Many of my friends and neighbours ‘envy’ me for working from home – that’s a fact. They know that what I do is both varied and interesting, that I can pick and choose my hours to a certain extent, and that when the weather is amazing and others are chained to a desk somewhere, I am outside working happily under my parasol in the back garden, smelling the flowers and feeling the sun on my legs.
There is, of course, another side to this idyll. Freelance work can be irregular, although in my case, I do have a raft of daily, weekly and monthly customers to rely on. Furthermore, one has all the hassle of sorting out and submitting one’s own tax returns to HMRC. This means keeping an eye on business expenditure, saving receipts and logging incoming and outgoing funds, on top of the daily administration that running a successful business and dealing with an extensive client base naturally necessitates. Then there’s all the tests that new clients submit new linguistic freelancers to all the time – sometimes they can be lengthy and quite difficult to complete on top of the regular workload.
But the elephant in the room is something completely different, which rarely gets mentioned, but which I think is what makes or breaks a successful freelancer – motivation. Whenever I have looked for someone to assist me with my work, which is something that I increasingly need to think about as volumes get higher, I don’t judge potential partners purely on the strength of their linguistic ability (although they have to be able, of course). I look for someone who doesn’t need to break away and watch telly, someone who can get up in the morning and will be visible on Skype for a quick confab, someone who is responsive, quick and conscientious. Someone who delivers on time, every time. Someone who always answers their email (politely). Someone with motivation.
People can always be trained linguistically, but I find that if the will is not there, no matter how hard you try, you will eventually lose your way! On the other side of the coin, you only have to get a few really motivated, creative people together in the same room and great things always seem to happen. So here’s a lavender and liquorice tea (today’s tipple) to competent, responsive people all over the world who have their own motors going and who are the mainstay of growing organisations everywhere…
If you think that you have what it takes to work from home as a British English localisation expert, then please get in touch, using the form on this website.