 09:11 GMT]


 

Steffen Walter  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:31
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
Other Jul 24, 2015

I've never experienced several days without work in a row, except planned holidays, of course (on average, though, there might be one or two single days without work per year). This has been the case for almost twelve years of freelancing now.

 

Armorel Young  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:31
German to English
Doesn't happen Jul 24, 2015

As with Steffen, it simply doesn't happen - maybe half a day once or twice a year, but I've never been without work for longer than that.

 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:31
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Jul 24, 2015

I need some time off. I haven't had a break since January. For the last 6 months I have worked every day including weekends except for a couple of days when I was too tired to keep up the pace.

Since I started freelancing 23 years ago I've never had a time when I was worried about my inbox.

My biggest worry is whether I can afford to take some breaks without losing clients.


 

EvaVer  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:31
Member (2012)
Czech to English
+ ...
Used to happen Jul 24, 2015

the maximum was about 2 weeks. Not for years, though. "Worry" is not the word - I am simply so used to work all the time that I would not know what to do with myself. There is only so much cleaning and gardening in a house.

 

Henry Schroeder  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:31
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Similar to Steffen and Amorel, but there has been a decline in demand this year... Jul 24, 2015

It has been a long time since I've gone two unplanned days without work (and I'm including the weekends in this calculation).

Evidently, I am a very nervous person, however. As I mentioned in regard to another poll, I have noticed a decline in the number of inquiries this year. So far, it has only meant that I reject less work, but I'm worrying even before the absence of workicon_smile.gif

There is also the question of whether a few days without translation would not be extremely beneficial for working on other things like searching for new clients that pay higher rates. Sometimes I think it is totally illogical to work constantly for the low rates of large translation agencies when it must be possible to find clients without the middleman/woman. For example, I've had this test translation on my desk for weeks now. I can't prepare it because there is never an opening. If this client pays more and provides regular work, then a gap would be good.


 

Alberto Montpellier  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
English to Spanish
+ ...

MODERATOR
One week or 10 days... Jul 24, 2015

...is the set point for my "worry" trigger. I really appreciate having a couple of days without work, especial after some long translation project or a lengthy interpreting period. I don't like being idle, but I like enjoying and spending the dough I earn. Money is after all just a means, not an end, and anyway it looks like this summer is going to be a busy one for me, so I'll have to alternate between work and leisure whenever possible, but if I could have a couple of weeks off, I'd be reeaaaally glad.

 

Mario Chavez (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:31
English to Spanish
+ ...
Concerned, worried, puzzled, horrified, hopelessly nervous? Jul 24, 2015

I admit to have felt concern, worry and a mix of the abovementioned emotions at different times in my career.

There are difference between the young (1992) Spanish translator who got started in New York and the older (2015) one who's plying his trade in Ohio. Back in 1992, I felt more uncertainty because:

1) I had no rainy day funds, life savings or a retirement fund;
2) I was living in one of the most expensive cities in the world;
3) I was not an experienced professional.

On the plus side:

1) I was getting calls from new clients every week;
2) I was growing my network of contacts through the New York Circle of Translators and through satisfied customers;
3) That city being New York, I was also getting lucrative business interpreting assignments.

Nowadays, my nervousness is not due to lack of funds, retirement accounts, a healthy rainy day fund or lack of expertise. The world has become a more volatile place for translators: in the 90s, you could count on most clients (including the often derided translation agencies) to come back to you, root for you and support you year in and year out). That is no longer the case.

More to the point, and this has been bearing heavily on my mind lately: back in the 90s, I had more success with word-of-mouth through clients and colleagues. The calls and emails for new work came from new customers who had heard of me through a colleague. I find that a rare occurence these days.

Speaking of colleagues, a dear one passed away because of cancer a couple of months ago. We met at a local translators' seminar near Kent, Ohio, in 2010, where I gave a presentation on translators as writers. This lady, Claudia Mendizábal, was gentle and, by my own observation, just like any other average translator or interpreter you meet at events. Months later, I would start getting calls from new clients because she had referred me to them. I gained 3 clients thanks to her.

I was fortunate to see her last year in Chicago (ATA conference) and greet her and talk with her for a few minutes. I had no idea of her health problems. I will always be grateful to her and I celebrate people like her.

Of course, and without any intention to toot my own horn, I like to refer colleagues to clients, whether I'm busy or not, for two reasons: 1) because I like doing it, and 2) in the off chance that this pay-it-forward will come back to me some day.


 

Abdiyussuf24/7  Identity Verified
Kenya
Local time: 02:31
Member (2013)
English to Somali
+ ...
No worries no rest Jul 24, 2015

In this summer I though I would get some time to rest since most of my regular clients are schools so when they informed me there is no work til September, I was like that is nice I am going have some time to rest but I couldn't even enjoy the holiday Eid, after days they just start sending summer materials for translation and I found my self working even a weekend

But one thing I maintained was tasks from my regular clients because I didn't want loos them and I have to take care of their translation and for proz posted tasks I wont even bother because I just want some time to rest

No worries because sometimes I prayed not receive tasks in weekends or some of the days and when I got weekend off work I feel celebration


 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 21:31
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
3 days Jul 24, 2015

I usually don't have more than 2 days without work. So, on the third day I start replying job announcements. So I answered 1-3, but I'm actullay not worried at all for the first two days.

 


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