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Service agreements, a good way to preserve your self-esteem

The concept of self-esteem is rooted in two basic human needs: the sense of belonging and the need for power and recognition. We build our sense of belonging in leisure, in our love life, as well as with our children, friends, and colleagues. All humans must receive a certain level of affection, attention, and love from their friends and relatives. We fulfill the need for power and recognition by surrounding ourselves with people who recognize that, from time to time, we have important things to say. We all feel the need to be competent, exert some sort of influence over others, and know that we can win in certain situations. When we fail to fulfill these two needs, our self-esteem takes a beating. What are the signs that this is happening? We have low self-confidence as well as low self-esteem. “Do others like me?”, “Am I competent?”, “Do I feel important?” The translation market is currently going through some turmoil. Over the past two years, the rules in place have changed considerably, namely due to certain decisions made by federal authorities, which resulted in lower rates and shorter deadlines. Not to mention that an increasing number of computer software and applications are now required to meet client needs.


Do large clients call upon your services more sporadically? Are you being asked for availabilities in the evening, during weekends, or even at night, at the same rate and without guaranteeing any work? Are you wondering how you will make it to your son’s basketball game next Saturday and organize that dinner with friends you’ve been pushing off? Make things easier on yourself and draft a Service Agreement in which you indicate your regular business hours (e.g., 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.), that you work on a first-come-first-served basis, and that you can block specific time slots for clients who can guarantee work. You’ll see that you’ll develop a deeper sense of belonging; consequently, your need for recognition will be nourished and you will develop a higher self-esteem!

Translation: Traduction-Québec

Illustration: Studio Steve Bergeron

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