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My proz.com appreciation day
Thread poster: Salam Alrawi

Salam Alrawi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:29
English to Arabic
+ ...
Nov 7, 2014

I have joined proz.com many years ago. I have never purchased a premium membership. Until today
I had some really hard time in my life. struggled for a while trying to get my **** together. Broke, hopeless, too much stress and anxiety. At the time didn't know if I am going to have food tomorrow or not, if I am going to make it for the week or not. I literally lost everything.
On one search for jobs in 2006 I believe, I
... See more
I have joined proz.com many years ago. I have never purchased a premium membership. Until today
I had some really hard time in my life. struggled for a while trying to get my **** together. Broke, hopeless, too much stress and anxiety. At the time didn't know if I am going to have food tomorrow or not, if I am going to make it for the week or not. I literally lost everything.
On one search for jobs in 2006 I believe, I found proz.com. like any other sites I looked up of different topics and ideas and signed up only to find the scam and fraud was a main characteristic. well... proz.com was different.

At the time, I didn't know how things are going to work out. I didn't have money to become a premium member. I didn't even think about.
Here is my first bid, my second one. Nothing. Third one was gone with the wind. until someday I got my first job. Followed by a second one, third one after that. Since then I never looked back. Things has changed. I even stopped placing quotes on jobs as clients started to contact me directly through my proz.com profile page.

Later in life, I got busy with other things and stopped translation for years. Despite that, emails from previous and new potential clients never stopped. Even though I stopped updating my profile, my profile visibility never went down. It only grew up more.

Proz.com has definitely changed the translation concept and career that we have once known. Today, I would like to show my appreciation to proz.com and pay something back.

Today I am a proz.com full premium member yohoo!



Thank you proz.com,
Thank you to all members and staff who helped me throughout the years,
Thank you to all clients who keep contacting me,
Thank you for accepting me,

Salam
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Helena Chavarria  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:29
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Congratulations! Nov 7, 2014

Thank you for sharing your positive experience with us.

 

Tina Vonhof
Canada
Local time: 04:29
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Great story Nov 7, 2014

That's a great story, congratulations. Success tends to come to those who persevere.

 

Catarina Lopes  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 11:29
Member (2013)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Congratulations and welcome! Nov 8, 2014

That's an inspiring story. Thank you for sharing it with us.

 

Gabriele Demuth  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:29
English to German
What a nice story! Nov 8, 2014

It made me think though, when I decided to look into the translation industry I didn't know much and ignored Proz.com as well as some other sites because of the cost (it might be a scam) and ended up on a site where it is quite normal to work for peanuts and less. I worked all hours but would have never been able to live of it - I doubted what I was doing there.

Until I heard about Proz.com from some professionals, I finally signed up a couple of weeks ago and I am applying to ever
... See more
It made me think though, when I decided to look into the translation industry I didn't know much and ignored Proz.com as well as some other sites because of the cost (it might be a scam) and ended up on a site where it is quite normal to work for peanuts and less. I worked all hours but would have never been able to live of it - I doubted what I was doing there.

Until I heard about Proz.com from some professionals, I finally signed up a couple of weeks ago and I am applying to everything that I possibly can. I had a few little jobs at a reasonable rate, some positive feedback and was contacted by one client directly. I think it will be worth it.



[Bearbeitet am 2014-11-08 08:23 GMT]
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Andrea Jarmuschewski  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:29
Member (2007)
French to German
+ ...
Way to go, Salam! Nov 8, 2014

This was a very nice read this morning.

I want to thank Proz.com too for creating and maintaining such a great site. If I had not found this site back in 2007 and read hundreds of posts in it, I'm not sure I would have had the courage to go freelance.

For me, it's been definitely worth it to be a full member.


 

Morano El-Kholy  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 13:29
Member (2011)
English to Arabic
+ ...
An inspiring story. Nov 8, 2014

Really I do not know what to say more than what has already been said by our

esteemed colleagues. I have stopped a lot in front of your inspiring words and your

experience...

It's nice of you to tell... nicer for us to hear... and nicest for new translators to learn from

this good story.

Thanks for sharing this inspirational experience.


 

Susana E. Cano Méndez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:29
French to Spanish
+ ...
Thank you Nov 8, 2014

Salam Alrawi wrote:

I had some really hard time in my life. struggled for a while trying to get my **** together. Broke, hopeless, too much stress and anxiety. At the time didn't know if I am going to have food tomorrow or not, if I am going to make it for the week or not. I literally lost everything.


Thank you for showing that bad times can really go away and that we have to struggle every single day of our lives for our dreams, though they be as humble as eating daily.

Signed: a Spaniard living in Spain in 2014.


 

Salam Alrawi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:29
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
My PTE (Proz.com Translation Experience) Nov 8, 2014

Gabriele Demuth wrote:

It made me think though, when I decided to look into the translation industry I didn't know much and ignored Proz.com as well as some other sites because of the cost (it might be a scam) and ended up on a site where it is quite normal to work for peanuts and less. I worked all hours but would have never been able to live of it - I doubted what I was doing there.

Until I heard about Proz.com from some professionals, I finally signed up a couple of weeks ago and I am applying to everything that I possibly can. I had a few little jobs at a reasonable rate, some positive feedback and was contacted by one client directly. I think it will be worth it.



[Bearbeitet am 2014-11-08 08:23 GMT]


There is a huge difference between the first time I registered here and now. My PTE has changed a lot in a great way. I am going to share with you some of my PTE:

1- The blue scarf sign of proz.com full membership, though I wish if it was a tie or may be a nice coat (winter is coming) , is the first thing a client will look at (after customizing the translator data search). This is not proz.com doing, it is not advertising, not at all. It is absolute psychological process.
This is what differentiate a professional translator from a hobbyist.
When I want to buy a TV or a laptop, I go to BestBuy (a store specialized in electronics in United States) to get the best device that fit my needs. However, when I want to enjoy my time by (may be painting something, or build some toy) then I go to a hobby lobby store (a store for hobbyists).
After few years here, I decided to do few things and in order to do them I needed to hire some freelancers. I hired regular members (they were cheap), to cut the long story short, they ripped me off. I lost thousands of dollars because of it. I realized this: regular members are people who just sign up for anything looking for ways to make money by any means so they really would do anything, any job, they don't become professional because they don't focus on the one or two specialties they are good at and their potential talent is so wasted. Plus, after they get the job, if they don't feel like doing it or they realize they can't do it then they either go missing in action (on contact or reply) or they just say I am sorry I have some issues at home and can't finish the job. For me, well... I am screwed cause I wasted the time and money.
That's when I learned, those who buy memberships are people who are dedicated to the job. They make living off of it. They are professional, and most of all they are reliable. They know what they are doing, they discuss it with you professionally, you even learn from them a lot. Saved me time and money.
Since then, I never ever hired someone who is just registered. I always look for a full or premium member. I learned how and where to look for a professional.

So, having the full membership is really what differentiate you from other hobbyists. Yes the extra benefits that come with the membership are good, but as a client, I really don't care about your extra benefit, I care about how professional you are and your full membership tells me that you are committed to this profession and that you would do whatever it takes to make it right. And the latest is what all matter to me.

And please don't wait for the end of year discount, be smart. I worked for a big company and did so much research. I found out that businesses start on June or July (some on February) working hard to prepare for 3 days: 1- Black Friday. 2- Christmas. 3- The new year. So everything (including translation) should be done by that day. If black Friday comes, they don't need you anymore until the next year. those 3 days are consumers' days and not clients' days. (There are few exceptions in some fields).

One more thing worth mentioning here, How do you expect such place to keep going and provide you all these services if you don't support it? (Although, it is already supported by tons of translators).
However, and more obvious, you really don't only support proz.com by buying full membership, you actually are investing in your career and remember what I just said when you apply to any job and mention in your CV/resume that you are a proz.com full member, it just looks so good . Would you want your business to look clean? Would you want to buy new furniture or laptop? Would you want to keep your business website up to date and professionally looking? Would you want to provide the best benefits to your employees? Would you want to provide the best services to your clients?

Well, proz.com is our business. And if you said "yes" to the questions above, then you need full membership.



2- Learn how to be and act as a professional. Read the forum.
Please don't just buy the membership and sit waiting for a job. Although I guarantee you that you will get jobs but that doesn't make you professional.
proz.com probably is close to have a million translators by now, may be more, I am not sure. Questions have been asked and answered before I registered in 2006 and after.
Andrea Jarmuschewski did a very smart thing. she said she read hundreds of posts. That's exactly what I did, that's how I learned. I learned everything there. I learned how to place a quote. I learned how to write professional emails to clients. I even learned how to negotiate and how to price things (based on words, type of file, formatting ..etc). Each has a price.

It seemed to me very surprising when I see some people here on the website don't even bother to look up the forum and the tools here. It says and tells you everything. everything is documented and well kept on this website. I would pay for the knowledge here just by itself. Yet it is available free to everyone.
Then I realized, that again, this is what differentiate you as a professional from a hobbyist. As a client, if you ask me something that is said clearly on the forum here (and many times), I move on. Sorry I am not being rude but I need a professional who knows. I don't need someone who tells me "Drive car home", I need someone who tells that the car will get home
And this is where I started, the forum.

3- Invest in yourself.
A- Keep your language up to date. you have a free hour?, not sure what to do?. Attend a seminar about translation. Just think about it as you are going to meet some new people. You would be surprised how much you can learn from that and the publicity you achieve just by doing that.
B- Look up the translation tools. I understand it can be annoying to some people who don't like technology. But today it is all about technology. I tried only Trados and wordfast (not sure about the rest), they worth every penny. It makes things faster, easier. You can avoid so much headache and save big time. Just save some little money from each job you get until you can afford buying it. However, to be able to get decent jobs, get the full membership. worth every dime.


One more thing worth mentioning here, if you are from Europe, you have even better chances with jobs since in order for a product to sell in Europe, it must be translated in every single language there. And you guys there have tons of languages


My PTE has been super great for me. So, what's in your wallet?


Sorry, I know, I talk too much.

Salam


 

Thomas Chen  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 19:29
Member (2014)
English to Chinese
+ ...
An inspiring story Nov 9, 2014

I cannot agree more with what Salam says here.
We will need to learn from the forums and try new tools.


 


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