The Freelancing Post is for anyone out there earning their own crust – or thinking about it. It is particularly aimed at translators and writers, so much of the content will be relevant to people in this profession.
Here you will find tips and comments on the trials and tribulations of freelancing today:
• Is it for you?
• How do you make ends meet initially?
• How to get and retain good clients
• Marketing tips to promote your business
• Coping with isolation
• Running your business when the kids are home
• Staying healthy
• Staying sane
The list is endless because freelancing, like any job, is full of challenges. The difference is you are now your own independent company and are faced with decisions that you would never have to make as part of a big corporate set-up. But if it’s right for you, (and it’s not for everyone) many will agree that it can be the most fulfilling career and life choice you will ever make.
I began my career as a freelance translator and copywriter 12 years ago. At the time I had a highly successful job in sales and marketing complete with a top of the range company car, heaps of benefits, paid holiday and numerous business trips abroad. But something was missing. A sense of purpose. My job was ok but I didn’t exactly feel passionate about it. And my creativity had been lost somewhere along the corporate line. There was something else very important too. I had a little daughter, and another on the way. Back then ‘flexitime’ was virtually unheard of and ‘part-time’ meant squeezing 4 ‘long’ days into 5, but for half the money.
So I decided I’d had enough of always missing the important moments in my child’s life. Of being stuck on the M25 heading to yet another pointless meeting. And of lining someone else’s pockets with efforts from my hard work, yet knowing that should one of the company’s bigwigs decide on a ‘re-org’, my job could come to an abrupt end anyway. I wanted a new way of working and a more fun and ‘flexible’ package.
A couple of additional qualifications later, I took the leap and went freelance. And I’m still here. It’s been far from easy. I work much longer hours than I ever did in industry, take fewer holidays, and for more or less the same money. I miss wearing heels. I have no ‘corporate’ benefits to speak of and working from home can often be excruciatingly isolating. But I wouldn’t swap any of it, not even for your fanciest office cubicle. And my ‘benefits’ now include not having to ask a boss for time off to watch my kids’ school play, nipping out to walk the dog on the beach when I have a spare ten minutes, that genuine sense of pride when a client that only you made happen praises your work, and of course getting to mix with a plethora of similar, like-minded, inspirational freelancers.
Hopefully you will find some inspiration here from someone who has been there and is still doing it, whether you’re a writer, a translator or other language professional.
You can also read more about what I do on http://www.naturallynordic.co.uk.