Freelance Translating and the Importance of Time Management - Part 1
People working in the field of linguistics generally know how much work is expected of them each day.
People working in the field of linguistics generally know how much work is expected of them each and every day: professors and teachers have a schedule, and even though there will be times when extra work is required – preparing material for seminars and courses, grading tests, and so on – their schedule will generally be adhered to. When a translator is employed by a company, they’ll be given the amount of work that they’re capable of handling within their working hours. This is generally because team members will have regular meetings with their manager and determine what’s best for both their clients and the translators.
What Happens When You’re a Freelance Translator?
Freelance translating is entirely different because there’s almost no way of controlling the amount of work that will land in your Inbox. If you’re a top quality translator and you already have a list of loyal clients, you may wonder sometimes how on earth you’re going to manage the project’s you’re being offered. Yes, you may love translating, but when you’re experiencing work overload it can become very stressful. So what is a translator to do when they’ve got too much work and too little time to do it in?
Accept or Decline the Work?
If you have a loyal client who asks you to carry out an unexpected translation, then, of course, you’re going to offer to complete the translation for them. Your regular clients will understand that their last-minute project is going to interfere with your schedule and because they specifically want you to do the project they’re not going to put undue pressure on you and demand to be first in line for your services. That being said, however, sometimes clients do need something done right now, which leaves you in the position of having to make a quick decision. Do you disappoint your client and say no, or do you accept their work and work the extra hours in order to keep your client happy?
Is There a Time Management Formula?
Your own experience working as a freelance translator will have taught you a lot about your own limits, and the problems you experience when working under pressure. The question usually comes down to how much sleep you’re prepared to give up to keep your clients happy. It usually won’t be about money because urgent jobs usually pay very well.
Let’s assume you’ve decided to make room for this project. When will you work on it? Will you try to cram it into your already tight schedule, or will you add on to your work hours at the end of the day and just hope you get enough sleep at the end of it? The answer to this question is going to depend on the type of person you are.