(Translated from Spanish by our interns.)
For some translators, launching into the world of freelancing was as easy as informing their former translation agency about leaving and getting high on the enthusiasm of a new project. However, there are also people who are easily affected by pressure, stress and lots of worries.
The most common anxiety of freelance translators is usually (besides losing their excellent level in Spanish, French, German, Japanese… which they perfected and polished for so many years) the financial uncertainty that comes with working for your own provision. This unknown part of business mostly takes some time to get used to. Although those are comprehensive fears, everyone is capable of launching into self-employment if he or she knows how to adapt and dodge a few potholes.
First, we have to ask ourselves if we really see ourselves living autonomously and acting with the will power to reach that objective. There are several aspects that might benefit a successful independent worker:
If you comply with that advice you are already a step closer to enjoying all of the luxuries which we will be talking in this post. Nevertheless, we shouldn’t give in to the enthusiasm of a new life without knowing the disadvantages. It’s a totally different kind of life compared to working for company. Although it’s perfect for us, we want you to act with caution and to deliberate about what awaits you behind the corner. Some of the difficulties that occur in this new life may be:
Are you still interested in working for your own benefits? Go for it!
If you are about to take such a big step, you can’t act impulsively or on the bare idea of fleeing from reality if you do not like your company. If you act like that, it’s likely that you will end up underestimating the dimensions of the path you’re about to take. You could skip important matters and the rush to do everything could make you do those things hurried and badly.
As an alternative we suggest that you plan the big leap in advance. Optimism of a life that adapts according to your needs should outbalance every moment. We want to motivate you to deliberate and to take every step with precaution and success. The success of every business (even if it is a one-man company) lies in good preparation and planning of your objectives. Youneed to ask yourself various questions:
– Which approach will you choose for your new work?
– Do you know all of the regulations related to the system of contributions that will affect you from now on?
– Do you want to act under your own name or create a brand less personalized?
– Are any contacts available to help you? Do you have any clients?
– Do have an adequate working space?
– How much do you want to make? Following that: What prices are you going to offer in order to gain what you want and are you adequately qualified to charge those prices?
The transition from company pay rolls to not very consistent/on-time earnings can temporarily affect your financial situation. If you would like to continue complying with your own personal wants/needs and permit yourself a similar lifestyle, we would recommend you take some precautions.
Good things come to those who wait.
Before I give you any path, you need to understand that in order to do things well you have to be patient and accept that you might have to continue working on your company. First, you should start to ask yourself the things we suggested to you before you start to assimilate what awaits you over the way. You should talk to colleagues that have already made the leap, or to friends, family members… And try to compile a list of inspiring ideas. You mustn’t get lost in the discouragement of those who don’t believe in themselves.
Once you have considered the possibilities and you see that you would need more time to accomplish everything you like, there is also a very good alternative path and that is to continue at your company (or a different one) but work part-time. This will allow you to use your remaining spare time as a freelancerand to pursue the development of your own project. Furthermore, in preparing your free office hours it will seem easier for you to convene with other people (contacts, graphic designers if you’re going to create an image, and so on) on normal working hours instead of doing that only on weekends, in the evening or in rest periods.
This measure enables you to count on a steady income until you settle for autonomous work and it will also give you some time to organize your new project. In this period it is also advisable to save some money in order to rely on your funds from the day that you’ll end your payroll work. In the long run it might be an excellent alternative to bring working on your own and external work in line, too. If you think that you’ve found a good balance in working part-time (for your own company and for an external job), why don’t you leave it like that? You are the only one who can decide.
If you feel like you have enough resources and demand available, you will be ready to make the big step, if that is what you are looking for. Create a feeling of fidelity with your clients and devote yourself to every project because you are totally depending on them now. This is where the real adventure starts and where you need to learn to adapt to your new principles of life.
Enjoy! Davinia Albert for TB
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