https://www.proz.com/forum/prozcom_translator_coop/338234-starting_over_with_a_good_experience_paid_membership_from_now.html

Starting over with a good experience: paid membership from now?
Thread poster: Alessandro Buontempo

Alessandro Buontempo  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 05:41
Member (Oct 2019)
Arabic to Italian
+ ...
Oct 23

Hi everyone! I am about to get the plus membership, and I have some questions.

I have a good experience as a linguist and as a freelance translator but I have always been on and off (evaluations of my profile are also welcome).
Working as a university professor helped me grow a lot (from academic writing and research to teaching translation courses), but now I have to change my plans again and I am back to looking for jobs in translation.
My unpaid proz profile was not b
... See more
Hi everyone! I am about to get the plus membership, and I have some questions.

I have a good experience as a linguist and as a freelance translator but I have always been on and off (evaluations of my profile are also welcome).
Working as a university professor helped me grow a lot (from academic writing and research to teaching translation courses), but now I have to change my plans again and I am back to looking for jobs in translation.
My unpaid proz profile was not bad, I might say: even though I did not update it often (there wasn't any time, nor need) I had interesting contacts.

The questions are:
Is it worth to invest in the paid membership, even if I still have to build a solid base of recent jobs and clients, of kudoz points, etc.? Or should I build more from my free membership?

I also started learning CAT from scratch, and I master the basic features enough to be able to put it in my CV. I am confident I will become more proficient in a few months. Is it realistic to think that I will learn best on the go?

I must say that the community support aspect is an incentive to give my contribution to a website which provides a lot of stuff and support.
Thank you!
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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 04:41
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
@Alessandro Oct 23

First of all, good luck to you and to your new plans! I’m a Proz paid member since 2007 and I must say that my first job through Proz paid (largely) my membership and since then most of my new customers (agencies and direct clients) have come to me through this platform and through personal recommendation of some Proz colleagues…

 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:41
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
A few points Oct 23

alessandro buontempo wrote:
Is it worth to invest in the paid membership, even if I still have to build a solid base of recent jobs and clients, of kudoz points, etc.? Or should I build more from my free membership?

You want the jobs day or tomorrow, I think, not in a couple of years' time?

Every KudoZ point gives you a boost in terms of visibility, although membership will catapult you past high-Kudoz non-members. Visibility is certainly important when clients search the directory, which many do, so get earning KudoZ asap. Clients also use filters extensively so you can do yourself a favour by making sure your name won't be missing from the list if the job they have in mind is perfect for you. That means fine-tuning your profile.

However, when clients post jobs you contact them with a quote, so KudoZ are far less important. What becomes important is to have membership. Without it, you can't apply at all for jobs through the ProZ.com interface and you can usually only apply via email after 12 hours if at all.

Whichever way you get to meet potential clients, you'll benefit greatly from having full access to comments on the Blue Board. Even if you hear of the clients through some other source. It can be valuable for risk management.

I also started learning CAT from scratch, and I master the basic features enough to be able to put it in my CV. I am confident I will become more proficient in a few months. Is it realistic to think that I will learn best on the go?

If you're IT-minded I imagine you can, but if you go for Plus membership then you'll get full access to the library of training videos, which may help. Also if you get the Plus membership, you'll get a full Pro licence to a top CAT tool. There are many other perks in the PLUS basket which may be useful.

I must say that the community support aspect is an incentive to give my contribution to a website which provides a lot of stuff and support.

I personally think that investment in any career is worthwhile -- and paying to support the site that provides you with your shop window and with access to so many potential clients as well as a networking community is a sensible move. The tax authorities in most countries thankfully agree .

evaluations of my profile are also welcome

IMO, your profile is very good already. However, you could: (1) Add a sample in your other pairs; (2) Take out some of the professional objectives, e.g. looking for a mentor when you say you have so many years of experience; (3) Re-order your experience in the About Me to tie in more closely with the ordering of your specialisations, i.e. poetry #1, linguistics #2, ...


 

Laurent Mercky
France
Local time: 05:41
Member (Jul 2019)
Chinese to French
+ ...
yes Oct 23

honestly, 120 US$ per year for the registered membership is worthy.
Mainly because you have premium access to translation agencies before free members but also because you can get discount prices for translation software.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 05:41
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Alessandro Oct 23

alessandro buontempo wrote:
Is it worth to invest in the paid membership? Or should I build more from my free membership?


- Getting a paid membership will catapult you from roughly page 15 to page 2 of the search results for Arabic to Italian, but won't help you much for French and English to Italian.
- Some jobs that are posted are open to paying members before they become open to non-paying members, so you end up in the first group of bidders, but you still have to compete against over a thousand other translators for those jobs.
- A paying membership will allow you to read other translators' comments on the Blue Board (with the free membership, you can only see the ratings but not the comments).

I think the paid membership is expensive, but you should consider if any of the above-mentioned are important enough to pay for.


[Edited at 2019-10-23 19:20 GMT]


 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
Informed favorable business decision? Oct 23

Alessandro, while Italy has known better days, I can't imagine a (1) highly-qualified specialist [educator] (2) skilled in foreign languages, (3) earning some €30,000 a year, who would deliberately even think about cooperating with middlemen as a "pure" translator for petty $0.03/word minus "discounts"...

Certainly, prioritizing personal branding or yellow page branding, one should really consider diversifying into different niches, pairs, places, and activities--from rewriting, c
... See more
Alessandro, while Italy has known better days, I can't imagine a (1) highly-qualified specialist [educator] (2) skilled in foreign languages, (3) earning some €30,000 a year, who would deliberately even think about cooperating with middlemen as a "pure" translator for petty $0.03/word minus "discounts"...

Certainly, prioritizing personal branding or yellow page branding, one should really consider diversifying into different niches, pairs, places, and activities--from rewriting, copyrighting, and transcreating to interpreting, consulting, mentoring, and other (including no-translation) sources of income.


Depending on the priorities, a smart fisher will regularly try (A) many tools at (B) various spots, using (C) different baits.
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Alessandro Buontempo  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 05:41
Member (Oct 2019)
Arabic to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for all the info and the details! Oct 24

@Samuel @Laurent @Sheila @Teresa

Thank you all for your detailed replies. You pointed out a few things more to consider, and I am fortunate enough to be able to invest in this. So I'll do it straight away!

@Sheila thank you for your evaluation and suggestions on the CV. It is good to know that there is room for improvement.

I'll see you around!


 


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