“Working nine to five”

Working nine to five … ” I’m sure everyone remembers that beautiful song by Dolly Parton.  Today, I’m not obviously writing an article about the song, but about my work and about my “nine to five” job.

As an independent freelance translator, I am my own boss and I make my own rules. Some may think that is a good thing, as I work from home, I don’t need to commute and I can be more flexible with my working hours. It may be that way with other colleagues or even to other freelance workers but it is certainly not the case with me.

Since I’ve started my career, I’ve always been very proud of my work ethics and my discipline. This was something it was told when I was doing my Translation Course and it stayed with me forever. I’m working from home, but I should look at myself as a company, because I am a “company”, I provide services to clients and I must take myself and my work seriously in order to win the clients’ trust and respect.

I follow I very strict timetable everyday, so I can be at work ready for my clients. I don’t commute, it is a fact, I don’t, but I still get up at 6.30am in order to do everything I need to do (including have some time with my 2-year old daughter) before going to work.  I believe being this disciplined is very beneficial. Not only I work at my most productive hours but I also offer a more reliable service to my clients.

If a job is offered and I’m available for work I can get that job, if not, the client will pass it on to a colleague who is available at the time. First arrived, first served. I work from 10am to 5pm because it’s the best time for me.  My work requires a lot of concentration and I need to be fully alert to be able to concentrate and do my job, it wouldn’t be feasible for me to work at night for example, because I would be too tired to be able to concentrate and produce work with the same quality, and for me that is paramount.

I’m very focused on customer service, I always put myself in my clients’ shoes. Of course I do not agree, or practice, crazy unrealistic turnovers. I don’t think that is beneficial for the quality of the work, but I agree that if I get a job today and I accept that job, I must be prepared to do it in a timely fashion, because that’s what my client would expect of me. I believe this attitude has made me gain my clients’ trust and that’s why they keep coming back.

I also think is very important to keep a balance in life. I try to keep that balance between working life and family life, in my particular case I chose not to work weekends, because I believe it is very important to take some time for myself and to be a mother to my daughter. This is also very important for me.

Some colleagues have totally different routines and choose totally different paths. At the end of the day, each one of us choose what is best for them. There’s no right or wrong here. Perhaps, for me, I would say that discipline is a very important part of my lifestyle and my work.

Cátia

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