Poll: In terms of job offers, which period of the year is peak season for you?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 01:55
SITE STAFF
Mar 10, 2008

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "In terms of job offers, which period of the year is peak season for you?".

This poll was originally submitted by Hikmat

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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:55
Spanish to English
+ ...
Going with the flow Mar 10, 2008

In my personal experience, there’s no single peak season, but there are various peak times. They operate the same on both a micro- and macro-level.

The micro-level is Friday afternoon. The person needing the translation hasn’t taken time for translation into account in their timing or planning stages and has waited until the last possible moment to finish his or her own work, which then means there’s a rush in work that needs to be translated by Monday morning, thereby creating a micro-peak. Many translator’s have discovered this after making their plans for an enjoyable weekend only to receive one or more, “We need this first thing on Monday morning” offers late on Friday afternoon.

The macro-level peak comes right before long holiday periods (Here in Spain right before August and in mid to late December). Again, in my experience, the deadlines are somewhat more generous but the principal is the same. The source text writer has dragged out their work until the last possible moment and the day before leaving for a well deserved vacation they realize they need the translation on their desk the day they get back.

I live with these peaks and go with the flow by deciding that some weekends I’ll just have to work (although I also say no if I feel I need a break). I also plan my holidays in September after the August peak has finished and generally only take off the actual holidays (Christmas day, New Year’s, etc.) in December.


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Reed James
Chile
Local time: 06:55
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
My work has two settings: Mar 10, 2008

My language pair and direction have a high demand every day, all day long. Even when only a few jobs come in on a given day, I have such a big backlog of work, that I have plenty to work on. There are those few occasions, maybe during or after a Catholic holiday that I have little or no work at all. They are brief, and I have learned to savor them!
 
Therefore, I would liken my work to a faucet with two settings: on and off.-- Not much else in between.


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Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 15:25
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
+ ...
Fourth quarter Mar 10, 2008

Most of my clients come from Europe and America, and both go into holiday mode during Christmas-New Year.

Apparently, just before going on leave the people there try to finish up work. So there is a flurry of activity in the lastq uarter and I get maximum amount of work in the months of Nov-December.

From Christmas to mid January is a lean period, for most offices in America-Europe are closed and people are having holiday hangover.

Work slowly picks up after January.

This has been experience in the last two or three years.

I don't know whether this year will be different. USA is entering a recession and people there are finding themselves poorer than in previous years. They might spend less this year to beat the suprime and other economic woes. So there could be less work for translators from that geographical area.

I am trying to diversify my clientele to include China, Japan, Australia, South America, Thailand, etc., to keep myself in work throughout the year.


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Michele Johnson  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:55
German to English
+ ...
End-of-year peak due to budgets ending in December Mar 10, 2008

John Cutler wrote:
The macro-level peak comes right before long holiday periods (Here in Spain right before August and in mid to late December)...


I can certainly confirm the macro peak in December, which is intensified by the fact that a number of my clients (various institutions, universities) have a budget that literally runs out at the end of the year. If they don't spend the money, they lose it, so they literally have cash burning a hole in their pocket. This may be typical for Germany, I don't know. I try to capitalize on it by doing a round of advertising/targeted emails starting in November. It also means I don't necessarily have weeks off over the Christmas holidays, but December is consistently my best month.


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Lisa Roberts  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 10:55
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Mar 10, 2008

My work-flow pattern seems to coincide less with the calendar year and more with any bouts of illness or planned holidays - in which case, a deluge of job offers can be almost guaranteed. Grr.

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Francisco Pavez  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 01:55
English to Spanish
+ ...
Sgt. Murphy's Agency Mar 10, 2008

In accordance with Murphy's Law, I have found that the amount of work offered in inversly proportional to my availability. I often describe the cycle as the instant switch between sheer boredom and absolute panic. All the same I am happy with my chosen profession and wouldn't change it.

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Marina Soldati  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 06:55
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Same for me Mar 10, 2008

Francisco Pavez wrote:

In accordance with Murphy's Law, I have found that the amount of work offered in inversly proportional to my availability. I often describe the cycle as the instant switch between sheer boredom and absolute panic. All the same I am happy with my chosen profession and wouldn't change it.


Same happens here.
Regards,
Marina


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:55
Spanish to English
+ ...
In my cases it varies Mar 10, 2008

... from year to year, I d0n't give it much thought, when things are slow I look for work from other sources or take advantage of the free time to do something else until work appears again.
Can I just add, without wishing to offend, that I don't really see the point of this poll...


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Hikmat  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 16:55
Member (2005)
English to Indonesian
+ ...
The Numbers Says it All Mar 11, 2008

Dear All,

The reason I proposed the question is to find out the general pattern in the Industry from time to time, to find out whether seasonality do exist in the industry.
This can be dig further, and it may yield different figures from country to country, pair languages, etc.

To me, Looking back in 2007:
In terms of Number of Completed Projects: Peak is in Q2
In terms of Value Collected: Peak is in Q4
This means that in Q2 I completed a lot of small projects with smaller value per word than in Q4 and vice versa.

So what's your number?

Hikmat


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:55
English to German
+ ...
Yep. Couldn't have said it better. Mar 11, 2008

Michele Johnson wrote:

I can certainly confirm the macro peak in December, which is intensified by the fact that a number of my clients (various institutions, universities) have a budget that literally runs out at the end of the year. If they don't spend the money, they lose it, so they literally have cash burning a hole in their pocket. This may be typical for Germany, I don't know.


Especially in advertising.

Every year the same frenzy. Around Christmas, I am usually walking on my gums.


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Elisabeth Fournier  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:55
Member (2008)
Spanish to French
+ ...
Exactly! Mar 11, 2008

and I am happy too...!

Francisco Pavez wrote:

In accordance with Murphy's Law, I have found that the amount of work offered in inversly proportional to my availability. I often describe the cycle as the instant switch between sheer boredom and absolute panic. All the same I am happy with my chosen profession and wouldn't change it.


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