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Poll: Do you fear losing clients whenever you go on vacations?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 04:22
SITE STAFF
Dec 14, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you fear losing clients whenever you go on vacations?".

This poll was originally submitted by Carla Lopes. View the poll results »



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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
An interesting question Dec 14, 2015

I didn't until a few years ago. Then one summer, rather than go clubbing in Ibiza like normal, we went on a cruise. Had a great time sunbathing and downing cocktails round the pool and dancing the night away, you know, all the normal stuff you do on holiday with a client. And then one morning - gone. They turned the boat around, of course, but all they ever found was a merkin. Which may or may not have been his. Let that be a lesson to you all.

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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:22
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
What vacations? Dec 14, 2015

I work most of the time. I took a 10-day vacation in 2014, and that was the first time in years.

I do remember a PM once saying to me, "If you turn down a job, your name goes to the bottom of our list." I didn't forget that.

Here's the thing. I can trust that my main clients will call me back because we've been in business together for many years. The work flow from the others tends to scatter. Among them, somehow I rarely manage to escape.


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Anders O.  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 13:22
English to Norwegian
+ ...
"Unpopular" languages = no vacation Dec 14, 2015

I haven't been in the business for as long as many others on e.g. ProZ (I joined this particular site just a couple of days ago). I translate English>Norwegian, which is a rather rare combination imho. The volume of jobs simply isn't that big. I feel like I gotta sit ready 24/7 and bid on whatever job I can. (Germans/Spanish/French people should really appreciate the need and popularity of their languages).

So, going on a vacation is not something I'll do until I get a long-term position somewhere, as long as I am working as a translator.


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DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:22
Dutch to English
+ ...
Nope ... Dec 14, 2015

I do not live in fear of going on vacation. I quite like it actually. I take 4-5 weeks of holiday a year. Well in advance, I add a tag to my email signature stating when I'll be on vacation. I am not aware of every having lost a client because I was on vacation. I might have and not know about it, I suppose. But I'm certainly not 'afraid' of such a thing. I don't expect my clients never to go on vacation. Why would they expect that of me?

I understand with the flexibility of freelancing that some people don't want to shut up shop and take traditional holidays at traditional times for whatever reason. But being afraid not to be available 24/7/365? Statutory holidays too? That doesn't sound like running a successful business to me ...


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EvaVer  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:22
Member (2012)
Czech to English
+ ...
I used to Dec 14, 2015

when I had not enough work and feared for my old age. I am past that stage now. I used to go for a week at most and inform my clients beforehand, even asking permission from the major ones. Now I acquired a notebook and I work wherever I am - refusing jobs that I can refuse, of course. My clients do not ever know I am thousands of miles away.

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 12:22
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No Dec 14, 2015

I haven’t taken a proper vacation since my youngest daughter left the nest; I prefer having lots of mini-breaks during the year, “c’est-à dire” whenever the workflow is low… Anyway, I’m only an email away, as my notebook is always with me and I check my mail quite often. If I happen to take more than a few days off I will let my regular clients know that I’ll be out of town early on and the day before I’ll send a reminder, with details of where I can be reached in case of an emergency.

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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:22
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Why should I? Dec 14, 2015

I just went on vacation for 2 weeks and still have my clients. All it takes is to inform them ahead of time and then remind them again the day before I leave.

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SteveMcD  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:22
German to English
Never Dec 14, 2015

I always inform my regular clients of my holiday plans in advance. Since they all have holiday plans as well they are very proactive in scheduling things ahead of time. I really appreciate that they work with me to schedule projects around holiday plans on both sides. A win-win situation:
I keep my clients and they don't have to look for another translator.


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Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 13:22
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
No, Dec 14, 2015

Everyone has the right to vacation, and I usually just take 3 - 7 days at a time and inform my regular clients.

[Edited at 2015-12-14 12:01 GMT]


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Yvonne Gallagher
Ireland
Local time: 12:22
Member (2010)
French to English
+ ...
LOL Dec 14, 2015

Chris S wrote:

I didn't until a few years ago. Then one summer, rather than go clubbing in Ibiza like normal, we went on a cruise. Had a great time sunbathing and downing cocktails round the pool and dancing the night away, you know, all the normal stuff you do on holiday with a client. And then one morning - gone. They turned the boat around, of course, but all they ever found was a merkin. Which may or may not have been his. Let that be a lesson to you all.


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Alan Corbo, CT  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 08:22
Member
English to Spanish
+ ...
Used to, not anymore Dec 14, 2015

No, not really. Of course, I let them know well in advance when I'll be on holidays, and send them a reminder the day before I leave. I then send them another reminder the day before coming back, and usually that's enough. In fact, I've had clients waiting on me to come back from holidays because they'd rather have me do the job (for non urgent stuff, obviously), or clients sending me jobs when they know I'm on holidays just to make sure I can do them once I'm back. I usually take 2-3 weeks a year.

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 13:22
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I sometimes took my holidays when things were quiet anyway Dec 14, 2015

Most of the time I took my breaks to fit in with the rest of the family. This was in practice at times when work was quieter anyway. I always warn regular clients when I am not available, and remind them when I get back. I think the 'now I'm back' mail is at least as important as letting them know you are away. I attach a picture or a little remark about what I have been doing to make people remember.

For me, holidays are important. I work on the 'change is as good as a rest' principle, buy and read books, and do things that I don't have time for when I am working. Most of it benefits my work when I get back. I break out of the ruts and look at my jobs and clients with fresh eyes.

Besides, what is the use of earning a living if you don't have a life? I am planning a good break over Christmas too!

Of course, there are other ways of achieving a good work-life balance, and freelancing means freedom to find what suits best.


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:22
English to Spanish
+ ...
I feel so popular now! Dec 14, 2015

Anders O. wrote:

I haven't been in the business for as long as many others on e.g. ProZ (I joined this particular site just a couple of days ago). I translate English>Norwegian, which is a rather rare combination imho. The volume of jobs simply isn't that big. I feel like I gotta sit ready 24/7 and bid on whatever job I can. (Germans/Spanish/French people should really appreciate the need and popularity of their languages).

So, going on a vacation is not something I'll do until I get a long-term position somewhere, as long as I am working as a translator.


Welcome to Proz Philosophy on Polls 101

My language combinations (English>Spanish, and Spanish>English) seem to be pretty popular, but, despite my 25 years in this profession, I'm still subject to the peaks and valleys of independent contracting. A recent example:

January through May 2015: very busy with a civil engineering project for a longtime client; I still managed to take a one-week vacation in Lima, Perú (along with my netbook, working on some translations whenever I wasn't going to bookstores, restaurants, etc.).

Late May through early August 2015: dead summer. Downtime for weeks on end.

Mid August to the present: nonstop work.


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Cecilia Civetta  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 13:22
Member (2003)
Italian to Spanish
+ ...
Hmm Dec 14, 2015

Muriel Vasconcellos wrote:

I do remember a PM once saying to me, "If you turn down a job, your name goes to the bottom of our list." I didn't forget that.



I would think it twice before working with someone with such an attitude!


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