This statement causes widely varied, sometimes diametrically opposed sentiment in stock-exchange speculators, namely – freelances. Some give a dry smile and get rid of offers like that right away; others continue to look for orders, setting aside the ones that ask for a test for later. There are those who take the challenge and do a paid or a free test. Those who take the test can, in turn, be divided into subcategories: there are the novices, who take the test just to try their hand at it; there are also experienced professionals, participating in a large bid. We all choose freely how we handle our business; after all, “free” is the root of “freelancing.” There are certain key points to be noted when you look at the expediency of taking a test assignment.
On the one hand, doing a test assignment certainly takes time, which can undoubtedly be written on the liability side. However, if you view your career of a freelance translator as a business – turning your liabilities into your assets is the very art of doing your own business. So what will be the assets, once you spend the time on a test translation?
First of all, such an assignment, well done and carefully proofread several times, is a freelancer’s business card. There is no other way to advertise yourself online as a translator: neither a master-level resume nor the best of offers can come even close to a test translation for professional potential. Unlike a retailer of physical goods, a translator provides intellectual services. In this case a written translation is the end product. If you look at the translation trade as an online marketplace, you will see that not a single market operator would pass up a chance to demonstrate exhaustively the product they sell. In this case, such product is the test assignment.
Yet another, and probably the most important, advantage to be gleaned from completing a test assignment is that it can be permanently stored online. By doing a search on a global network, potential clients can follow links to the account whose owner has posted a test translation. This promotes a significant growth of the client base on the global scale, an increased work load and, consequently, financial growth.
As a rule, the test deadline is not too soon and its volume is not too large. A professional can do an initial evaluation of translation quality in 250-500 words. It is important that as part of this service other translators can give an objective opinion on the test assignment. Bear in mind that any freelancer can both post their work here to be evaluated and evaluate translations of colleagues.
You can view taking test assignments as investing in stocks: samples of high-quality work and positive client reviews are the most valuable capital a freelance translation stock-exchange speculator can have.
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