Lesson 98: Holidays for freelance translators

Lesson 98: Holidays for freelance translators

A few weeks ago I had this idea that this year I’ll go on real holidays, you know, when you don’t check email and don’t think about work. But a few great opportunities came along and while I’m still planning a significantly reduced number of working hours, I’ll be working on some translation projects.

However, I’m hoping that you’ll be in a good position to take real, real holidays for freelance translators. With this in mind, I thought I’d share a checklist I found online a few weeks ago and that I tried to implement to prepare for my upcoming holidays. The full list is available here, and in the post below I wanted to add my ideas to what needs arranging and setting up specifically if you’re a freelance translator.

4 weeks ahead…

  • Let your clients know as far in advance as possible that you’ll be off and plan alternative solutions
  • Realign deadlines if necessary
  • Try to finish all big projects before leaving
  • Talk to your team & collaborators about what will happen while you’re gone
  • Find colleagues who could take on work from direct clients while you’re away

3 weeks ahead…

  • Plan maintenance and routine tasks such as invoicing and replying to emails
  • Draft a list of everything that could go wrong while you’re away and plan how you’re going to deal with it
  • Consider hiring a temporary virtual assistant to handle emails

2 weeks ahead…

  • Tie up loose ends and wrap up current gigs, where possible
  • Don’t accept any new projects, unless they’re really short ones
  • Choose a date when you’ll begin new projects that arise, which could be even before you return to make sure you can get back straight to work
  • Ask all prospects if they can wait until your return date
  • Plan your marketing actions for when you’re away

1 week ahead…

  • Implement marketing actions to take place when you’re away (schedule blog posts, release of articles, following-up with clients)
  • Create an auto-responder
  • Update contact forms with your return date
  • Set up an email blast to clients a few days before you return to remind them that you’re coming back

4 – 2 days ahead…

  • Talk to your clients again to wrap up projects, last changes, and remind them you’re going away
  • Set clear communication boundaries (e.g. that you won’t be checking your email during the day, but they can call you in emergencies)
  • Prepare your desk and to-do lists for return

Like I said, some of it will be happening in my case, too. You go ahead and make the most of it!

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