What is it like to work as a freelancer? The sad story of a freelance translator

The work of a freelancer is different from that of an ordinary office worker. The translator hebrew to english independently searches for customers on the stock exchanges, cooperates with publishing houses, translation bureaus. At the same time, he is not tied to these companies, but works for himself.

Developing programming and coding technologies. Website design. Programmer working in a software develop company office.

Looking for remote work, you need to understand the specifics of such activities well. On the one hand, it has many positive aspects. First of all, this is a free schedule. You choose when and how much you work. What time to sit down for the translation, how many times to take a break. No need to ask the boss for a matinee with a child or a visit to the doctor. You can go on vacation at any time of the year.

On the other hand, the freelancer faces negative circumstances. The most difficult thing is to maintain a stable income. The need to provide yourself with work makes you be in constant active search. At the same time, no one will pay you for downtime or sick leave.

According to freelancers, for most of them, relative stability occurs in the second or third year of work. When you tried all possible ways to find customers, registered, and then became disillusioned with several exchanges, got bumps in working with unscrupulous customers or their intermediaries.

Not every translator can withstand this period. If you don’t have enough motivation to overcome all the obstacles, chances are that you will lose your enthusiasm and desire for remote work.

Tatyana, a translator who started her independent career four years ago, told us about how to work as a freelancer correctly:

“I came to freelancing consciously, but it didn’t work out right away. Leaving the office of an industrial company, I dreamed of a free life, hoped for former clients, and thought that I would not be left without a job.

In fact, it turned out that the majority of customers remained adherents of office translations, as they needed official contracts and documents on payment for services. I had to urgently look for new orders and in parallel draw up an IP. Solid clients need contractual relationships and guarantees.

I was looking for new ones on almost all exchanges. She offered her services to a translation agency. The work was only one-time, and at the same time, it was necessary to constantly monitor the placement of new orders on the sites, because good offers were sorted out instantly. The competition is huge, there is no time for freedom and weekend planning. In addition to participating in stock exchanges, she advertised in the media and distributed her business cards.

Small developments appeared six months later, but by this time there was a catastrophic lack of money. All reserves were almost used up, and earnings were not regular. I started thinking about going back to the office. I even tried to return and combine my main job with a freelance job. I didn’t want to lose the acquired customers. I stayed like that for only a month and realized that you can’t sit on two chairs. Freelancing requires full dedication. Something had to be given up again.

Everything changed after one translation. The customer from the stock exchange turned out to be a large foreign company operating in the Russian market. We needed a local translator. I didn’t even imagine that such clients could contact freelancers. We paid a large amount in euros. And along with the translation, they sent an invitation for cooperation. It was my first major client, after which I believed in freelancing. I left the office and have been working from home for four years now. Very satisfied.

You can work remotely and make good money. You just need to be an optimist, an active person and also a really good translator.”

Some people think that a freelance translator works less than a full-time specialist. It’s not like that at all. Earnings directly depend on the number and speed of translations. Realizing this, freelancers often work well over eight hours a day, taking over weekends and holidays. At the same time, they devote a lot of time to self-development. They study literature, look through dictionaries, compose glossaries. The better the translations are, the more the translator is in demand.

When wondering how to freelance, be honest about your strengths and weaknesses. Freelance work requires a high level of discipline. There is no one to rely on when working remotely. No one will force you to do anything except yourself. Gain experience and credibility. Make sure that you are always in front of potential customers. All types of advertising and a good site for translators are suitable for promoting translation services.

The key to success as a freelance translator is the proper organization of your working time. Make a rule – leave a place to rest and sleep well. Work with pleasure and you will definitely succeed.


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