When the unthinkable happens and giving up work isn’t an option

Sometimes life throws you a curveball and the unthinkable happens: a family member is struck with a long-term illness and you suddenly have to take on the role of carer. Caring for a loved one can be physically and emotionally draining and as time-consuming as looking after a baby, but often with none of the happy milestones marking a transition from one phase to another. Not only does caring take huge bites out of your available work time, it often does not put you in the frame of mind to focus when you finally do manage to sit down at your desk.

Giving up work entirely is not always a financially viable option for the family. In my case, I’ve had no choice but to cut down on my hours and learn to work smarter. Although my earnings have dropped by about 20% in the past two years I’ve been a carer, I reckon the time I spend translating, on admin and other work-related matters is 50% less. I now very rarely work in the evenings or at weekends and I certainly don’t always work a full day either during the week. My aim is to get back to the same level of earnings without increasing the number of my working hours. In this post I’d like to share a few of the ways I’ve managed to ensure that the unthinkable didn’t turn into a financial disaster for my family.

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4 Reasons Why Every Translator Should Blog

Today’s guest post is by Hanna Sles who translates from English into Russian and Ukrainian.

You have heard the wisdom:

“To be visible online, a translator’s website should have a blog.”

 

“Blogging will drive more traffic to a translator’s website.”

 

“Why aren’t you blogging yet?”

Blogging is becoming more and more popular in the translation and localization industry.

Think about it:

Everyone knows that blogging has gained mainstream popularity among freelance translators. But if you wish to start your own blog, it can be difficult to grasp why you should.

And today’s post will convince you to start blogging in a heartbeat.

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What I learned in December 2016

december-1740030_1280As I draw this series to a close and reflect on 2016, my overriding need and desire remain managing my time better so I can fit everything in: work, family and me-time. I’ve been struggling because family issues have swallowed up huge chunks of my time and look as if they will continue to require my attention for some months to come. Going forward, I’ll have to try to focus harder on what matters and get my priorities right by being more organised and ruthless because I haven’t always achieved everything I set out to do. On that note, I found this short TED Talk by Laura Vanderkam incredibly inspiring.

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What I learned in September 2016

leavesI’m posting this rather late because October has been another busy month for me work- and family-wise. It’s also been quite hectic on the blog with the start of the revision survey results (do check them out if you haven’t already. I’ve included as many comments as I can to show the range of opinions on the topic) and more MA review posts (on Cardiff and Westminster).

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22 more reasons why an agency might stop working with you

hand-65688_1280Back in October 2014 on my old blog I wrote about some reasons why an agency might stop working with you. As both the original post and the republished version on this blog on WordPress, My Words for a Change, amassed a lot of interest and comments, I’ve highlighted some more reasons below why you might suddenly find an agency no longer calls or emails you. They are based on the feedback and a few of my own observations.

Although this and the previous post focus on working with agencies, some of the points are equally valid for working with direct clients. I hope you find them useful.

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What I learned in May 2016

may-1333486_1280Unfortunately, I learned in May, and not for the first time either, that some clients show no respect for me at all. After chasing payment from a direct client for three months and listening patiently to their promises and excuses, I decided to send them another invoice detailing the late interest* now due. This is the second time I’ve had to reissue an invoice and demonstrate to a direct client that I mean business. But it’s also the second time that interest has not been paid.

Although in both cases the new invoice met with an immediate response (agreed new payment date one week later that was met, and same-day payment), I’m rather dismayed that the interest I added (which, let’s face it, is a paltry sum) was totally ignored. Besides complete non-payment and ignoring reminder emails, nothing else feels like such a slap in the face.

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What I learned in February 2016

calendar-1174841_1280In February I learned that LinkedIn lets you classify your connections using a feature called tagging. By using simple keywords, you can group people by where you met them, the language combination they translate, whether they interpret, live in your country, etc. I must admit I haven’t tried this yet, but it does sound quite useful.

If you’d like to find out more about how to get the most out of LinkedIn, please see my miniseries on the topic. I’ve written five parts so far and I still have at least two more to go. As with most things connected with my blog, my problem is not finding the ideas, but the time, especially as I’ve been spending a lot more it with my family recently.

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