Are you considering if it’s better to work as an in-house or a freelance translator? The form of employment is very crucial, so when weighing the decision be sure you’re taking into account your individual predispositions and preferences. There are people out there who especially value the freedom associated with self-employment and wouldn’t trade it for the world. For others, it’s the stable work environment and payroll that work as a magnet, making them seek employment as in-house translators.
And, according to numbers, they are 75% of the population! On the other hand, isn’t the prospect of becoming your own boss or ability to work from home tempting enough to give it a go?
An in-house or a freelance translator?
Worrying about new clients.
As an in-house translator, you’ve got people to do it for you – or to be precise, your colleagues from advertising and marketing departments. Unlike freelancers, it’s enough if you’re just good at translating, you don’t need to think twice about any intrapersonal skills. All you’ve got to do is be good at your job and deliver your work on time. Freelancers, on the other hand, need to know a little bit about everything : advertising, marketing, psychology and sometimes accounting too. Some people may not be fit for working as a freelancer as they may lack the ability to push themselves forward.
In-house translators don’t have to waste their time building a relationship with a client. Retaining clients, keeping up with competitors or negotiating terms of your agreement can take much of your time and effort. The time you could spend doing what you do best – translating. On the other hand, for a freelancer, it can be a worthy investment. If you manage to land a recurring client who is satisfied with your services, is there anything more you could wish for, except for more such clients?
Money and perks.
Fixed income, paid sick leaves and vacation, insurance and other perks. such as computers and necessary software, are difficult to underrate. You don’t even have to worry about electricity, internet bills or paying the office rent. Once again, all you have to do, is to do your job. Freelancers usually need to take care of all of the above themselves.
When it comes to working hours, in-house translators often have to grin and bear it. If working on a set schedule is something you find particularly challenging, perhaps you should think about going freelance? You’d be able to sleep in and take as many breaks as you need, as long as you can keep the deadline. You will never lose your temper when stuck in a traffic jam while commuting to work. And hardly anything can top the comfort of completing a project in your pyjamas. 🙂
Who’s making decisions?
Unless in financial trouble, a freelancer can be more picky when it comes to accepting jobs. You can take the most profitable, the easiest or the most interesting ones. It's you who sets the criteria and conditions. Conversely, employed translators hardly ever have a say in which project they will eventually take on. So if it's your freedom and authonomy you value the most, it may turn out the "in-house or a freelance translator" dilemma is not really a dilemma at all.