What I learnt this year as a freelancer
Today is a very special day for me, because is the anniversary of one the greatest decisions of my professional career and my life. And I want to celebrate it sharing with you some advice and what I learnt this last year working as a freelance translator in the UK.
I am not going to tell you my story, but what I will tell you are the most important things I have learnt this year. And what I am still learning.
I am not going to lie to you. Not everything is as good as sometimes seems to be. When I started as a freelance translator, I only knew about what I learnt from university about translation itself, but I knew nothing about working independently. But I overcame my fears and my lack of knowledge on some aspects of working as a freelance and here I am. (If you want to know more about how I did it, you can do it here).
So here you have some of the most important things I have learnt:
- There are some really hard days. Some days when you don’t feel confident at all about yourself. You don’t know why are you doing this. You are about to give up and try to find a “more stable job” where you can have a fixed wage every month, fixed working hours and workmates. Some days when you would feel lonely because nobody around you understands you. Yes, that is true.
- But there are other days that compensate those hard days such as the first days when you start receiving your first projects. That excitement, after your hard work trying to find clients but not being sure about if you are doing it right or wrong. Those days when, after “fighting” for an important project, the client finally gives it to you. The feeling of being proud of yourself, of what you have achieved, that moment is priceless.
- As I said before, there will be moments and even days or weeks, when you want to give up, you are not sure if you have made the right decision. But, if this is what you want, do not give up. Go for it! It will worth it. And do not doubt about yourself. You are very brave for having decided to take this step in your career and not having anything guaranteed.
- It is normal to have ups and downs, both in the workflow and about what you feel. But keep fighting!
- As I have just said, there is not a constant workflow. But there isn’t in any job. There are some days or periods with more work and others with less, but this is in every work.
- Try to look for clients or work when you have some work, not only when you don’t have any. If you can’t find anything at that moment, you will feel anxious and worried about your work, and that does not help. Trust me.
- It is very difficult, if you have just started your career as a freelance translator to start earning a nice fixed amount of money every month. It is a very slow process, but I can guarantee you that when you earn that amount or more in a month, you will feel very proud of yourself! Be patient, that moment will come.
- And last, but not least, enjoy your time: either when you have a lot of work or when you don’t have that much. If you have a week or a period of not having a lot of work, enjoy it doing things that when you have work or projects to translate, you don’t have time to do it. With this, I am not saying to take those weeks as holidays, but do CPD activities, marketing, read or look for information about how to change things you know you need to change and if you can take a day off, do it. You don’t know if next month you will have so much work that you will have to work even on weekends!
As I said, this is a very special post for me and I really hope it can help some of you who right now are struggling with some of the things I have mentioned. I wished I had someone who could have told this to me those days.
So keep it going and don’t give up if this is your dream. I am sure you can do it!
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Thanks very much and see you in two weeks! 🙂