Opportunities and risks of a freelance translator

Many translators hardly experienced in translation field work full-time in translation offices, companies and institutions that require such services.

While some find it convenient to work under an employment contract, a schedule drawn up by the employer and daily tasks to be performed, others still prefer to work outside the office, and choose to work remotely, but via the translation office, or as a freelancer, on their own.

At first glance, the second option gives more freedom, self-management of activities and private time and, of course, independence. However, freelance translators must carefully consider all opportunities and take the risks involved in this activity.

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  • The time you lose reaching the office, you will initially lose it in search of new customers and companies. This is not an easy task, especially for a beginner translator. Clients choose the office based on criteria such as reputation, operating on the market and its professionalism, which is why the option of freelance is more recommended for experienced translators.
  • Freelance activity allows you to work from home, from any country, based on your own schedule, which is an opportunity, especially for mothers on maternity leave. However, working on your own, you must show promptness and seriousness, and the final product must be delivered within the deadline set in advance with the customer.
  • Freelancer = entrepreneur?
    The fact that you are a good translation specialist does not guarantee tomorrow’s security. You have to work hard to make yourself heard and known in the translation market. Being a freelancer, you manage your activity yourself, without the legal, financial and moral support of the employer in the office. Having good entrepreneurial skills will help you launch your own business, but also to deal with possible crisis situations.
  • Working as a freelancer, you will have various financial earnings. Forget about fixed wage at the office, the stability that your employer offers you, as well as paid leave and social insurance. The salary of a freelancer depends largely on the volume and quality of the translations made. Respectively, he is remunerated exclusively for the number of pages translated, not for other related office activities. Be prepared for both favourable financial periods and considerable losses.
  • An opportunity you can benefit from being a freelance translator is traveling to foreign countries, i.e. visiting places of tourist interest and establishing new contacts. Travel will serve you more for personal development and recreation, but if you want to grow professionally, the office would be a favourable environment for this. Direct communication with experienced colleagues in translation and participation in various workshops and conferences through the translation office can guarantee you the improvement and accumulation of new knowledge, as well as, the possibility of new collaborations, which is much more difficult being a freelancer.

Image source: Google

Finally, the activity of a freelance translator is everyone’s personal choice. Moreover, it is a profession, based on self-discipline and perseverance. Regardless of the type of your activity, love what you do, and the results will be as expected.

Zasadnii Maria, translator