I am now into my third month of freelancing, so I thought I would share how I found making the transition from in-house translation to working from home.
The hardest thing I found about freelancing was no longer being able to go for a quick coffee with colleagues. Don’t get me wrong, the freedom of being your own boss is great, but working alone every day can start to feel a bit lonely.
Luckily, there are a lot of networking opportunities out there – it is definitely worth joining local groups and associations to meet other translators in your area. Here are some of the best networking opportunities I have found so far:
- Powwows on Proz
- Professional translator associations, such as the CIoL and the ITI, and their local branches.
- Social media groups (Things Translators Never Say on Facebook is a good one).
Not having to leave the house to go to work!
This is definitely one of the perks of freelancing (no more early morning commutes and being able to work in whatever outfit – or pair of PJs – you like). However, I have found that not having to leave the house makes me feel very sedentary.
My solution to this has been to to take up as many new sports and hobbies as possible. I've started jogging in the local park and have even begun Salsa classes! Freelancing has been great for me in this respect.
As an in-house translator, my company gave me work, set my deadlines, and paid my wages. As a freelancer, I am now in charge of my own time/project management, marketing, accounting and customer services. This can be fairly overwhelming in the first few months.
I am still getting to grips with it all, but I have found organisation and information to be the key to success.
Overall, I would say that the transition has been challenging yet rewarding. It's not all plain sailing and I'm still learning the ropes. However, as they say - practice makes perfect!