June 9 was National Freelancer’s day in the UK and even though we don’t celebrate it in Greece I was planning to take some time off to look into some CPD and translator training courses as well as ponder about some changes I want to make in my translation agency. However, and brilliantly illustrating the fact that a freelancer can never rest, last Friday was the busiest day of that week. Even though I didn’t have anything scheduled for that day, work came in flowing -I was thrilled to have it, of course. The terms Translation Feast and Famine, as beautifully explained by the savvy Catherine Christaki in her ATA54 presentation describe to a T the freelancing business model.
As with many (if not all) professions, freelancing, whether you are a translator, an accountant or an artist, has its weak and strong points. The beauty (and struggle) with freelancing is that its pros and cons often are the same things depending on how you use them 🙂 So if you like the following things you are probably ready to take the leap to freelancing! Stay posted for the not-so-fabulous side of freelancing to come soon 🙂
You know you are ready to go freelance as a professional if you like:
- originality– you can decide exactly what you want to do… and do it. You can craft your own business plan and include whatever in the world you want: theatre prop sourcer, cross-fit instructor, mandarin>american english translator, small business accounting manager, phone call center project manager, just dream it, train for it and do it. Well, research it first, you want to have at least some clients, don’t you?
- the freedom to go wherever you want, whenever you want – you won’t always take advantage of it (I know I don’t) but even the thought that you are not chained on your chair is liberating.
- the ability to choose projects you like and to avoid subjects you don’t like (for example, I don’t like medical translations, and even though I get some requests for those, I usually outsource them).
- diversity – You can work with many different clients from many different fields: if you are a Virtual Assistant for example, you might work with an investment banker, a stay at home mom with a super successful side biz or the owner of a cheese exporter from Camembert – interesting, no?
- having a flexible schedule – Although the hours are long, you get to schedule them yourself, meaning you can work all night and go swimming during the day. This however, requires a lot of the above mentioned motivation and self-discipline.
- You will also love freelancing (and this is a personal one, which might not apply to everyone) if the freelancer lifestyle matches your creative and listless personality. I hate routine and office hours, I love side projects and i find inspiration everywhere.
What do you think? Would you change your freelancing job for a 9-5 or if you work in an office would you take the leap to a freelancing career?