What I like about my freelance job, what I learn from it, and last but not least, what my clients bring me
WHAT I LIKE ABOUT MY JOB:
* Not being in a routine: From one project to another, I enter a different world, I learn and deepen
my knowledge about different topics. Each project is an opportunity to grow.
* I’m my own boss
* I can choose which projects I want to work on.
* No commuting
* I love the research part of my job
* I discovered, against my expectations, that I’m getting to like some aspects of the business part
of my job (marketing, web design)
* Infinite opportunities to learn – through projects, training, reading, research - and to grow
* No dress code
* Even though I prefer to work at my home office, I can work from anywhere in the world, provided I have an internet connection.
* My office environment is tailored to my needs and to my tastes
* I like working independently, but I don’t have to isolate in my ivory tower either. Today I can
connect and communicate with colleagues from all over the world, thanks to my membership in
various professional associations and to online networking or participating in events and
WHAT I LEARN FROM MY JOB:
* I learn to run a small business, on an ongoing basis. There is always room for improvement!
* I constantly improve my language skills and subject matter knowledge. No, translators are not
walking encyclopedias, they do not memorize everything they translate. But I do put the effort into
improving my knowledge and skills, striving to always better serve my customers. As an example,
in addition to the research I am bound to do in direct connection to a translation project, I spend a
fair amount of my free time reading articles related to my specialty fields, such as medical articles
in specialized magazines, newspaper articles, etc. I also seize the opportunity, whenever I can, to
do some training related to one of my specialty fields.
WHAT CLIENTS BRING ME/ WHY I VALUE ALL OF YOU:
* As I said earlier, every project, every client, is a window into a different world, and
an opportunity to learn. I am a curious person and I therefore welcome every one of you.
* You all bring me something and you all contribute to my development. There is no small
client. I value all of you, no matter what the size of the projects you submit. Small
projects are just as important as larger ones, they are easy to place between large
projects, and they actually pay bills. And there too, I get to learn and grow as a business.
Actually a non-negligible part of my customers are ones who regularly send me small projects.
I’ve come to realize that some end up being among the top income sources. For fellow translators
who doubt that idea, just check your 1099 forms by client. You might be surprised.
* I like the process of gradually establishing trust between me as a business and you, my
customers. It does take time and effort, but it’s worth it. The fact that we do most of our
work on a computer does not mean we don’t have to put any effort in the human factor, on the
Trust is to be established, primarily, by providing quality services, yes, but also by
treating your client well, and adding a human touch to your interaction that shows your
appreciation. Just like you’d do for any relationship. If you doubt this idea, just think of
what makes you come back to a store, or service provider? I don’t know about you but
for me, the quality of the product is not enough: after sales service, the way I’m treated
as a customer, the feel of being welcomed and valued, no matter how much money I
spend, will also determine whether I come back or not. Are you going back to a
restaurant where you wait too long for the hostess to acknowledge your presence, or if
she obviously doesn’t look too happy to serve you, is unable to provide answers about
items on the menu? I don’t. Do you go back to a customer or service provider, that
doesn’t have the courtesy to answer your request or email or return your phone call? No?
- Neither do I.
* One of the unexpected bonuses is, some of my clients are very inspiring. Yes. I
occasionally end up “following” some of those people or businesses on social medias
because what they do is inspiring.
Annabelle C. Vergne