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Poll: Do you usually receive more job offers when you are busy working on other projects?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 07:36
SITE STAFF
Jan 22, 2016

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you usually receive more job offers when you are busy working on other projects?".

This poll was originally submitted by Ma. Virginia Pita Gussoni. View the poll results »



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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:36
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes Jan 22, 2016

At least, that's the impression I often get. It's a shame, because I don't like turning people down, but sometimes there is no other option.
However, maybe it's analogous to that psychological effect, I don't remember what it's called, but basically if you go out wearing a hat, you will notice lots of other hat wearers; the same happens if you have your arm in plaster, you will see more people than usual in the same situation. Thus, the busier you are, the busier everyone else will appear to be. (I've just read that back and it doesn't seem to make sense now, but it did at the time, so I'll leave it in)...


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Platon Danilov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 17:36
Member (2014)
English to Russian
+ ...
Sometimes Jan 22, 2016

But it's irrelevant, whether I am busy or not - as a rule, projects come randomly.

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Marjolein Snippe  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 16:36
Member (2012)
English to Dutch
+ ...
No Jan 22, 2016

When I am busy is when I reject more, obviously, so sometimes it seems I receive more when I am busy. When I look back objectively though, I don't think I actually receive more at those times.
Although jobs do seem to cluster - especially at the end of the month. My hypothesis is that this is because translation is often the last step in a process with a deadline at the end of the month. Does anyone else find they are busier at the end of each month?


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:36
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Quite often - especially on Fridays Jan 22, 2016

Yes, I quite often receive requests when I'm already too busy to accept them, especially on Fridays, followed by periods of "drought".
I think the problem is the increasing "urgency" of job offers these days. There's only so much work one person can handle in a day, so many of these "urgent" offers have to be declined. Are they really so urgent. ¿Quién sabe?


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 15:36
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes, it seems so... Jan 22, 2016

Projects have a strange tendency to come in groups, meaning that some days I have none at all or only a small number and then suddenly it looks as if the world is going to end!

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 16:36
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Sometimes Jan 22, 2016

Jobs come in waves. This week started quietly, and a couple of colleagues said the same, but it's back to normal now. Sometimes the beginning of the month is quiet, but at the end of the month everyone is madly busy.

Up to a school holiday or before Christmas, when I have already taken on plenty of work, some end clients apparently tidy up their desks and find big reports they would like in English when they get back from their holiday... They seem to think translators don't take holidays, or at least not when other people do. I really have had enquiries on 23 December - could I do several thousand words for 3 January?
Once the PM said 'Don't worry, I've already told them no, but I just wanted to send them your answer!'

I am sure I once noticed the phenomenon up to a powwow - two or three PMs complained that everyone who could read Danish at all seemed to be taking Friday and the weekend off! I was in any case - the powwow was a two-day event near Copenhagen that year. There was probably some other factor - I could mention lots of colleagues who were NOT at that powwow.

Oh, well, back to work before I have to turn down any more requests!


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Natalie Soper  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:36
French to English
+ ...
No, but Jan 22, 2016

I usually receive more job offers the second I leave the house!

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Texte Style
Local time: 16:36
French to English
I find that it's more a matter of there being a pattern to the week Jan 22, 2016

Monday morning, seems like all of France is in a meeting.
Some jobs start trickling in Monday afternoon.
Tuesday is make or break day of the week when I'll be getting most requests and most will have a deadline for the end of the week (or next depending on length)
Wednesday I'll be offered jobs that others turned down the day before
Thursday I mostly start handing in stuff
Friday is then often deathly quiet unless someone finds a project they ought to have handled but forgot as they clear their desk before the weekend, and then it's frantically urgent because they have to be able to say "yes here it is" at the next Monday morning meeting (that's not how they put it but it usually boils down to that).

The pattern can also apply to months and even years. The psychological effect of needing the translation before a break still applies, even when the client doesn't intend to even read the mail it's attached to until Monday. Which of course means that when they do read the mail they realise that I was flagging terminology issues and that what they thought would be cut and dried actually wasn't. (NB of course I ask about such issues before delivery, but I always let them know what I'll decide if I don't get an answer, then flag the issue and explain my decision again when delivering)


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EvaVer  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:36
Member (2012)
Czech to English
+ ...
More than that Jan 22, 2016

Jenny Forbes wrote:

Yes, I quite often receive requests when I'm already too busy to accept them, especially on Fridays, followed by periods of "drought".

Not only on Fridays, but on Friday evenings.


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Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 16:36
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
Sometimes, Jan 22, 2016

but I don't see any pattern, except when I have done a good job for one agency, I seem to receive more offers by other PMs of the same agency.

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Sadek_A  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 17:36
English to Arabic
+ ...
There could be a reason Jan 22, 2016

Teresa Borges wrote:

Projects have a strange tendency to come in groups, meaning that some days I have none at all or only a small number and then suddenly it looks as if the world is going to end!



I'm familiar with this tendency. And, it is not necessarily a coincidence.

Some of my clients were secretly collaborating together, and they used to make their orders synchronously each and every time.

I didn't confront them, but rather did let go of the least favorable of them to see what happens. Following that, the rest of them became 'expectedly' inactive.

My theory is that they are mentally-unstable, sadistic clients who like to put the professional under a great pressure against the buck they pay, hoping to break them when they accept all the orders or at least make them feel torn when they reject some of the orders.

Good clients are like good bosses, they think of you as a human being and care about your health and sanity.

I was relieved to part ways with them.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 13:36
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes, in waves Jan 22, 2016

Christine Andersen wrote:

Jobs come in waves.


Definitely!

As I do my best to clear my backlog on weekends, and my time zone is at least one, at most six (depending on both DSTs) hours ahead of the Continental USA, not to mention the time it takes for my own country to start the business week, my Monday mornings are usually a half-holiday.

Sometimes I am into longer jobs, so this fails to happen, however I seldom get any new requests on a Monday morning.

The number of cost estimate requests takes a crescendo by Tuesday morning, and the orders usually follow that wave on Wednesday, peaking on Friday.

On a macro level, if I have one week of job starvation or "famine", as they call it, I use it to get ready for at least one or two weeks of job frenzy or "feast", as they call it. This frenzy may be longer; the longest one so far was nine solid months without one single break.

I've developed an effective time management & scheduling system that enables me to take these waves on a stride, and deliver early most of the time, never late since 1973. Surprisingly, in this computer age, the system uses only a 4"x5" ruled card with the prompts my mind needs to see the entire plan.

On the periodicity and shape of these waves, a friend of mine who is an acclaimed astrologer could explain them (and often did, in the past) in very accurate detail.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 15:36
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Not in my case Jan 22, 2016

Sadek_A wrote:

Teresa Borges wrote:

Projects have a strange tendency to come in groups, meaning that some days I have none at all or only a small number and then suddenly it looks as if the world is going to end!



I'm familiar with this tendency. And, it is not necessarily a coincidence.

Some of my clients were secretly collaborating together, and they used to make their orders synchronously each and every time.

I didn't confront them, but rather did let go of the least favorable of them to see what happens. Following that, the rest of them became 'expectedly' inactive.

My theory is that they are mentally-unstable, sadistic clients who like to put the professional under a great pressure against the buck they pay, hoping to break them when they accept all the orders or at least make them feel torn when they reject some of the orders.

Good clients are like good bosses, they think of you as a human being and care about your health and sanity.

I was relieved to part ways with them.


In my case, I’m sure (I’ve been working with some of them for over 20 years) this is just pure and simple coincidence and no one is pulling the strings of an elaborate machination to make my life difficult. Freelancing by definition is a rollercoaster of peaks and troughs…


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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Wtf Jan 22, 2016

Sadek_A wrote:

Some of my clients were secretly collaborating together, and they used to make their orders synchronously each and every time.

My theory is that they are mentally-unstable, sadistic clients who like to put the professional under a great pressure against the buck they pay, hoping to break them when they accept all the orders or at least make them feel torn when they reject some of the orders.



You took the words right out of my mouth. Only you were being serious.


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