So you’ve booked a flight, a hotel room, your suitcases are already packed and all you can think of is sweet holidaymaking on some sandy beach. That’s great! There’s no denying that the prospect of holidays is exciting, but are you sure you haven’t forgotten about anything? Why don’t you go through the list below, to make sure you have prepared your business for your absence. There are a couple of things you should remember about before going on holidays.
5 things a freelancer might want to take care of before going on holidays
1) Notify your clients ahead of time
The most important step is to inform your clients about your holiday plans. A good practice is to do it ahead of time, so that they know within which dates your business will remain closed. That way they will have time to prepare to the fact that you won’t be able to respond to their e-mails or take on new assignments. It also gives you (and your clients) time to deal with urgent matters before you turn your phone off and enjoy the well-deserved bliss.
If you’re working in an office or co-work with other translators, notify colleagues about your holidays. Prior to your vacations, ask if there are any matters that will require your involvement in the near future. Make sure there is plenty of time to close the current stages of projects and give your co-workers a chance to prepare for your absence.
2) Find an emergency contact for when you’re away
It may well happen that despite having been notified ahead of time, your clients will still have some urgent jobs that need to be taken care of. What then? You can just shrug and say that you too deserve some time-off, after all. But what if you fear that by turning down an offer you could lose an important client? Well, perhaps there is some way around it. If you know a fellow translator whom you find reliable, perhaps you could ask them to take care of urgent matters for you. Then, when they go on holiday, you can simply return the favour.
3) Set up an automatic bounce-back message
Set up an automatic reply to notify your contacts that you are away with no/limited access to your mailbox. Make sure you include information about when exactly you’re coming back. As a result, when your clients try to reach you, they won’t be annoyed by the lack of response on your part. If it’s possible, include contact information to someone who can replace you in case of emergency.
4) Take care of your bills before departure
Remember to deal with your finances before going on holidays. If you pay your bills prior to your departure, it will be easier for you to actually enjoy your time-off. Take some time to schedule your payments to avoid unpleasant surprises and awkward situations. If you’re subcontracting projects to others, make sure you pay them too. All in all, you would expect your partners and clients do the same for you, right?
5) Clean up your desk
The last thing you want to see after you come back from the summer bliss is a messy pile of documents on your desk or an unwashed cup that started growing new life while you were away. Such a sight won’t make switching back to the work mode any easier. That’s why, before going on holiday, take one last look at your workplace. Try to leave it in a state you would like to find it when you return. Throwing out unnecessary papers, cleaning the monitor or arranging the office accessories will take a little while, but can make all the difference when you’re back and expected to resume your duties.