To be a professional ... you have to pay.

Benjamin Franklin 1767
Benjamin Franklin 1767 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Recently my (paid -> I got 6 month of paid membership for participating in a group buy) Proz membership has lapsed. With it (naturally?) my statue as "certified Pro" has be revoked too. That is, if you want to be a professional, you have to pay for it. Sounds like a bribe to a mafia gang to me. Well, anyway, I am back into the minors - just another no-name amateur ...
But I cannot afford to give donations to people who most likely already have a 100 times more than I do. And since there is practically 0% "return on investment", spending money to get NOTHING = is to my mind a donation.

The regular, automated mail inevitably coming from Proz at theses times reads (partially) :
"Thank you for being a member of ProZ.com. As a full member of the web's largest translator community, you are part of the network of translators that is changing the industry.
Your ProZ.com membership subscription is also a personal investment that provides powerful ways to meet new clients and expand your business, to improve your work, to network and to have fun."

Well ... I have been a Proz member for something like +12 years. This includes a total of about 20 months paid membership AND recently even a few months as a "Certified Pro". Here I checked my "peers" -> apparently I was the one and only such Pro on the entire network in the language pair Japanese-German.

BUT ... during this entire time I got exactly ONE job = worth about 36.2 Euro.
If I would have paid the membership fee all the time, I would have PAID 1,440 USD in order to get 36 USD back.
Not counting all the time (there is this very strange notion that "time is money" -> The phrase was coined by Benjamin Franklin in his Advice to a Young Tradesman (1748)) and effort invested, which did not produce any results either.

According to a personal communication I had several years ago with the founder of Proz, the membership is supposed to pay for itself very soon. Appears like wishful thinking to me.
I take the liberty of quoting:
"Japanese translators enjoy the most favorable ratio between clients and translators at ProZ.com. For 90 dollars (today it is 120 USD and scheduled to be increase on July 1) -- 10,000 yen! -- we offer preferential exposure. A single client was worth thousands of dollars to me as a translator. If I were to meet one client per year, or one client every ten years per ProZ.com, the membership would pay for itself several times over.
I am surprised that you see it differently."

Probably my calculation showing a 36 USD return on investment on 1,400 USD is wrong (I was never good at mathematics) and I am too stupid to market myself properly = so this is all my fault ...

still, I have the greatest difficulties in seeing that "membership subscription is also a personal investment that provides powerful ways to meet new clients and expand your business"

Naturally - at least in my experience - the same thing also applies to all other major "translator sites" I have tried over the past 15 years ......

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