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Poll: At least 60% of freelancers say they started freelancing by choice. Are you one of them?
Thread poster: Staff Staff
Local time: 17:29
Jul 18, 2017

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "At least 60% of freelancers say they started freelancing by choice. Are you one of them?".

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Edith van der Have-Raats  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:29
Member (2016)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Yes... Jul 18, 2017

I have even quit my job with a permanent contract for it.


Angus Stewart  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:29
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
I started freelancing by necessity Jul 18, 2017

I was made redundant during the "great recession" and there were no jobs being advertised anywhere at the time, so I had no alternative to becoming my own boss.


neilmac  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:29
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Jul 18, 2017

When I came to Spain at first, long before getting into translation full-time,I started working in TEFL. Due to the fiscal burden on employers, it was difficult to get a contract with most schools and academies, who usually preferred to recruit teaching staff as freelancers. So, I ended up freelancing most of the time out of necessity, and usually only got contract work on summer courses. However, I didn't mind, as my main interest was in learning my host country's language and getting work one way or the other. At least as a freelancer, you aren't chained to one company or boss, who might turn out to be a miserly despot and late payer…


Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:29
Member (2008)
English to Italian
both Jul 18, 2017

When I was a teenager I wanted to work as a journalist and as a translator.
I studied abroad to become a journalist and I found a job in Italy as a journalist.
Anyway since I was at UNI I had always done some translation jobs and during my experience in Milan I wrote articles but I also translated a lot of stuff.
The company I worked for wasn't going too well and I had the opportunity to translate technical material for another company in Milan... so I did both.
When I realized that the company could not pay me constantly as a journalist but the other company that needed translation could, I left my job as a journalist and started working as a translator full-time..
So let's say it is a combination of choice and necessity


Kay Denney  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:29
Member (2018)
French to English
necessity Jul 18, 2017

I turned to freelancing only because my employer made it impossible for me to continue working with his company.


Local time: 10:29
Japanese to English

Posted via Mobile

Translating was a choice... Freelancing just came with it Jul 18, 2017

I needed to work, and I knew that translating would give me better rates than my other options.
I had never taken *translation* courses, so I needed to find a company/agent that would look at my life experience and let me show my skills instead of just looking at my academic resume. The one I found was the agent I'm still with.

I like freelancing in that I don't have to dress up and commute, but I hate freelancing in that I can't have a set work schedule so I have to set other schedules first then work my work around it (which ends up in a rush to meet deadlines). I've done bookkeeping before, so I don't really mind that part of it.

[Edited at 2017-07-18 09:49 GMT]


Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
By choice Jul 18, 2017

Can I be the first pedant to point out that everything we do is by choice?


Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:29
English to French
No Jul 18, 2017

It's a series of circumstances over a 5/6-year' (a 5/6 years'?) time line that led me to translation.
The perfect storm.

But I'm not traumatised.



Nina Khmielnitzky  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:29
Member (2004)
English to French
I was forced into it, but like it Jul 18, 2017

I had been working 13 years as an in-house translator when we got a new boss. We never got along and he had 1 favorite in the team. She could do no wrong, even when she punched me in the face at the x-mas supper. That was the beggining of the end. Inhuman Resources didn't do anything. I ended up depressed and on sick leave for 2 months. Then I resigned without compensation. I had to pay my therapist and medication, but I never was out of work after that.
There is some good after all, because beside having to remind clients to pay me on time, in retrospect the freelancing life is the best one for me! My quality of life improved drastically.


Teresa Borges
Local time: 01:29
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I started translating by necessity… Jul 18, 2017

When I was made redundant, I worked first as a freelance for some time, then in-house for 20 years until I “retired” in 2006 and I have been freelancing again since…


Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:29
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Freedom of choice is sometimes very limited! Jul 18, 2017

Chris S wrote:

Can I be the first pedant to point out that everything we do is by choice?

Strictly, I became a freelancer from necessity. In my late 40s I had landed an in-house job at a translation agency, but a few years later, I became redundant when the firm ran into difficulties. By then I was over 50, and as far as many employers were concerned, unemployable.

Freelancing was an excellent choice, but that does not change the fact that I had practically no other viable options. I'd had more than enough earlier on of unemployment, retraining and any job that would bring in a month's pay, and had finally found a niche where I fitted in.


Mario Chavez (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:29
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yes, you may Jul 18, 2017

Chris S wrote:

Can I be the first pedant to point out that everything we do is by choice?

Ah, the wonders of a teenager's mind when one reads these poll titles!



Elizabeth Tamblin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:29
Member (2012)
French to English
Yes Jul 18, 2017

I can't blame anybody else for this.


Ricki Farn
Local time: 02:29
Member (2005)
English to German
Both Jul 18, 2017

I made a choice that took into account the circumstances, which can be considered a form of necessity.

I would do it again.

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