We have already dispelled 5 myths about the translation service industry. There are many misconceptions about freelancers as well. Let us debunk 5 common myths about freelancers.
1. Freelancing is easy work.
Many people believe that freelancers can wake up when they want, take their time eating a nice breakfast, and then slowly begin to work all while still lounging in their pajamas. While this may have some truth, successful freelancers are busy and have deadlines that they must meet. While they very well just might be their own bosses, and they might be able to take their time before getting started for the day, a productive freelance translator gets to work by a certain time every day and typically works for a specific amount of hours.
So maybe freelancers do have the option of sleeping in, but not more so than anyone else. Sleeping in while you have deadlines to meet is unquestionably irresponsible, and a successful freelancer understands this. When you have messages from clients waiting to be answered, sleeping in is simply not an option.
2. Freelancing is fast and easy money.
This is simply fictitious. You have to work hard to be successful. The first month, especially will not be easy. You will need to think of a game plan and stick to a specific schedule. You should schedule time to brainstorm your brand and then actually create it and begin to market your brand. The first few jobs you take on will most likely not be high-paying ones, but they should be credible. By taking on credible jobs you will be able to build your resume or CV, but they will most likely not have a big payout. You must know your price and make sure you recognize when someone is asking you for quality work for little pay.
3. Freelancing is less stressful than a regular 9 to 5 job.
Okay, so we’ll admit, without the commute freelancers do not have to deal with the stress of traffic, delayed trains, and clocking in on time, but there are different stressors that come with freelancing. For a freelancer, stress can come from not having enough work. It might be an off week, but if you were not expecting it, you might be feeling the effects of having less income for the week. On the other hand, it might be an extremely busy week, and now you’re swamped with work. Either of these situations can make for a stressful week. A freelancer’s life doesn’t seem so relaxing now.
Okay, you’re still not convinced, you’re thinking, ‘How stressful could their lives be when they don’t have to answer to a boss?’ Even though they might not have to keep their bosses happy, they must still keep their clients happy; this could be equally, if not more, important. If they damage a relationship with a client, they could potentially lose that client forever.
4. Freelancing is flexible.
People believe that freelancers make their own hours. For the most part, yes, they do. They work for themselves therefore they essentially work when and where they want. A successful freelancer knows that there are consequences to these choices. Maybe a freelancer would choose not to work on the weekends, or maybe they only want to work every other day. Limiting your availability, limits your integrity. If you get a call for an assignment that is needed by Monday, and you don’t take it because you’re off on Mondays, you have just missed out on a job.
So while freelancers can make their own schedules, it must be within reason. They can choose when they want to work, but they cannot choose when work wants them. As a freelancer, you don’t have to work from 9am to 5pm, but your day should fall within these hours because that is typically when most offices are open. So, you would want to be available during these hours.
5. Anyone could be a freelancer.
I must respond to this myth by saying, ‘Of course not’. We discussed in an earlier myth-debunking post that not everyone has what it takes to be a translator or interpreter. Similarly, it takes a certain kind of person to do certain jobs. A freelancer must be disciplined. A lazy person will not take on a heavy workload and therefore, will not be as successful. A freelancer must have extreme organizational skills. They must organize their time and their office. They work for themselves so the discipline must come within. There is no one guiding you and no one telling you what to do, so you must be capable of truly being your own boss. A freelancer must also be a business person. You must be personable and possess networking skills. You must be able to manage yourself.
All-in-all, a freelancer’s job is not so easy. Within the translation services industry, most of the linguists are freelancers, and from what we’ve witnessed at thebigword, freelancers have truly got to be renaissance men/women in order to be the best (which freelance linguists certainly are)!