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Poll: At least 60% of freelancers say they started freelancing by choice. Are you one of them?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

Félicien Sirois
United States
Local time: 01:48
Member
Italian to English
+ ...
Not luck... preparation Jul 29, 2017

Ardian Vehbiu wrote:

I lost my job because the translation company I worked for practically dissolved. Started looking for a new job as translation PM, but I also did some freelance work on my own and I found out I could make it. I've been freelancing for more than 20 years now, and I have been very lucky indeed.


I wouldn't call that luck, rather skill and preparation. Although I left on my own terms, the fact is, both you and I cut our teeth in this industry working for the very people who would ultimately employ us: agencies. Learning the business side of the translation field undoubtedly gives one a step up on those who have simply learned the craft of translation (e.g. through academic study). Not saying they can't succeed, many do, but there is no doubt in my mind that our transition to freelancer status was made easier by the time we respectively spent as PMs, and the skills and knowledge we gained from that role.


 

claude-andrew  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 08:48
Member (2009)
English to French
+ ...
My choice after retirement Jul 29, 2017

After 10 years in the UK in research I married and came to France in 1975 where I taught English for science at university in France, quickly becoming bilingual and house translator for colleagues in physics, chemistry, maths and engineering departments. After retirement at 68 I decided to put my experience to use, joined ProZ and got my first project 20 minutes later. The a certain agency started giving me more and more work, encouraging me to to get Trados and from then on I've been inundated.... See more
After 10 years in the UK in research I married and came to France in 1975 where I taught English for science at university in France, quickly becoming bilingual and house translator for colleagues in physics, chemistry, maths and engineering departments. After retirement at 68 I decided to put my experience to use, joined ProZ and got my first project 20 minutes later. The a certain agency started giving me more and more work, encouraging me to to get Trados and from then on I've been inundated. MY choice, happy bunny! Retirement pension + translation = I can spoil my wife, friends and family!Collapse


 

David Parry  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 08:48
German to English
Sheer necessity Jul 29, 2017

Foreigners in Japan are to all intents and purposes restricted to language-type jobs (there are ways around that, but they are not easy). Since I had nothing to return to in the UK, I hung on in Japan, taking editing and translating jobs. I tried to find a salaried job, but without success. When I moved to Germany I was already over 40 and hence more or less unemployable. Freelancing it had to be.

 

bkytransl
Bulgaria
Local time: 09:48
French to German
+ ...
Definitely not everything is by choice Jul 30, 2017

Chris S wrote:

Can I be the first pedant to point out that everything we do is by choice?


There are enough situations where you have no choice and others determine what will be your next step! Believe me. I experienced it.

I had a life position in a large world company but my boss was the most terrible mobber you can imagine, and he was known in the entire company as this. I was the person who was the longest time on this position, 3 years, and then I became almost sick and had no choice but to become freelancer since as a translator it was not possible to get a job anywhere. But today I am happy to be freelancer because this made it possible that I emigrate to Bulgaria.


 

Lara Barnett  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:48
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
No Choice due to employment rejection and other issues ..... Jul 30, 2017

in my own home City ... But I have grown to love it !

[Edited at 2017-07-30 19:09 GMT]


 

Lara Barnett  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:48
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
A choice can still be restricted by other issues ! Jul 30, 2017

Mario Freitas wrote:

Chris S wrote:
Can I be the first pedant to point out that everything we do is by choice?


I was going to say the same thing, for it's sooooo obvious, but well...


 

andystehr  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:48
Vietnamese to English
+ ...
No... Jul 31, 2017

My language pair is too obscure and outsource-able.

 

Siva Senthil
India
Local time: 13:18
English to Tamil
yes....it's my choice as freelancing Jul 31, 2017

Poll Discussion : After so many diversion in life , I choose Freelancing as the only choice suits my career.

 

Festesen  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:48
Member (2016)
Danish to German
+ ...
No ... Jul 31, 2017

When I finished studying, there were no jobs to be had in the region, where I lived. I had two small children by then and did not want to uproot them by relocating, so I started freelancing right away.
It was and is tough, but I wouldn't change anything


 

Vasco Batalha  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 07:48
Member
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes Jul 31, 2017

After working 5 years as an in-house translator (while doing some project management as well), I decided I wanted freedom to be anywhere and work on my own. I also had feedback from my freelancer friends that it was actually well-paid, and not at all unstable if you have a decent client base to sustain you. So I quit my office job as translator/PM and never looked back. It was the best career decision I ever made, especially because finding new clients is relatively easy when you have 5+ years o... See more
After working 5 years as an in-house translator (while doing some project management as well), I decided I wanted freedom to be anywhere and work on my own. I also had feedback from my freelancer friends that it was actually well-paid, and not at all unstable if you have a decent client base to sustain you. So I quit my office job as translator/PM and never looked back. It was the best career decision I ever made, especially because finding new clients is relatively easy when you have 5+ years of experience on your CV.Collapse


 

Annette Christmas
Spain
Local time: 08:48
Member (2015)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes Jul 31, 2017

I had worked on contract for my whole life, including 18 years as a TEFL teacher, until becoming a freelance translator at the age of 50+ when someone offered me a full-time job translating into my source language - a dreadful idea. I thought I could do better than that.
WHAT ON EARTH HAD I BEEN WAITING FOR?
It's been fabulous so far, as very few bosses really appreciate an excellent work ethic and willingness to please, whereas now everything I do is for my own direct benefit and I
... See more
I had worked on contract for my whole life, including 18 years as a TEFL teacher, until becoming a freelance translator at the age of 50+ when someone offered me a full-time job translating into my source language - a dreadful idea. I thought I could do better than that.
WHAT ON EARTH HAD I BEEN WAITING FOR?
It's been fabulous so far, as very few bosses really appreciate an excellent work ethic and willingness to please, whereas now everything I do is for my own direct benefit and I can pick and choose who I work with. Wonderful.
Collapse


 

Giovanna Maria Parisi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 08:48
English to Italian
+ ...
Yes! Aug 1, 2017

Yes. I quit my job in the family company and started translating. I never regretted it.

 

IVETTE BURGOS
El Salvador
Local time: 01:48
Member (2010)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Definitely by choice Aug 1, 2017

I switched from being a college professor with tons of papers to correct and a set schedule to being able to just take my computer and go to the beach "to work".

 

Zsolt Kopniczky  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:48
Hungarian to English
+ ...
Yes, kind of Aug 2, 2017

This was something new to try when my wife, a language teacher, had no job for a period of time. We set up the framework of business for necessity, for other job-related reasons - and now translation is a primary activity.
It is something we enjoy doing in tandem. I am the medical, she is the translator, having even completed a demanding two-year course at university. We both work extra hours beside our day jobs and we share every task in a reasonable way.
I wonder why it took us s
... See more
This was something new to try when my wife, a language teacher, had no job for a period of time. We set up the framework of business for necessity, for other job-related reasons - and now translation is a primary activity.
It is something we enjoy doing in tandem. I am the medical, she is the translator, having even completed a demanding two-year course at university. We both work extra hours beside our day jobs and we share every task in a reasonable way.
I wonder why it took us so long to figure out what we can do in cooperation.

[Edited at 2017-08-02 17:46 GMT]
Collapse


 

Dimitar Dimitrov
Bulgaria
Local time: 09:48
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
By lack of other choice... :-) Nov 16, 2018

As stated above!

 
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Poll: At least 60% of freelancers say they started freelancing by choice. Are you one of them?

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