Poll: Work-wise, have you ever bitten off more than you can chew?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 15:26
SITE STAFF
Sep 12

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Work-wise, have you ever bitten off more than you can chew?".

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 23:26
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes, several times Sep 12

It used to happen quite often in the beginning of my career, but I learned from my mistakes and now it's a rare occasion.

Daniela Galleguillos-Parra
Hazem Zaki
Laura Nagle
Muriel Vasconcellos
 

Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 00:26
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
Yes, a few times Sep 12

time-wise, that is. Thinking I could squeeze in more than possible without causing a lot of stress.

But hopefully that is all in the past.


 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 00:26
Member (2018)
French to English
. Sep 12

Not off my own bat, but sometimes when I was working in-house my boss made me take on far more than I could handle. His attitude was that I could simply start working full time if there was too much work. I worked part-time to pick my kids up after school. Whereas I was more productive working part-time than my colleagues working full-time. Not just on a pro-rata basis, I translated more words in six hours than they did in eight. He was always willing to take on more translators working into Fr... See more
Not off my own bat, but sometimes when I was working in-house my boss made me take on far more than I could handle. His attitude was that I could simply start working full time if there was too much work. I worked part-time to pick my kids up after school. Whereas I was more productive working part-time than my colleagues working full-time. Not just on a pro-rata basis, I translated more words in six hours than they did in eight. He was always willing to take on more translators working into French, but only agreed for me to even have a student on work placement when I refused point blank to take on certain large projects unless I had someone to help me. I twice had to take sick leave for burn-out.
Freelancing, I manage my time myself and only take on work that would eat into time I want to spend on other stuff if I'm paid extra. I earn more and I feel like I work less, so all is good.
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Iwona Budzyńska
 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 19:26
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Not for a long long time Sep 13

I probably did that a few times many years ago. But I have settled my limits and my standards very well for at least 10 years now. I'm conscious enough to decline jobs before that happens, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that, as opposed to what many people think. Declining jobs is not a negative thing at all, and it can even be quite positive if you think about it.

Jan Truper
Philippe Etienne
 

Jan Truper  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:26
English to German
+ ...
Yes, a few times Sep 13

Freelance translation tends to be a feast or famine occupation, especially when starting out, so in the beginning of my career, there were times when I took on work like it was a Hot Dog eating contest.

I can take bigger bites these days -- I have sharper teeth, stronger mastication muscles and better saliva than I used to, and I produce less cud.

Fortunately, my career is now at a point where I don't need to worry about famine anymore, so I am steadily biting off the e
... See more
Freelance translation tends to be a feast or famine occupation, especially when starting out, so in the beginning of my career, there were times when I took on work like it was a Hot Dog eating contest.

I can take bigger bites these days -- I have sharper teeth, stronger mastication muscles and better saliva than I used to, and I produce less cud.

Fortunately, my career is now at a point where I don't need to worry about famine anymore, so I am steadily biting off the exact right amount.
Also, the stuff I get these days tastes much better than it used to.

[Edited at 2019-09-13 06:56 GMT]
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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:26
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes, several times Sep 13

There have been times when I underestimated the challenges in the language of the source text - incomplete sentences, weird constructions, badly written text by a speaker of yet another language - to the extent that I found them incomprehensible. In one case, for example, the Portuguese was written by a native speaker of German who was unfamiliar with both the language and the subject itself; I couldn't understand it well enough to translate it into English. In all, there were three times when I... See more
There have been times when I underestimated the challenges in the language of the source text - incomplete sentences, weird constructions, badly written text by a speaker of yet another language - to the extent that I found them incomprehensible. In one case, for example, the Portuguese was written by a native speaker of German who was unfamiliar with both the language and the subject itself; I couldn't understand it well enough to translate it into English. In all, there were three times when I had to give up and return a job to the client. (Since I've been translating nearly full time for 55 years, it's actually not a high failure rate.)Collapse


 


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Poll: Work-wise, have you ever bitten off more than you can chew?

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