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Organising remote work – how to work as a freelance translator

For some people, remote work is something they are used to in their daily lives. Something they feel great in and they would not change it back to full-time employment. For others, it is a task that is completely new, hard to cope with and they are still looking for the best ways to organise their duties during the day. Others have not had the opportunity to try to work in this mode so far and are sceptical about it. Organising remote work is not easy, at least in the beginning. Are you just starting your journey with freelancing or do you feel that the methods used so far are not working as they should? Discover some verified ways to organise remote work efficiently!


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Organising remote work – where do I start?

Working remotely as a freelancer, like any other solution, has its pros and cons. Task-based working time, the possibility of carrying out several interesting projects at the same time, a real impact on the amount of money you make, planning your holidays and non-working days depending on your preferences; doesn’t it sound like a dream way of making money and fulfilling your passions at the same time?

Proper organisation of remote work is the key to success

Often, this ideal vision of remote freelance work collapses quite quickly. Problems with finding clients and maintaining financial liquidity, problems with efficient organisation of the day and dividing it between professional duties and private life, periods of being overloaded with duties alternating with days when there is no work at all – this is what often happens in the life of freelancers.

Lack of financial liquidity and the problem with organising your time so that you are not at work 24 hours a day are the two biggest and most frequently recurring challenges.

So to work effectively, it’s best to start with:

  • building a database of clients;
  • planning your duties effectively.

If you are just planning to start your career as a freelancer in the translation industry, it will be a good idea to establish cooperation with a translation agency and complete translation projects on its behalf. This will not only give you a starting point when you have no client database yet, but it will also ensure relatively regular orders. Besides, cooperation with a translation agency also offers interesting opportunities to work on varied projects, so you can learn something new while translating.

Another advantage is that when you work with such a company, you gain your business card showing your experience as well customer feedback, which automatically makes you more professional.

Remote work for a translator – what does it involve?

Suitable conditions are needed for work. Sourcing and working on translation projects in a noisy apartment is difficult and uncomfortable. Therefore, before you decide to work as a remote freelancer, consider whether you are able to separate a work zone in the place where you live?

Organising remote work – setting your professional zone

You will probably have online meetings with clients or make phone calls often. These will also usually include large companies and sometimes international clients. Therefore, when deciding to work remotely, first of all ensure a place where you will be able to do it without distractions. Stress and noise are the worst enemies of remote work.

The second issue is the client database, which has already been mentioned above. Competition on the market is considerable, so without at least a minimal background and a business card, it will be difficult for you to break through it. Before you enter the market as a freelancer, try to complete a few projects that can be presented in your portfolio. Be sure to also ask your clients for letters of reference. This will create a support system that will help you stand out from other freelancers operating in this industry.

What else do you need to be prepared for when working as a freelancer?

When working as a freelancer, you have to keep in mind that you will be able to rely only on yourself in all formal aspects. You are not protected by the labour law, so you have to deal with disputes such as insolvent clients on your own.

When there are no jobs available, you won’t get any grants. When it comes to finances, you are completely on your own.

It happens often that freelancers compete with each other in terms of rates: clients choose those who offer good quality services at the lowest price compared to others. This means that you must also be prepared that you won’t be able to predict your monthly earnings and often the situation will force you to lower the price in order to get a translation order at all.

Practical tips for a freelance translator

Acquiring clients by posting your offer or responding to ads is an essential aspect of working as a freelance translator. However, your biggest competitive advantage as well as a way for increasing the number of new projects will be provided by regularly improving your qualifications. Be sure to take part in various training courses, obtain certificates and diplomas and be one step ahead of the competition!

Remote work for a translator: is it worth starting?

Is it worth starting work as a freelancer at all? Yes! It is undoubtedly a difficult and bumpy road, especially at the very beginning, but it provides significantly more opportunities and interesting challenges as compared to full-time work. Once you have developed your brand and worked out your daily plan, you will most likely not want to go back to a nine-to-five job!


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