Poll: What do you do when offered more work than you can handle?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 13:16
SITE STAFF
Jan 21

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What do you do when offered more work than you can handle?".

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Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 22:16
Member (2008)
English to Italian
Other Jan 21

I ask if the deadline can be changed.
If the answer is no, then I politely say I am not available.


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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 05:16
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Other Jan 21

Try to find more time either by reworking my schedule or asking the client for a more flexible deadline, or be 'creative' in other ways (depending entirely on the requirements and specifications of the job in question) to handle the extra volume without compromising on quality - which is the bottom line.

Otherwise, politely decline and tell them when I will next be available and that I look forward to working with them in the near future. It's always better to decline on a positive note and leave the door open for future work.


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:16
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Jan 21

Like my colleagues above, try to get them to extend the deadline. That often works. If that doesn't work, I will often recommend a colleague.

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 21:16
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Jan 21

First of all, I’ll try to negotiate a more manageable deadline. Otherwise, it all depends on the specifics of the project: If I’m really interested, I might set up a translation team and share the work with one or two trusted colleagues or I’ll recommend someone else or I'll turn it down explaining why and leaving the door open for future work…

P.S. There’s one crucial first step I forgot to mention: start by giving it a good read. Quite recently I was tempted to say no to a huge project when I realized that the main part of the text was full of already translated material (direct quotations and citations)...

[Edited at 2017-01-21 10:58 GMT]


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EvaVer  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:16
Member (2012)
Czech to English
+ ...
Mostly turn down, but it depends Jan 21

If the client is important to me, of course I will try the things suggested by my colleagues above. But I have a lot of agencies that I will only work for if I have nothing else to do, and I will turn these down. I also used to interpret and don't any more - I redirect such requests to colleagues who specialize in interpreting.

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:16
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Jan 21

Circumstances alter cases.
I don't like turning down work, but if I can't handle it, then I can't handle it. Rather than turn it down, I usually either try to share the work with a trusted colleague/friend, or recommend them directly. In a worst-case scenario, I recommend the clients try proz or similar sites, or my local translators' Association (http://www.xarxativ.es/).

[Edited at 2017-01-21 11:49 GMT]


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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:16
Member (2006)
German to English
Same here Jan 21

Julian Holmes wrote:

Try to find more time either by reworking my schedule or asking the client for a more flexible deadline, or be 'creative' in other ways (depending entirely on the requirements and specifications of the job in question) to handle the extra volume without compromising on quality - which is the bottom line.

Otherwise, politely decline and tell them when I will next be available and that I look forward to working with them in the near future. It's always better to decline on a positive note and leave the door open for future work.


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tomtom88  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:16
Member (2014)
English to French
+ ...


Posted via
ProZ.com Mobile


Never happens to me Jan 21

I thought there would be more colleagues in my case, but honestly this has never happened to me.

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Linda Ildevert  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:16
Member (2004)
French to English
Agree Jan 21

I replied that I turn down the work but, like Gianluca, I always ask first if the deadline can be extended.

Gianluca Marras wrote:

I ask if the deadline can be changed.
If the answer is no, then I politely say I am not available.


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Louise Péron  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
English to French
Other Jan 21

Try and negociate a longer deadline. Works more often than you'd think!

If the deadline can't be extended, I advise direct clients to consult the CIoL directory, and for agencies, I decline and let them know when I'll be available again.

[Modifié le 2017-01-21 16:49 GMT]


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ventnai  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:16
Member
German to English
+ ...
Suggest another deadline Jan 21

Like many others, I suggest a later deadline, which often works unless the document is really pressing. I think agencies like to try and give companies the impression that they can work miracles.

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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 18:16
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Same here Jan 22

Linda Ildevert wrote:
I replied that I turn down the work but, like Gianluca, I always ask first if the deadline can be extended.
Gianluca Marras wrote:
I ask if the deadline can be changed.
If the answer is no, then I politely say I am not available.


Ditto and ditto.


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