5 things you can do during translation droughts

Today we bring you some wisdom from freelancers who have experienced dry spells as well. How do you deal with not getting any or barely any work? This is advice for beginners from not-as-new translators.

Photo by Matt Noble on Unsplash

First of all: relax

We know it is easy to say it, but hard to do it when you have bills to pay, but stress is not going to provide you a job. Taking a breath will help with your mental health and put you in a mental space in which you can look for solutions.

Remind that client that you are still available for collaborations

Chances are that the client has other translators on board and might have forgotten about their whole roster. Don’t be shy! Talk to them, offer your new (if you have any) services, or remind them why they hired you in the first place.

If you don’t know what to include in the email, here are some tips: your name, your language combinations and specialization, and then remind them of your history with them. That may look like talking about the last time you worked together, asking about previous projects or asking for a recommendation.

Just remind them why your work together was great and why they would want to collaborate with you again.

Look for new clients!

Quite obvious, but essential. This is the perfect moment to send your CV to any potential clients or companies you are interested in working with. Apply everything you have learnt since the last time you looked for new clients.

Needless to say, try to find good clients: make sure they offer you good rates (calculate how much you want to make and divide it by the number of hours you work/number of words you translate daily…), that they pay on time (the sooner, the better) and that they offer good communication (e.g. they answer doubts in a reasonable amount of time).

Ask other translators about them and look up every potential client on the internet: look for opinions on ProZ, Glassdoor, or translator forums.

Update your CV and social media platforms

Make sure you update your CV with relevant information BEFORE you send it to potential clients. Have you worked with anyone new since you last sent your email? Is it not working for you? Refresh the style, format and the information you include. In the future we will explain how to write your translation CV.

If you have social media platforms, update them, make new friends and even look for jobs. In Spain, Twitter is used for getting to know other translators, so find the equivalent social media platform in your area.

Update yourself!

It may sound silly but hear us out. Maybe you have wanted to study something specific for a long time, there is an interesting course available or maybe you want to break into a new field. Now is the time to do it. Translation requires constant education and learning how to use new software can bring you new opportunities, take advantage of this break.

What would you tell your past self in this situation? Let us know in the comments!

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