After working for two years as a project manager and in-house translator, I decided that it was high time for me to change (partially) my life and move forward. Therefore, I resigned from my in-house position and I started my “career” as freelance translator. Some time after taking this decision and actually start working, I thought it could be interesting and a good idea to share my thoughts about it and the reasons behind my slight change of path to maybe help other students and professionals to clear their minds and, why not, have a fresh start. So, as a result, I decided to put together some sort of a series of articles, going through the reasons to change career, how to start out as a translator or professional, and how it was going for me after one, three and six months, with the hope that my journey could help those that find themselves in my exact same position.
First things first, why creating a problem for myself and leaving in-house employment (il tanto venerato POSTO FISSO) to live my working and personal life in the darkness of uncertainty? Well, there are many, many reasons and here below, I will try to go through them and explain them making some sense.
More in depth, the first reason can be identified as the fact that I really wanted to be and work how I liked it: this does not mean avoid working, because if you know me you’ll know that I am a very hard working person, but to work following my logic, and sometimes the common sense, therefore leaving behind guidelines and rules that I did not choose or on which I did not have a say at all. Another important reason for me was that I could actually manage my time, basing my tasks and working schedule on my level of productivity. Saying this, it’s important to consider that every person has different levels of productivity at different hours. For example, if working in an office, employee A takes an hour to perform a task and employee B takes half an hour to go through the same task, depending on the employer, the work and performance of the two employees will be perceived differently by the boss and maybe employee B will look busier and therefore more serious and hard working in the eyes of his manager.
Thirdly, I really wanted the power to matter and to take decisions that were relevant to my work and performance, of course taking the responsibilities related to my actions.
Finally, it goes without saying that flexibility, being able to go home more often and diversify what I do were all on the “go for it” side; so in the end, I just wanted to give it a shot and try to see if it was as cool as everyone was making it.
On the other side, when taking such a decision, it’s important to consider all possibilities and variables, keeping in mind that every “dream job” has its downfalls. In this case, regarding the possible freelance career that was in front of me, the issues were many and here below you will see which ones were the scariestto me.
The lack of stability, for example, was an important point to consider; no routine, no places to be at, no timetables can create problems and disrupt many people’s balance and personal stability. As I consider myself pretty self-sufficient and I am very much able to manage my day and create a set list of tasks to perform, I thought that this should not be a great problem, as I always enjoyed this kind of freedom in my student life too.
On top on this, loneliness, responsibilities and abilities that maybe are not within everyone’s comfort zone, such as being an accountant, PR and marketing manager at the same time could be considered an issue; however, here again, to me they were not a threat, but looked more like a challenge that could help me diversify my job and make it more interesting on many level, being therefore able to use differently my brain.
To end this piece about the reasons that pushed me to have a career change and actually making a big jump like this, I must say that when I was writing down the theme and important things to mention for this article, including the reasons for not going freelance, I could only keep thinking about the positive sides. Hence, I believe that for now it’s looking like I have made the right decision, although it’s very important to mention that this choice may not be for everyone and I highly suggest that anyone who’s thinking about doing something like this should take a moment and, with calm, writing down negative and positive reasons that could influence the decision process, but also finally their lives.