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Off topic: What do you do in the periods that you don't receive work?
Thread poster: ana raquel

ana raquel  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 14:32
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Oct 17, 2015

I am curious about one thing:

What do you do in the periods that you don't receive work?
Do you translate content just for practise/portfolio?


 

Jenae Spry  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:32
French to English
To do list and marketing Oct 17, 2015

I keep a list of tasks I need to do and when I have down time I knock it out. I also might work on marketing during this time. I would say if it is happening more than you would like and feels more like a stressor than a relief, you might want to work on marketing and client acquisition. Otherwise, relax and enjoy.icon_smile.gif

 

Andrea Garfield-Barkworth  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:32
Member (2015)
German to English
Marketing Oct 17, 2015

I started creating my website during a quiet period and found it a thoroughly enjoyable experience. I also designed my business cards so I would always have something to offer people if and when the need arises. So whenever I have any spare time I like to work on marketing projects.

I did also sign up for a couple of courses with coursera, specifically Python for beginners which was exceedingly well presented but then I missed an assignment when I attended a different presentation and was so inundated with work when I came back I fell too far behind. I would love to do it again though.




[Edited at 2015-10-17 17:29 GMT]


 

Janet Ross Snyder  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 10:32
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
keep working toward your goals Oct 17, 2015

When I was starting out, I spent time between assignments trying to answer the questions in Kudos, both into and from my native language. As a native speaker, I could help other translators decipher idiomatic or highly technical texts. By looking up words and phrases that other people needed, I honed my research skills and built up my own vocabulary.
I also applied for every translating job that I felt qualified for. That’s how I got noticed by the agencies who have become my regular clients.
Nowadays, when I don’t have a pressing deadline, I use time between assignments to transfer the terminology I’ve had to look up into my glossaries so that I can find it more easily the next time I need it.
Downtime is also a good time to optimize your working environment, putting the things you use within easy reach and removing unused items.
And, dare I say it? Tax time is coming. Do you have all your receipts and bills in order so that you can easily find them when it’s time to fill out those forms or to take your papers to your accountant? Time spent documenting your office expenses can pay off in lowered taxes at filing time.


 

liviu roth
United States
Local time: 09:32
Romanian to English
+ ...
from a man's perspective Oct 18, 2015

Ride my bike for 80-100 miles, jog, go swimming at the YMCA fix things at home.

Too old to miss the opportunity to enjoy life.


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:32
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Thinking! Oct 18, 2015

When I get the chance, I try to think deeply about my profesional and personal context, whether my approaches (to translation, to people, to life) are working (i.e. make me and others happy, satisfied, and more secure), and whether improvement is needed on my part in any area. Rather than thinking of what could go better in the world or the industry, or how others should change, I think of how I can change to better adapt to ever-changing realities.

As a result of these deep-thinking rashes, I have made important changes in my personal and professional life along the years, thus definitely increasing my level of happiness and satisfaction. Some decisions (marrying a lovely woman, becoming a father, changing the concept of my little translation office, going back to university after 20 years in the profession) proved to be great, while others (like becoming an amateur farmer) proved to be long shots for me, although they always taught me good things.

I feel that, apart form the obvious answer that it is always good to investing time marketing yourself, thinking about things deeply and unveiling your deep wishes and beliefs can mark a big difference. Think deep every now and then, and be corageous and proactive in doing what you have to do!

Good luck!


 

Michael Newton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:32
Member (2003)
Japanese to English
+ ...
Periods with no work Oct 18, 2015

You look for new clients ("shinki kaitaku")

 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:32
Spanish to English
+ ...
Lots of things Oct 18, 2015

Admin, gardening and other household chores, cleaning out and tidying up the bicycle shed... fence mending, painting, wasp nest prevention (I've been stung quite a few times this year, the blighters set up shop in anything with a hole in it...). Take the dog for longer walks. Go out looking for firewood, then chopping it up and bringing it home...

Never a dull moment, really.


 

Dani Karuniawan  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 20:32
English to Indonesian
+ ...
these and those Oct 18, 2015

ana raquel wrote:

I am curious about one thing:

What do you do in the periods that you don't receive work?
Do you translate content just for practise/portfolio?


1st-2nd days: sleep, relax, reading comic/ manga/ manhwa, watch cinema, jog, hang around
3rd-.... days: work on marketing & learning

[Edited at 2015-10-18 16:02 GMT]


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:32
Member (2008)
Italian to English
during which Oct 19, 2015

What do I do in the periods during which I don't receive any work?

Often these periods are predictable; Monday mornings, for instance, are usually very quiet. This morning (Monday) I:

- sorted out a few bank account-related things;
- wrote a fairly complicated email to my Member of Parliament;
- dealt with the mail the postman delivered about 10 minutes ago;
- made soup for lunch;
- shaved and showered;
- made a list of the groceries I need;
- updated my Proz calendar;
- and am now about to go and buy the groceries.

Yes. I lead an interesting life.

icon_smile.gif


 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:32
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Thumbs up for deep thinking Oct 19, 2015

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:
changing the concept of my little translation office

Interesting, do tell us more.
while others (like becoming an amateur farmer) proved to be long shots for me

I grew up on a small mixed farm (dairy, with some sheep and pigs) but lived in cities all my adult life, until recently. About ten years ago I did consider going into hobby farming as the property I own has more than enough land to cope with a small number of livestock. I thought it would be nice for my children to grow up understanding about how we live with and use, but also protect, farm animals.

But then I thought back to the way my father needed to be there all the time to look after the animals and how even a small holiday is so difficult. I also remembered the sheer hard physical labour involved in farming, which is not something for somebody in their late thirties to take lightly, especially without a teenage son/s to help out. So I decided against giving in to the temptation of nostalgia and I didn't go down that particular path.

Like others, when I haven't got any bookings in I tend to relax a bit and do nothing much on the first day, then start marketing after that. I also do a lot of outside work, like Neil. Got to take advantage of it when you have the free time.

Regards
Dan


 

John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 09:32
Member (2008)
French to English
Accounting and Marketing Oct 19, 2015

It doesn't happen very often, but when it does I get caught up with my accounts (I have to submit sales tax reports monthly) and marketing for new clients.

 

Agnes Lenkey  Identity Verified
German to Spanish
+ ...
Yes, thumbs up to deep thinking Oct 21, 2015

...and to these forums, which are more than once very helpful both from a practical as well as from a moral point of view. Thank you for the question you raised and thank you all for your thoughts, especially to Thomas. I think re-thinking is essential in order to find your own way.

During the last winter I’ve spent all quiet moments to look for agencies in Germany who might send me more work, but it didn’t work out the way I wished it would do. I will send them a short reminder that I am still here and open to collaborate, but I will steer in a new direction during this winter.

If it will be quiet, I will spend time on contracting an adequate liability insurance for translators (some lawyers are very pleased if you have that), and most of all I will spend my spare time on marketing my services to direct (local) clients, companies and law firms alike. But as Thomas formulated it so beautifully, thinking comes always before acting, both are equally necessary.

@Liviu: oh yes, I would love to ride my bike more than I do, I will have to follow your advice, too...

@Tom: since I have two small children, I also lead a very interesting life, so to say... Thanks for making me smile during this rainy day.


 

Merab Dekano  Identity Verified
Spain
Member (2014)
English to Spanish
+ ...
List Oct 21, 2015

- Bank/accounting software reconciliation (three currencies for both bank accounts and PayPal)
- Targeted/selective marketing
- TM/TB brush up
- Reading (and not only translation-related)
- Vocal exercises (a healthy hobby has never harmed anyone)

At times I can afford just lying on the bed and doing nothing, not even sleeping. I guess you can call it “recovery mode” (mostly after staying late and doing 3k-4k words a day for several days in the row).


 

Elizabeth Tamblin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:32
Member (2012)
French to English
I become anxious... Oct 21, 2015

... and obsessively check for emails.

Of course, I should take the opportunity to catch up on admin, etc., but I can't lie - I just lose confidence and wonder if I have any future as a translator.


 
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