Being a freelance translator means dealing with a variety of employers. Some will be clear communicators who are easy to work with, while others will be more difficult. Follow these tips in order to get the best out of every employer.
There will always be some jobs – and some employers – that give you a bad feeling. Trust your instincts! Remember that as a freelancer you have the right to say no. If an employer isn’t prepared to pay a sufficient rate for the work they want done or sets off your warning signals, you are not obliged to take on the job.
If you do take on work for an employer who turns out to be difficult, try to understand why they are being awkward. Manage their expectations and be positive in your communications. Explain that you want to do the best job possible and find out what they need from you in order for them to be satisfied. Then do your best to meet their needs and – if they are still difficult – put them on the list of employers to say no to next time!
Be clear, concise and timely in your communications with your employers at all times. Ensure you ask sufficient, relevant questions to enable you to get the work done, but be sure not to hassle them with too many messages. Think through what you need to know for the job then ask in one go. Be polite and professional in your communications – remember that it is the employer who is paying your wages!
Be sure to find out from each employer what their deadline is, then submit your work before it. Don’t leave work to the last minute or you rule out any time for making amendments, which will stress the employer if your first draft isn’t perfect. Of course if your first pass is perfect, the employer will be pleased that you’ve beaten the deadline and will remember that next time they are looking for a translator.
Do you have experience of dealing with difficult employers? Share your tips for handling them in the comments box.