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Poll: As a freelancer, what is your main wish for 2008?
Thread poster: Staff Staff
Local time: 03:18
Dec 17, 2007

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "As a freelancer, what is your main wish for 2008?".

This poll was originally submitted by Csaba Ban

View the poll here

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Lany Chabot-Laroche  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:18
Member (2009)
English to French
Work first, rates later Dec 17, 2007

Even though higher rates would be welcomed, as a translator starting in the business, my main goal is to build a solid client base and to work full time. Risking scaring my few clients by a increase in rates is not worth the trouble it my cause.


Ágata Sousa  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:18
English to Portuguese
Higher rates Dec 17, 2007

Actually, higher rates AND professional development, but in my opinion both are the same. Or at least should be.


Elena Carbonell  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:18
Member (2007)
English to Spanish
+ ...
More free time, please! Dec 17, 2007

So I can do something else, like yoga, dance flamenco and even a new language. I am thinking Japanese, since I wanted to learn a non Indoeuropean language for some time now. Sleep or catching up in my reading are also on my top lists of things to do when I am free.


ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:18
English to French
+ ...
All of these answers... Dec 17, 2007

...and then some!

But if I stuck to the most important of them, it would have to be more big projects, fewer small ones. I just can't stand making four invoices just to cash in $100. Also, I like working on longer project because I get to spend quality time with my text to understand it better, to ask questions and to streamline the terminology. I like a job well done and for that, concentration is key. I find that my concentration is optimal starting at around the 10,000th word. I will do just as good a job on smaller projects, but my word per hour ratio is worse. I also like to translate longish documents because I can learn from them since they go into much detail about the subject. A half-page press release will not teach me much, even if I get a dozen of them at once.

[Edited at 2007-12-17 18:04]


Andrea Riffo  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:18
English to Spanish
Professional development... Dec 17, 2007

... in the form of further studies, in order to (a) increase my rates and (b) get more work (build a larger client base)icon_biggrin.gif



Csaba Ban  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:18
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
a little bit of everything Dec 17, 2007

Earlier today, when I came up with the idea of this poll, I was just wondering what I'd like to achieve next year. Then I proposed these possible answers, as they more or less correspond to my wishes. And of course they cannot be separated.

If you are just starting your career, the most imortant goal is, of course, to build a client base, and get as much work as possible.

I'm in the 15th year in this profession (OK, 12 net). Of course I'd like to achieve higher rates. In fact this is almost the same wish as "more bigger jobs, less smaller ones". As Victoria pointed out, if you make an analysis on how much money you make an hour doing a large job versus a small one, the difference could be up threefold. So just by having more large jobs in itself can increase your hourly (daily, whatever) income. And then with a higher income you can also afford rejecting more smaller jobs and enjoy your free time instead. And of course in your freetime you can start learning a new language, or improve that rusty third (fourth, etc.) language, learn a new software, break into DTP or web design, etc, which finally brings us to starting a new career.

So all of these categories overlap, it's just personal priorities that differ.



Lisa Roberts  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:18
Spanish to English
+ ...
Professional development... Dec 17, 2007

Have gone over to the dark side (in-house) now so its all about raising my game...definitely time to push that third language which features at the top of my to do list every new year, but strangely never happens...icon_wink.gif


Aurélie DANIEL  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:18
English to French
+ ...
Better organisation Dec 18, 2007

I am a complete mess, I just cannot stick to a schedule and I seem to have severe ADD. Like everyone else, I hear. It is such a fashionable disorder to have. I am a fashion victim then! Work comes first so I get behind on everything else.

I want to learn DTP, and lots of other things that will have to wait because there are only 24 hours in a day, sadly.

But 2008 will be the year I finally manage to manage myself!


Local time: 06:18
Member (2002)
French to English
+ ...

Definitely, more free time Dec 18, 2007

Aurélie DANIEL wrote:
there are only 24 hours in a day, sadly.

My husband says if I was given an extra hour each day just for free time, I'd soon fill it up with work of some sort.



Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:18
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I voted more free time... Dec 18, 2007

.. and I meant it.

But the rates discussion reminds me of a tale I heard at business school about a wine merchant who had lots of good wine in a vintage year. Nobody was buying it, and he had bills to pay and a family to keep...

He tried lowering the price, like the greengrocer across the road when there was a glut of strawberries.

The customers stopped buying altogether. "If the plonk's that bad," they said, "We can drink Grandma's strawberry cordial!"

Luckily, a restaurant owner came in from the next town and tasted the wine. He offered to buy several cases at a much higher price, and told the merchant he could easily make a profit on it.

The wine merchant moved some bottles over to the other side of the shop and doubled the price. He hid the rest in the cellar. People started buying.

And soon the word spread through the town that there was some really good wine at the merchant's shop...


Don't set your rates too low. Do a professional job and charge a professional fee. It's not easy to convince the agencies, I know, but we should keep trying!

Happy translating!


Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:18
Flemish to English
+ ...
Free time Dec 18, 2007

To think about life in general and what direction to take as well as getting better organised.
After all, in 2008 there will be no pressure to earn money. I'll be able to afford of what I have for a while.

[Edited at 2007-12-18 13:15]


vixen  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:18
Member (2002)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Better time management Dec 18, 2007

I need to work on self-discipline and better time management, after which more free time will finally become a reality...


Wil Hardman  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:18
Spanish to English
+ ...
Get paid on time! Dec 18, 2007

All of the options would be good but one thing that really depresses me is late payments. I am sick of chasing up agencies for payments... why can't we all pay on time?

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