Resining my day job to become a "real freelancer."
Autor wątku: Sanjin Grandić

Sanjin Grandić  Identity Verified
Chorwacja
Local time: 12:40
Członek ProZ.com
od 2020

francuski > chorwacki
+ ...
Apr 10, 2020

I have been working in the financial sector for the past twenty years on a good but tedious job.
All these years, I have rounded my ends of months by translating or interpreting.
Still, now I have decided to become a full-time freelancer because I began to fill sick of a corporate atmosphere and of their way of thinking and operating.
I grew up and obtained my Bachelor's Degree in Paris, where I lived from 1970 till 1991 (age 4-25). If being French or British, for that matter
... See more
I have been working in the financial sector for the past twenty years on a good but tedious job.
All these years, I have rounded my ends of months by translating or interpreting.
Still, now I have decided to become a full-time freelancer because I began to fill sick of a corporate atmosphere and of their way of thinking and operating.
I grew up and obtained my Bachelor's Degree in Paris, where I lived from 1970 till 1991 (age 4-25). If being French or British, for that matter, is a state of mind, then I am half-French not because of my Diplôme de Baccalauréat, which I got in 1987 but because I grew as a typical Fench child and as a young man later in life.
France formed me, and it did it with the language. There is always a bond between the Nation (sic) and the Word; that is why a Britton and a French will never think the same way no matter what.
I would like to hear some advice (please) from the people that are doing this job for a long time because, for me, it is a leap in the unknown.

I might postpone my decision to leave a steady job (and stable income) due to the COVID-19 situation, anywhere from three months to a year, but the decision is made.
Could you be so kind as to give this newbie some advice?
I would also appreciate a hint about what PRO CAT-tool should invest in?

Have a great weekend and happy Easter to those who celebrate.

Regards

Sanjin
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Dylan Jan Hartmann  Identity Verified
Australia
Członek ProZ.com
od 2014

tajski > angielski
+ ...

MODERATOR
Similar path but much earlier Apr 10, 2020

I went full time pro translator, similar to the way you are suggesting, but did it after 2 years (not 20 years) of working!

I was working a university job full time, studying my Masters and also freelance translating.

I left my job when my translation work had picked up to the point that it felt like 'going to work was wasting time that could be spent translating' (and making more money!). I then continued studying and freelancing until I graduated 6 months later and
... See more
I went full time pro translator, similar to the way you are suggesting, but did it after 2 years (not 20 years) of working!

I was working a university job full time, studying my Masters and also freelance translating.

I left my job when my translation work had picked up to the point that it felt like 'going to work was wasting time that could be spent translating' (and making more money!). I then continued studying and freelancing until I graduated 6 months later and went full-time translator.

It sounds like you've been getting one or two jobs a month: "rounded my ends of months by translating". This isn't a pathway to taking the plunge full-time. You basically have to begin receiving work daily and be in a position to accept that work (or schedule it). So, your best bet now is to market yourself, apply to agencies, build up interest and demand for your services and when it's too much to handle, then quit your job.

Re: tools - depends on the agency who sends you the most work. Mac users love Wordfast. Almost everyone has a love/hate relationship with Trados. And the cool kids use MemoQ.
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Sanjin Grandić
Kuochoe Nikoi-Kotei
Teresa Borges
Hedwig Spitzer
Kristen Canavan
Ryan Shevlane
 

Sanjin Grandić  Identity Verified
Chorwacja
Local time: 12:40
Członek ProZ.com
od 2020

francuski > chorwacki
+ ...
NOWY TEMAT
Hello and thanks for your reply Apr 11, 2020

Hi Dylan,

Nice to meet you.

It seems you got smarter than me much earlier lol. I appreciate all your suggestions because they make perfect sense.

When I started 20 years ago in the bank the money was really good and I was kind of lazy, I wanted to enjoy and so I did. Through time the salary did not really follow the prices of life so I began to work more and more. I do a bit more than a few jobs a month and have been receiving for the past 12 months contin
... See more
Hi Dylan,

Nice to meet you.

It seems you got smarter than me much earlier lol. I appreciate all your suggestions because they make perfect sense.

When I started 20 years ago in the bank the money was really good and I was kind of lazy, I wanted to enjoy and so I did. Through time the salary did not really follow the prices of life so I began to work more and more. I do a bit more than a few jobs a month and have been receiving for the past 12 months continuously more work than I can handle, these jobs could have brought me in a month three or four times my salary since I do foreign language subtitling too which is quite well paid and the guy outsourcing for a big state media is impatient to give me more because he is happy with my adaptations from french to Croatian for some time now.

". So, your best bet now is to market yourself, apply to agencies, build up interest and demand for your services and when it's too much to handle, then quit your job."'-> a piece of very wise advice indeed. Even though lately I have been receiving more jobs than I can handle, I seriously doubt that I have a client base comparable to established translators/interpreters.
I am a quite straightforward person, that is why I gave my full name and surname in the profile because I 've got nothing to hide, on the contrary, lol.
The COVID-19 situation will definitely postpone my plans for a couple of months if not a whole year but I made up my mind.

I own my place and my car, even a secondary residence by the sea, I'll give it a shot.

Can't wait the day to say my boss to walk away, for good -:) and go live by the seaside.

Cheers and thanks again for your kind advice.



[Edited at 2020-04-11 00:05 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-04-11 08:13 GMT]
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Teresa Borges
Portugalia
Local time: 11:40
Członek ProZ.com
od 2007

angielski > portugalski
+ ...
Similar path but much later... Apr 11, 2020

I didn't start out my career as a translator. I had more than a couple of other completely different professions before this one. I do not regret at all this intricate weaving as it gave me a valuable insight of different areas of business. Then translation found me: part-time for a few years followed by 20 years as full-time in-house translator (retired in 2006). In this last job we had not only an excellent working environment but we just made up a fun, friendly and enjoyable team. It was a pl... See more
I didn't start out my career as a translator. I had more than a couple of other completely different professions before this one. I do not regret at all this intricate weaving as it gave me a valuable insight of different areas of business. Then translation found me: part-time for a few years followed by 20 years as full-time in-house translator (retired in 2006). In this last job we had not only an excellent working environment but we just made up a fun, friendly and enjoyable team. It was a pleasure working with them and of course sometimes I miss the camaraderie, but working as a freelance translator is now the ideal job for me. Not only I love the idea of being at home and avoiding the traffic mayhem but also I love the freedom it gives me and the variety of work! If I could do it all over again I would probably start at a younger age than I did but then again I wouldn’t have all the useful knowledge and experience I had gleaned over the years…Collapse


Francesca Demoro
Kay-Viktor Stegemann
Sanjin Grandić
 

Kay-Viktor Stegemann
Niemcy
Local time: 12:40
Członek ProZ.com
od 2016

angielski > niemiecki
Somewhat similar Apr 11, 2020

I worked as an employed software developer for more than 20 years when I started translating on the side; at first it was more of a hobby, but when a couple of years later I actively looked for jobs in this area, it did not take long until I had so much work that I had to make a decision, either for going freelance for good or for staying in the IT job. If you say you have enough translation work right now to do this as your only source of income, why not? It seems you already put some thought i... See more
I worked as an employed software developer for more than 20 years when I started translating on the side; at first it was more of a hobby, but when a couple of years later I actively looked for jobs in this area, it did not take long until I had so much work that I had to make a decision, either for going freelance for good or for staying in the IT job. If you say you have enough translation work right now to do this as your only source of income, why not? It seems you already put some thought into your financial situation, your obligations and so on. I just think you should not unnecessarily burn your bridges behind you; even if you quit your day job, keep a door open. An employer from the past who knows the quality of your work can be a client for the future, or at least a good contact or middleman. Also consider the expertise you accumulated in the financial sector for 20 years and leverage it for translation work. A specialist who translates is a big difference to a translator who specializes.

Don't worry much about which CAT tool to learn until you actually need one. If you work for agencies, some of them will have preferred tools and then you can take a closer look. CAT is no rocket science.
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Dan Lucas
Mina Chen
Recep Kurt
Sanjin Grandić
 

Sanjin Grandić  Identity Verified
Chorwacja
Local time: 12:40
Członek ProZ.com
od 2020

francuski > chorwacki
+ ...
NOWY TEMAT
Thank you Teresa and Kay-Viktor Apr 13, 2020

Thank you for sharing your experiences with me. It is never easy to make a "leap of faith" into a new and uncertain world of freelancing.
Your stories about how you became translators are just giving me more incentive to continue and make translating and interpreting my sole source of income not only because I am tired of a corporate world of finances but because I love linguistics and languages more than anything else.
As Kay-Viktor well noticed, I have already put some thought in
... See more
Thank you for sharing your experiences with me. It is never easy to make a "leap of faith" into a new and uncertain world of freelancing.
Your stories about how you became translators are just giving me more incentive to continue and make translating and interpreting my sole source of income not only because I am tired of a corporate world of finances but because I love linguistics and languages more than anything else.
As Kay-Viktor well noticed, I have already put some thought into my financial situation and my other obligations.
I will certainly not "burn all the bridges behind me" for all the right reasons Kay-Viktor mentioned in his post.
Since I have been working (and still am) for a major credit card company for such a long time (more specifically in fraud management and collections), I have zero doubt that my accumulated knowledge will sooner or later come in handy for some future assignments. It helped me a lot already for my last interpretation job before the COVID 19 outbreak. I had a five-day-long consecutive interpretation/liaison project.
I had to analyze legal contracts and the financial flow of allocated budgets for each project, and it is so much more natural when you have been part of that world.
I have been trying to fend-off my constant urge to leave the world of boredom and financial certainty for years, but then I understood that I was merely postponing the inevitable, a passion is a passion.
If there is a decent chance for me to earn my leaving through my passion, I am going for it.




[Edited at 2020-04-13 14:38 GMT]
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Kay-Viktor Stegemann
 

Anna Dzidowska  Identity Verified
Polska
Local time: 12:40
angielski > polski
+ ...
Quite similar Apr 14, 2020

I worked as an in-house translator (and also in another role) in the financial sector for almost 17 years and had my freelance business all along. At some point, the office work became too much for me but it took me four years to eventually leave the company. I left in December 2018 and I have never looked back.
The office job had many benefits and I enjoyed it for a very long time but I definitely prefer working on my own.
Of course, I am concerned about my future as a translator/ i
... See more
I worked as an in-house translator (and also in another role) in the financial sector for almost 17 years and had my freelance business all along. At some point, the office work became too much for me but it took me four years to eventually leave the company. I left in December 2018 and I have never looked back.
The office job had many benefits and I enjoyed it for a very long time but I definitely prefer working on my own.
Of course, I am concerned about my future as a translator/ interpreter, especially with the coronavirus now - but, if given a chance to go back to my "former" life, I would not go back. That's my experience, for what it's worth. Good luck with your decision!
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Sanjin Grandić
 

Sanjin Grandić  Identity Verified
Chorwacja
Local time: 12:40
Członek ProZ.com
od 2020

francuski > chorwacki
+ ...
NOWY TEMAT
Thanks Anna, your post made my day brighter :) Apr 14, 2020

Hi, I see we think along the same lines.
(EDIT->any post like this one is Wellcome lol)

We all feel much more comfortable when we feel free, even if one has to struggle in the beginning. The end-game is worth it and I am much happier working with Words than sitting at the office with 49 mails and 27 missed calls to return. Linguistics, my dear French, English, and Croatian are my playfields, places where I feel comfortable and therefore mostly very good at what I do like most
... See more
Hi, I see we think along the same lines.
(EDIT->any post like this one is Wellcome lol)

We all feel much more comfortable when we feel free, even if one has to struggle in the beginning. The end-game is worth it and I am much happier working with Words than sitting at the office with 49 mails and 27 missed calls to return. Linguistics, my dear French, English, and Croatian are my playfields, places where I feel comfortable and therefore mostly very good at what I do like most linguists here.
When you are really good in languages, all you need is self-control and good management to capitalize on the languages in which you are fluent or real good.

Thanks for sharing your experience with me. Our trade is one of a few selected ones that allow freelancing to be the only source of income.

I just reflected on the topic I started this noon when my boss told me to contact more clients and that I am being too kind? with them, since they owe money to our company (credit card industry), He was speaking and I was struggling with a little translation in my head. Three minutes later it was "Yes Boss" and life went on....that is what I am breaking away from, happily.

Regards...


p.s. it took you 4 years to break away for financial reasons I suppose? If it is not too much to ask lol....just to try to guess how long I 'll stay in my company, the main problem that frankly put my whole project on hold is this Corona punishment since the management did not touch our salaries I might as well wait a couple of months to even a year. Never mind, I am working like crazy on a 250 pages French->Croatian translation in mechanics, conformity and legal relations since the client gave me 8-9 weeks deadline, luckily, parts are in German and English, some 20% give or take and there are many similar spreadsheets that do not require "from zero" translation. I am a night bird, I never sleep more than 5 hours and that's all I need so plenty of time left to translate and watch a movie (sometimes). Once I break away I ll earn more but for the next few months.
I am trading safety versus profit for the next short term while still normally working on my project. Translations are now a serious part of my budget just waiting the right time to increase it significantly when I ll (finally) let go of the office. This darned COVID-19 situation punished almost all of us.
Sanjin

[Edited at 2020-04-14 23:26 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-04-14 23:29 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-04-14 23:34 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-04-15 00:11 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-04-15 00:32 GMT]
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