After moaning in another article, I thought it would be good to highlight the positive aspects of this profession, in order to bring a little joy in this cruel world.
1) Schedule: Yes, I’ve already mentioned it, but I repeat because, according to me, it is one of the main advantages as a freelancer. We are free! We can take a break at 2 pm to watch a TV show! We can walk the dog at 3 pm! We can go to the laundry at 11am, when there is no crowd…. (Well, we can’t do all this the same day, huh. We still have to work from time to time).
2) Payment: another advantage that I love is being paid on per--word basis, that is, being paid according to the task is knowing that we will be paid a certain amount of money for a job irrespective of whether it is done within an hour or three. Is knowing that if we are productive, we can earn much, we can earn more, while still charging the same amount per word. Personally, I love it, mostly because I do work fast (and well) when I’m motivated.
3) Autonomy: a freelancer is their own bosses. And, as long as freelancers work alone, they are not someone else’s boss. In other words, they do not take orders from anyone else, and they don't give orders to anyone else. In short, they manage issues by themselves. Not only it is an advantage on itself, it also gives another pleasure: pride. What they have accomplished, they have accomplished it by themselves. They are not indebted anybody (except their clients, hello kind clients).
4) Variety: another great aspect of a freelance translator that in-house translators may also enjoy to an extent, is the variety of texts and the available choices. Today it can be a script and tomorrow a user manual (yes, you are right, it is a little bit less fun), then a book the other day (and for many following days). You can also do proofreading or transcription. You can see the different translation jobs and go shopping, apply for jobs that you like the most, neglecting those you like less (well, I’m exaggerating a bit, I often “choose” projects that do not necessarily excite me, I need money to live on). But it is almost like changing your job every day.
5) Learning: this is one of the reasons that made me want to be a translator. We are paid to read a variety of texts and translate them, and we learn every day. This is great! (Sure, we cannot remember everything). I translated texts about football, a crane instruction manual, a script about North Korea, a book about Asperger Syndrome... And each time I learnt one or two things. (Not much about cranes, though).
In a nutshell, we are (almost) totally free we can earn more with no need asking for an increase, just by working more efficiently, (less time spent on Facebook, for example); we can be proud of ourselves; we do not do the same thing every day and finally we learn something with each new translation job. Isn't life beautiful?