Saturday, July 28, 2007

Making a Buck Off the Bust

The real estate bust. Not my bust. Geez, get your mind out of the gutter....
We've all heard that the real estate boom is over and that the repercussions are being felt throughout the economy. Bad news for a lot of folks, but not necessarily for me.
I've recently been offered (and accepted) a freelance paralegal-type assignment working on foreclosure related documents. The work itself is not so tough. At least it's all in English. The pay rate is decent and it seems the work is being offered on an as-much-as-I-want-when-I-want-it basis for now. It also counts as actual legal-related work experience, which could distinguish me from the crowd on my translation resume or when I talk to potential translation clients looking for a legal translator.
I earn more per hour translating, but I also have to use my brain a lot more. If I did either job on a full-time basis I suppose I'd have to decide which I prefer: more pay and harder work, or easier work and less money. Good thing I get bored so easily and am apparently incapable of doing any single job on a full time basis.
When I was at the law office getting the low down on the assignment one of the legal secretaries asked if freelance legal work is what I did full time. I was somewhat appalled as I heard myself explain that actually I teach and translate and am picking up this legal stuff as another side gig. Does the word "enough" not exist in my world view of employment? But when you freelance you are subject to the phenomenon that when it rains, it pours; and when it doesn't rain, you're stuck bone dry. Might as well make the most of the opportunities and make hay while the work pours and later on, when it dries up, kick back in the sunshine. Or something like that.
Many freelancers extol the benefits of multiple work sources and how it's really more secure than relying on just one employer. Looks like I'm taking that concept and expanding it to cover multiple fields. If the teaching somehow doesn't work out, I have the translating to fall back on. If the translating ended up driving me nuts (which it could), I could work as a freelance paralegal. This should probably make me feel secure in my ability to earn a living. Instead I think it just makes me sound scattered and twitchy. Which is dumb because it's not impossible that I could be good (or at least competent) at all of them.

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