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Are Freelance Translators Allowed to Have Holidays?
Autor: Serious Business
Data publicare: 19 octombrie 2015
Limba: Engleză
Categorie: Articole piața traducerilor

 

Translators Holidays

I’m sure it didn’t happen only to me: the minute you start a journey to some exotic places because workload is low, the phone starts ringing. And potential customers caught me on the airport just before takeoff...

You might have had similar experiences. Or the translation is urgent, I cancel a weekend somewhere and the client does not call back...

Last week, I decided to take few days off and recharge my batteries that I could feel were steadily running low. But in just a few hours, emails started to arrive from all types of clients: long-term ones, agencies with small projects, and even new clients. I didn’t send them the automated out-of-office reply, as I opted for a personal email or phone call to each of them. This is another issue to debate upon: why is it in or nature to leave no email unanswered (although the very definition of a holidays is the time when you don’t check your email and don’t think about work)? Anyhow, while staying on the beach sipping a nice cool cocktail, I couldn’t help but wonder whether my clients trusted me again. Should I have taken my laptop with me? Should I have done the work for my favorite clients?  

Anyhow, apparently this is a problem many freelance translators have to deal with so, while searching the Internet, I came across, believe it or not, a checklist for vacation prep.

It is therefore my greatest honor to share some great ideas with you all:

4 weeks ahead...

  • let your clients know in advance you’ll be off so that they can plan alternative solutions

  • realign deadlines

  • finish big projects before leaving

  • find colleagues who can take on work from your clients while you’re away

3 weeks ahead...

  • plan routine tasks such as invoicing and replying to emails

2 weeks ahead...

  • do not accept new projects, unless they are short ones

  • ask prospects if they can wait until you return

1 week ahead...

  • create an auto-responder

  • set up an email blast to clients a few days before you return to remind them that you’re coming back

4-2 days ahead...

  • set clear communication boundaries (e.g. you don’t check your email during the day, but they can call you in emergencies).

 

In case you are too workoholic to refuse new projects, consider a working holiday. This might be the only chance to complete projects, meet deadlines, etc. Especially if you have just started out, are in a busy period or are not in the position of turning down clients. This means that you have to alternate sunbathing with translating.

Going on a holiday is not the end of the world. Nothing will change too much in a couple of weeks. If a clients leaves, don’t panic. He might have done that in a regular day anyway.

And a final question for you: how fragile is a translator’s relationship with her/his clients? Does it take only one automated out-of-office reply to lose all work and start looking for new clients from scratch?

 
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