Poll: Have you ever felt you had translator burnout?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 00:02
SITE STAFF
Sep 13, 2007

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever felt you had translator burnout?".

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


Direct link Reply with quote
 

John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:02
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not bonkers yet Sep 13, 2007

Wikipedia has a good descriptive article on burnout at this address:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burnout_(psychology)

I interpreted the question according to the definition of "being exhausted". I answered other because I think I have small bouts of burnout, but they’re not so great that I want to change careers as happened to me after 12 years of teaching English. That was real burnout!

Because I have such a flexible schedule, I can let off steam little by little. A short holiday or a long weekend also seems to be enough to keep me from going bonkers


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Fernando D. Walker  Identity Verified

Local time: 05:02
English to Spanish
+ ...
Other Sep 13, 2007

It happened to me once last year. Since then, I haven’t felt any translator burnout because I think that I rest more this year than the previous one. It is a question of sleeping the amount of hours that your body needs.
Best,
Fernando


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Ali Al awadi  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 10:02
English to Arabic
+ ...
Lucky us! Sep 13, 2007

An advantage of freelancing is that one is one's own boss.
When necessary, one can strike it lucky and have a self-called time-out for some due rest. However, sometimes a hectic translation schedule makes a let-up too far to expect .


[Edited at 2007-09-13 18:00]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Claudia Aguero  Identity Verified
Costa Rica
Local time: 02:02
Spanish to English
+ ...
Right now! Sep 13, 2007

I'm really burned out of both occupations: translating and teaching English. With no vacation plans in the near future, I would really appreciate some ideas to overcome it. (By the way, I am not working as much as did few years ago, but I'm still overloaded).

Direct link Reply with quote
 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:02
Spanish to English
+ ...
I put N/A Sep 13, 2007

... because the nearest I've come is working on a stinker of a hangover... you see, like JC, translating keeps me sane. It's my third or fourth favourite activity.

And pax Claudia, EFL is indeed a killer, I only do it now on a learner autonomy basis and at premium rates.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:02
Spanish to English
+ ...
Nope Sep 14, 2007

That's why I switched from I.T. work to translating: This is one of the few activities that I find almost endlessly entertaining.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:02
Spanish to English
+ ...
My own solutions Sep 14, 2007

Claudia Aguero wrote:

I'm really burned out of both occupations: translating and teaching English. With no vacation plans in the near future, I would really appreciate some ideas to overcome it. (By the way, I am not working as much as did few years ago, but I'm still overloaded).


Hi Claudia, I recently had a 12-day vacation that was the first in 2 years, so I know what it’s like to not see a vacation looming anywhere on the horizon.
I decided a long time ago that I’d better plan on relaxing in bits and pieces rather than longer holiday periods because I’ve always got something to do. As freelancers, we like to say that we haven’t got the stress and pressure that bosses can cause, but in my opinion every client who pays us is a boss, and if having one is stressful for some people, where does that leave us?

The way I keep going is to let off steam in little ways as often as possible. I find a little time here and there to enjoy a hobby or something that relaxes me. In my case, it’s going to the gym, riding my bike or just taking a walk. Don’t underestimate the power of endorphins released through exercise! I also like watching some TV series or documentaries that I really enjoy. A good series or book helps me disconnect and takes my mind far away from my work. It’s sort of the equivalent to a good drinking binge but without the hangover

If these ideas aren’t of any help, keep looking for a solution that works for you personally. My last anti-burnout solution is almost taboo for some freelancers and one of the most difficult to put into practice. I call it the Nancy Reagan solution: “Just say no”.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Tatty  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:02
Spanish to English
+ ...
Make sure you take weekends off Sep 14, 2007

Hi,

After translating for 3 years, last year I decided that I was totally burnt out, and moved back to England with the idea of staying for a year to see if I could make a career for myself doing something else. But the job agencies there told me that I was a translator and that I should translate, they really wouldn't put my CV forward for any other jobs. I actually missed translating and wondered if there was any point in trying to forge another career when I had worked so hard to get this one. So here I am again translating.

I am now paranoid about getting burnt out. I tell the agent that I can't start it until the next day, and under no circumstances do I work weekends, this make a big difference. I used to teach a translating class once a week and an interpreting class once a month too, this time I didn't take them on. I don't recommend teaching and translating at the same time as it is like having one and a half jobs.

I try to get myself out more, by going to the gym, making arrangements with friends and keeping them. I think my agents have pretty much got the message.

BTW, I don't think saying no was the problem, it's just that clients always want the same translator to do the follow-up translation, or its the second part of the one you did last year.

I also don't accept any rush jobs, actually I never have done. There is no point from where you are standing. You work like crazy for 2 days, and day 3 you are too tired to work so day 3 is unpaid, and you would have been much better off working, from a pschological point of view, at a normal speed for 3 days. The same thing happens in the longterm too. But the worst of it is that life is passing you by while you work yourself into the ground.

Well, there we go, a few scattered thoughts on the topic.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Nisreen Barakat  Identity Verified
Palestine
Local time: 10:02
English to Arabic
+ ...
weekend Sep 14, 2007

Hello,

Reading your different comments, a question came through my mind: Do free-lance translators work on weekends? is there a rule or is it a personal decision?

For myself, I do work on weekends when I have to, but I don't have so much work so it doesn't happen often.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Iza Szczypka  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:02
English to Polish
+ ...
Would make a good poll topic if nobody thought about it before ... Sep 14, 2007

Nisreen Barakat wrote:

Hello,

Reading your different comments, a question came through my mind: Do free-lance translators work on weekends? is there a rule or is it a personal decision?

For myself, I do work on weekends when I have to, but I don't have so much work so it doesn't happen often.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Iza Szczypka  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:02
English to Polish
+ ...
Almost exactly the same :) Sep 14, 2007

John Cutler wrote:

I answered other because I think I have small bouts of burnout, but they’re not so great that I want to change careers as happened to me after 12 years of teaching English. That was real burnout!



Only I voted "Never" as I don't count those small bouts in.
And I must have been more resistant as a teacher - it took me full 23 years to burn out completely and start hating the very idea of explaining the rules of Present Continuous to a new generation


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Rebecca Garber  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:02
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
make time for hobbies Sep 14, 2007

Claudia Aguero wrote:

I'm really burned out of both occupations: translating and teaching English. With no vacation plans in the near future, I would really appreciate some ideas to overcome it. (By the way, I am not working as much as did few years ago, but I'm still overloaded).



Claudia,

I agree with John. Make little pieces of time for yourself.

Several months ago, my daughter talked me into trying stage combat. It's like fencing combined with dance, as it's all choreographed, no one gets hurt, but it looks really cool. The first few weeks I had a hard time convincing myself that I could afford to take a 3hr block of time off. Now I find that I'm more productive for doing it.

And I've also learned to say no. No rush jobs. No jobs that pay rediculously low amounts. No jobs that *require* that I work weekends. If I choose to, that's my decision, and those jobs are usually for clients I personally like, and jobs that I find interesting and relatively easy.

Hope you find something you like doing and feel less stressed soon.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Catherine Brix
Local time: 09:02
Swedish to English
+ ...
Total burnout three years ago Sep 14, 2007

The annual report season is my toughest season - I average 80 hour weeks from about the beginning of February to mid-June. Three years ago I wasn't pacing myself and just said yes to everything, which had me working round the clock several nights running, weekends, you name it I did it. Cigarettes 1-1½ pack/day and gallons of coffee kept me going and my dog kept me sane.

All of a sudden I noticed a problem - which I naturally attributed to Word. All three-letter words were spelt backwards - eht, dna, yhw - without fail, every single English word I typed came out backwards. It wasn't Word. It was me. My brain short circuited.

Obviously, first you laugh. Then you cry. Then you tell everyone you're taking a 7-day break to try to restore some order to your health.

I quit smoking. I've lost my dog so I compensate with horseback riding, tennis, etc. I try to schedule a work-free weekend at least once a month when I go to museums, theatre, shopping, dinner with friends. I even say "thanks for asking, but I have to say no." These days I know that when I start feeling irritated with customers, when it's 1.30 in the morning before I turn of the computer and I awake at 5 a.m. stressed about meeting a deadline, it's time to schedule a work-free weekend. So burnout these days is restricted to feeling cranky.


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

Moderator(s) of this forum
Jared Tabor[Call to this topic]

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Poll: Have you ever felt you had translator burnout?

Advanced search






Wordfast Pro
Translation Memory Software for Any Platform

Exclusive discount for ProZ.com users! Save over 13% when purchasing Wordfast Pro through ProZ.com. Wordfast is the world's #1 provider of platform-independent Translation Memory software. Consistently ranked the most user-friendly and highest value

More info »
Anycount & Translation Office 3000
Translation Office 3000

Translation Office 3000 is an advanced accounting tool for freelance translators and small agencies. TO3000 easily and seamlessly integrates with the business life of professional freelance translators.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search