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Poll: Would you accept a job beneath your rate?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 18:15
SITE STAFF
Jan 9, 2007

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Would you accept a job well down your rate?".

This poll was originally submitted by Alfredo Fernández Martínez

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2007-01-09 16:10]


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Thomas Pfann  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:15
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
Just wondering... Jan 9, 2007

I was just wondering about the answer "Yes, if I had no money" - shouldn't it rather say "Yes, if I had enough money"?

Just a thought...



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Anne Wosnitza  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:15
English to German
+ ...
Agree Jan 9, 2007

Thomas Pfann wrote:

I was just wondering about the answer "Yes, if I had no money" - shouldn't it rather say "Yes, if I had enough money"?

Just a thought...



True. And if I hadn't enough money I would spend my time on finding a better paid job rather than waste my time on badly paid ones...

... but if I had enough time and money and the project is interesting, why not collect some more experience? (Well, I guess this case is very unlikely to ever happen!)

[Bearbeitet am 2007-01-09 15:16]


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Reed James
Chile
Local time: 23:15
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
Down? Do you mean below or beneath? Jan 9, 2007

Alfredo, I'm afraid I must interpret the meaning of your question. I am guessing that you mean beneath, which is the word I would have used to phrase that question.

At any rate (no pun intended), my answer is never! Each time I have accepted a rate too low for my standards, there have been issues. Good rates generally mean good quality work, and low rates generally mean poor quality work.

Additionally, with a language combination like mine (Spanish to English), there are so many jobs out there that I almost always select the choicest and best-paid work available.

Reed

[Edited at 2007-01-09 15:45]


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Maria Rosich Andreu  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:15
Member (2003)
Dutch to Spanish
+ ...
I chose depends on project... Jan 9, 2007

but the real answer should have been: depends on client. Or rather, I have 2 rates. I work as a "commercial" translator but I also do literary work, and publishing houses pay a lot less than the price I ask for regular translation, even more so when the translations are into Catalan, because print runs are smaller and there is hardly any chance of perceiving extra rights for reprints.

If I misunderstood the question and you meant for "regular" translations, then my answer would be never.


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RominaZ  Identity Verified
Argentina
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Good suggestion! Jan 9, 2007

Reed D. James wrote:

Alfredo, I'm afraid I must interpret the meaning of your question. I am guessing that you mean beneath, which is the word I would have used to phrase that question.



Thanks James! Good suggestion.

Regards
Romina


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Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:15
Member
English to Turkish
Never - very good point Thomas! Jan 9, 2007

I learned it long time ago that working for below your rates is not earning less money, but means losing money.

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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:15
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Had to choose N/A Jan 9, 2007

Honestly, I think many factors influence the decision of accepting such a job or not. So as I could not make up my mind about which would be the most plausible option in my case, from the list of options, I had to choose N/A.

I reckon we'd accept a job well under our rate if we had enough money, nothing to do for our usual customers, and the topic was more interesting than any other alternative plans each of us in the office could have.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:15
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
About working below rates = losing money Jan 9, 2007

Özden Arıkan wrote:
I learned it long time ago that working for below your rates is not earning less money, but means losing money.


Yes, I can agree with this. If you have less to do for a couple of days, there is always good ways of investing time, like putting systems or archives up-to-date, learning to make a better use of some tool, documenting and recording terminology decisions made, discussing what went wrong with a job that did not make a customer 100% happy, or even resting for the good of your tired eyes! All things not always possible in the rush of daily work, but equally vital in the long run.


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:15
Spanish to English
+ ...
What to do if the market dries up for awhile... Jan 9, 2007

I'm lucky that I have former professions to fall back on. I could always take on some computer programming or freelance writing to tide me over. Translation fees are already hard enough to live on; I'd hate to contribute to lowering them further.

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Miguel Miranda  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 02:15
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Polls... Jan 9, 2007

What a reactionary question!

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Sarah Ponting  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 03:15
Italian to English
+ ...
Couldn't agree more! Jan 9, 2007

Özden Arıkan wrote:

I learned it long time ago that working for below your rates is not earning less money, but means losing money.


Well said


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Heike Reagan  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:15
Member (2004)
German to English
I chose N/A Jan 9, 2007

I used to accept jobs at a low/er rate, when I had absolutely nothing else to do. (Which almost never happens anymore) I agree with others on this post, if you do this, you loose money (because, miraculously, whenever I accepted a low-paying job, I always got other job offers which I then had to decline) and also, most of the time, you also end up having problems (no payment for 6 months or quality issues, etc.)
So - no, I don't accept low rates anymore.


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xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 20:15
English to Russian
+ ...
Yes, but let me explain Jan 9, 2007

I believe Yes in the only true and honest answer for full-time TR/INT (no other income). Maybe we'd forgotten what "no money" is? That's great!!!!!! No kidding. But this question, as I understand it, is not about "not enough for next vacation or new car", but plain good old "no money" for the next rent bill and kid's uniform. So I'd say there should be another option - think about changing the trade, because when you have no money you'll do anything to get it (presumably, beg, kill or steal option is irrelevant to current audience:-)), and hypothetically greener pastures always come to mind.

Oops, Thomas, sorry I missed your post:-) You raised the point first:-)

[Edited at 2007-01-09 21:09]


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:15
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Yes, it really is extraordinarily expensive to do low-paid jobs Jan 9, 2007

So often they seem to bring with them complications, such as a poor quality .pdf to entirely re-write before starting to translate, or even an illegible fax... and then, statistically, there seem to be many more dissatisfied clients among those who dish out low-paid jobs. Strange, that! On top of it all, it may even take extensive efforts to be paid at all, a long time later...

Brrr, no more poor quality jobs for me! I just can't afford to take them on! If I run out of money, I will be able to borrow from my savings for a week or two at least...

Astrid


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