Little luxuries of freelance professional translation
Posted on 8 October, 2014
By Translation Boutique
With 0 Comments
(Translated from Spanish by our interns.)
Whether you work on your own or for a translation agency or company, if you’re a freelance professional translator you’re lucky. It doesn’t matter if you work with the most common languages (English, Italian, French, German, Portuguese) or if, one day out of the blue you decide to take up Arabic, Japanese or Turkish and now you speak an exotic language.
Being a freelance translator is the best thing that could have happened to you. If you haven’t realized it yet, keep reading because we’re going to show you why.
In Translation Boutique we love what we do, we are proud of talking about our job, and we’re thrilled with every new project we start. It’s a great luxury being able to say that, what other people may call daily responsibilities, is actually something funny and enjoyable to do for us. Would you like to be that lucky, too? Well, the good news is that everything is a matter of perspective. While some people choose to see the downside of a situation, others decide to focus on the upsides.
Being a freelance translator works the same way. Today I want to help you see the best side of translation and interpreting and I’m going to do it by showing you the perks of this wonderful profession.
- Freedom of schedule. You can start working at 6 am or 3 pm if that’s when you’re more productive, when you have time off, or for whatever other reason. However, remember what we said in our good practices guide for freelance professional translators: we must be serious with our job and try to be strict with our working schedule. Time flies and it is very easy to get distracted and waste a whole morning!
- Choosing your own working space. You can work at home, in a café, in an office, in a library. You can work in Thailand while you’re visiting a friend, or in Germany while you’re attending a DE>ES interpreting course. Your imagination is the limit!
- Working only with the people you want. In a perfect world, we would get along with everybody, but this is not always the case in the real world. Nobody likes to spend eight hours a day sitting next to somebody who is always complaining or feeling miserable with his or her life. We may be able to stand it for a while, but it’s an exhausting situation if this happens every day. When you work on your own, your only necessary relationship will be with your clients, and even then, after you have started working on that new translation project, you usually have some time off your client so you can take a deep breath and disconnect from them if you need to.
- If you want, you can always have meals at home. This is especially important if you mind what you eat, like I do. Not being forced to eat daily in coffee shops or cooking late the previous night in a hurry is a great perk. Besides, if you have some ability to cook simple dishes, in little more than an hour you can prepare your meal and eat healthy without having to choose from a daily menu.
- You decide your holidays and days off. It’s a real luxury being able to organize your holidays a year in advance and not having to count how many personal days you still have left. If you want to attend a conference, leave work early to catch a flight, go to your best friend’s wedding and make the most of it and take a short break… you can. But, again, don’t get in over your head; you also need to work to pay the bills!
- Flexibility to organize your family life. Complete flexibility. You can adapt your working schedule to make sure you can take the kids to grandma’s or to the nursery, that you are free to fetch them afterwards or to make sure your partner or yourself are home so the kids are not left unattended. You can even plan your schedule so the dog is not left home alone for many hours. Everything is possible!
- Good general culture. We are masters of Trivial Pursuit! During your career, especially at the beginning, you will deal with very different subjects. Besides, translators and interpreters are usually curious people who like to learn and understand different cultures. Yes, I know, we’re a really good catch!
- No dress code. I would never opt for start working when I’m still wearing those comfortable pajamas and without having even brushed my hair (although there are people who do go straight to their computer from bed), but the good thing is that we don’t have to wear office suits or wear a completely new look every day. However, it’s advisable to make a clear distinction between your relaxation time (the pajamas you’re wearing when you get up) and your working time (here you can choose according to your personal likes, but make sure it is at least something you would wear outside your home!).
- Different work projects, little monotony. We tend to always be alert and it’s not worth it to over think or feel overwhelmed when we’re working on a project that we don’t enjoy very much, since it has only a limited duration. Our aim must be to organize ourselves so we can work on different projects dealing with different subjects we’re interested in. So choose your clients wisely!
- Do you want to live abroad temporarily? Do it! The only downside of it is that you can’t work during the flight, but you can carry your projects on your laptop anywhere you go. Translators are curious people and, of course, we speak at least two languages. So it’s not strange for us to decide to spend a whole summer or longer abroad. You just have to inform your clients that you will be unreachable during your flight. Everything else is not a problem.
If you are not a translator yet, I’m sure you’re already thinking about becoming one, aren’t you? Talk about our profession to your friends and explain what our work is about. Many people don’t know what the job of a translator consists of, but their reaction once they know about it is great.
We have the wonderful task of expanding knowledge around the world, no matter what language a text is written in. Help us to erase barriers among people.
We must never forget that we are transmitters of culture and knowledge worldwide.
To our eyes, we dedicate ourselves to such a beautiful labor that we only see the upsides of it. Doing our job is well, to say the least, a matter of responsibility.
Let’s love our profession!
Lots of love,
Davinia Albert for TB
Translation Boutique, tailor-made linguistic services