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No recession in sight December 23, 2010

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Business practices, Random musings.
3 comments

I delivered my last job before the holidays at around noon and have just returned from getting a manicure and facial. To say I am relaxed is an understatement. There’s nothing like translating 9,000 words in about three days to make you really appreciate the soothing face and arm massage. I had fully planned on turning off the computer and turning my back to the online world for a few days, but I just wanted to comment on how much work there is at the moment. Whether it is because clients are trying to get everything done before the end of the year or trying to burn off their budgets, the end clients don’t seem to have slowed down, despite the holidays. Everyone I know is busy with translation work. One of my former students even commented on Facebook this morning “Wow, there is a lot more translation work out there than there are translators available right now…” and followed it up with the comment “One agency told me that they had to turn down 6 projects from their clients yesterday due to lack of translators.” I myself turned down a 6,000 word job for Monday that I would have had to translate over the holidays, and I have several jobs waiting for me on Monday.

I hope you all enjoy the holidays or enjoy taking on all the work that those of  us celebrating the holidays won’t. I’m over and out until next week. Peace!

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‘Tis the season for no work/life balance December 12, 2010

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Business practices, Random musings.
3 comments

My fellow translators on Twitter are commenting how clients are throwing tons of work at them in the end-of-the-year-rush-to-get-things-done. Traffic on Twitter has been fairly light as a result. I have been pretty busy too, as is evidenced by the lack of posts in the blog recently, but (like most people) I have been trying to get holiday preparations finished while attending to my uncle’s estate (not like most people). For example, we pulled up the carpets in the house last week, but I haven’t put them on the curb for the garbage men yet. They can wait… I have my Christmas letter printed and now all I have to do is print the labels and send them out. I have my tree up and the lights are on, but I haven’t gotten around to putting the decorations on it. I threw up a few decorations on the mantle yesterday in preparation for the meeting of the NOTA Executive Board that I hosted (my first time in 8 years when I wasn’t in charge – it was wonderful!), but my apartment is a little lacking in the decoration department. I imagine that will change in the next few days, because we are getting a huge snow storm any minute now that is expected to last through Wednesday. I plan to be snow-bound, so hopefully I will get everything I need to get done finished. Is it bad that I am actually looking forward to the snow storm so that I will be forced to stay inside? I’m all stocked up with food, blankets, hot cocoa, etc.

Managing a work-life balance can be tough this time of year. How do you handle the end-of-the-year-rush and balance it with family and social obligations? It certainly isn’t easy. It is a matter of prioritizing and only doing the things that are most important to you. Do I need decorations on the tree? Not necessarily… Do I need to attend every holiday party? Not necessarily, but there are a few that I absolutely want to attend. The rest can slide. You can’t do everything and maintain some kind of healthy balance. My stress level has been off the charts lately (as I’m sure is the case with most of you too), but I am doing what I can and not kicking myself about not being able to do everything. Once you have enough work to keep you busy feel free to refer a colleague to the next client who contacts you. Do some of the end-of-the-year business stuff at the beginning of January once the holidays are over. Make sure you get out and exercise to get rid of some of that stress. Most importantly take care of yourself, because you won’t be any good to anyone if you burn out.