Skip These Seven Hassles for a Serenely Successful 2017

 

 

devils-bridge-in-kromlau-germany_n 

  1. Skip the stressful “offer “ of  insulting rates and oppressive terms .

Introduce yourself with you rates and  terms backed up with your certification and training. If being offered an assignment , ask for acknowledgement and acceptance in writing of your rates and terms  Add a dose of manners by offering to answer any questions they may have.

 Stress Buster : Develop a couple of templates of polite  responses for  when unacceptably low     rates are offered. Save them in your drafts and you will avoid the irritation felt when  writing a new one every time.

   2  Skip the embarrassment of being taken advantage of.

Research the market and  match your experience and qualifications for equal ranking of pay.

  1. Skip the stress of hearing that the prospective client that wants you won’t pay what you’re worth.

Look up their website and see how they promote themselves to the market If they claim to have the lowest rates then how do you think they make a profit.

Inquire from colleagues on professional forums, on both Linked In and Face Book , what kind of an experience  anyone has had with said a client. Share your experience in return.

  1. Skip the stress of a job with terminology and procedures that stump you.

Don’t accept an assignment you have never done before until you have observed the interpreted proceeding in person or reviewed a few source and target translations of the same subject matter. Do this until you are comfortable that you can perform quality work.

  1. Skip the stress of hassles caused by a client uneducated in your work.

Look for the red flags waving: when translator and interpreter is used interchangeably, when your availability is asked without  identification of the proceeding, whenever a translation has no word count or deadline…  And my favorite when you are asked to be at a location over 100 miles away in a half an hour.  Decide the value of your time required in “babysitting” this kind of client.

  1. Skip the embarrassment of being labeled as unqualified and unprofessional.

Research the market and  match your experience and qualifications for equal ranking of pay.

  1. Skip the stress of payment disputes.

Send your rates and terms ( learn what these are) in writing and ask for acknowledgement and acceptance in writing.  Add a dose of manners by offering to answer any questions they may have.

Inquire from colleagues on professional forums, on both Linked In and Face Book , what kind of an experience  anyone has had with said a client. Share your experience in return.

Assess the client agency by their reputation among their employees and contractors. Listen and weigh both the accolades and the complaints. Complaints reflect poor management and instability and that leads to non-payment of freelancer’s invoices .

The Inevitable for Freelancers. The Market Sets the Standards.

R1-03649-0000          Don’t set your fees and terms of payment without finding out what the market charges and requires.  The vast majority of law firms, court administrators, Court Reporting firms are familiar with the standard range of fees and terms.  Some courts have set fees, otherwise you tell them your rates and terms.  They also know the value of experience in legal settings, certifications and training because that means you are reliable and self-sufficient.  T&I agencies for the most part, set limits on what they will pay you.  The good ones follow what is considered fair rates.

If you ignore the market fees and terms, you run the risk of charging too much and making unreasonable demands for your work.  Or if you charge too little and are too flexible in your terms you open yourself to the disrespect of not being paid on time or worse, not at all.  Learn the standard behavior and terms of your market.  Your market is defined by your geographic location, your language pair and those who share the same credentials, experience, training and reputation that you have.  As in any profession, if you are just starting out you can’t expect to charge the same as someone  who has a long list of tests passed, training  and ten, twenty or thirty years of experience.  But you can prove yourself as reliable, competent and fair.  We all started at a lower rate, paid our dues and rose in rank.  That is the path of a freelancer.