What concerns freelance language professionals most at the moment?
Work - life balance
Downward pressure on pricing/rates
Pressure for greater speed/turnaround
Keeping existing clients
Keeping up with new technology
Greater demand for higher quality
The last two years or so have been tough, in many ways. We’re all a little beat up, still trying to figure out “the new normal”, still waiting to see how some things will turn out. In our current context, it makes sense that a greater number of freelance language professionals are paying more attention to work-life balance, taking stock of where they are in their careers and where they want to go from a new perspective, and making changes which are healthy for their businesses and for themselves as individuals.
Quotes from language professionals:
Today I work tons and earn tons. But I'm 56 years old and don't know how long I can continue working 12 hrs per day 7 days a week with no vacation. In addition, post-editing is constantly increasing and requires a lot of work for half the pay. For the moment I've been able to refuse such jobs and remain with traditional translations but I don't know how much longer this will be possible. So I'm opening a restaurant in July and possibly a B&B next year.
I have a full-time job as a forensic anthropologist, which I love, but the payment is lower than the amount I need to live the life I desire, so I am looking for opportunities to start a side business as a freelance translator and possibly, if things go well, dedicate more time to translation than my current job. I love both, but being a translator is far more profitable than being a professor, with the space and time limitations the second carries, that are usually not a problem being a freelance translator. I would love to have more income and more freedom to choose where I am. I moved from the city I used to live in to have a better quality of life and be closer to my parents. Having a successful translation career will add to that quality of life, since I'd be free to manage my time and effort.
This is an excerpt of the most recent ProZ.com industry report. To read the full report, you can go to https://www.proz.com/industry-report/
ProZ.com industry reports are periodic publications that take a look at trends, challenges, and opportunities in the language services industry, from the perspective of the freelance language professional. ProZ.com paying members enjoy immediate, full access to these reports.
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