The idea is to have fun taking it, but also be honest about ourselves and, hopefully, spot improvement areas so as to boost our work/life balance.
Please feel free not to take this test if you are looking for more serious questions and results to balance your facts.
1. A friend calls to say she’ll be throwing a second party to celebrate her birthday tomorrow evening. You…
A. Say she can count on you, of course… Then you take pains at figuring out how to finish work on time after the party.
B. Say you’ll be there and then call with a last-minute excuse so as to stay at home, working, right where you belong.
C. Say you’d love to go but, unfortunately, you’re stuffed with work for the week, so you really can’t make it this time.
D. Say you are really busy and, by the way, that one, all-night-long party she gave last week should have been enough anyway (Grow up!)
2. The school dean calls home. When you pick up the phone, she says your child feels terribly sick and that he keeps asking for his “mamma/papa” (you). The voice sounds a little bit concerned. You…
A. Tell the school dean you’ll be there in fifteen minutes.
B. Tell the school dean you couldn’t possible be there because you’re in the middle of a project deadline, but that your partner will take care of the situation.
C. Tell the school dean you appreciate her concern, but that you’re working at present, so could she please tell her child that and make sure he finally understands?
D. Tell the school dean to put your son/daughter on the phone and when she does, explain to your kid you can't be there right now, but you'll send someone (a relative, a friend or the woman next door) to pick them up a.s.a.p.
3. A friend colleague sends a desperate e-mail begging you to help him finish a translation project they just can’t deal with anymore. The deadline is tight, for a change, and the pay is not bad, but you’ve already got family plans for the evening and it’s Sunday. You…
A. Accept the request and pay your excuses to your family.
B. Accept the request on the condition that your friend colleague will do the same for you whenever you happen to need the favor paid back in the coming weeks.
C. Refer your friend colleague to another colleague whom you suggest will probably be free on a Sunday evening and perhaps won't mind working late.
D. Accept the request as long as your friend colleague pays you a rush fee plus the next meal you two get to share in the future.
4. A potential client sends you an e-mail with a brief description of what he needs and several questions on how the job will be done. He wants to know whether you can send a budget asap and what payment method you usually prefer. You are excited, because this could turn into a big direct client for your business. You...
A. Write a long e-mail answering all his questions in due detail and explain that you’d be happy to discuss the job in further detail on a tête-à-tête basis, at his earliest convenience.
B. Write a relatively long e-mail asking a few questions yourself, such as what his ideal deadline would be, whether he’s already worked with a professional translator before and what his payment terms are.
C. Write a relatively short e-mail saying you’d be happy to hear more about his request and answer his questions by phone or during an in-person meeting, which should not last more than 30 minutes or so because, hey, you’re already busy anyways.
D. Write a relatively short e-mail explaining that you are fully booked at the moment but you’d be happy to refer them to a reliable colleague who’s currently looking for more direct clients.
5. An elderly neighbour with whom you’re not exactly on the best of terms rings the bell just when you’re about to finish editing your translation and send it back to your client. You are confident he can wait, but then you hear him coughing too loudly and wonder whether he might be unwell. You…
A. Close the blinds, turn the music down and simply pretend you’re not home.
B. Open the door, briskly check he’s all right and offer your excuses for not letting him in—you’re just so busy working right now, bye-bye, hope you’ll get better soon!
C. Open the door, ask him how he feels and whether he can hang on a sec so that you can finally, finally finish this project you’ve been sweating blood about.
D. Open the door yawning, hardly recognise his face because you haven’t been out for days and ask him how he feels, while cautiously dialling 911 when he can't see you (who is this stranger?).
6. A PM you very much enjoy working with calls home to offer you a project. That's weird, for years you've been communicating through e-mail... As she begins to talk about the project details, your heart sinks. Subject: Eye-surgery. Wordcount: 7,500 words approx. Deadline: Tomorrow, EOD. You are a financial translator, you've never done Medicine before and are little interested in exploring the field right now, but this PM sounds rather desperate and she really, really needs you for the project. After all, you know you're the best translator she's known for years! It’s Friday, 5:00 p.m. You...
A. Say you’ll think about it, then call five minutes after and say you’ll be happy to help, as usual.
B. Express your concern about the deadline, especially given the subject matter, so eventually you persuade the PM to give you until Sunday SOB to deliver the project.
C. Say you feel flattered by the offer, but Eye-surgery is far from what you usually do, and kindly explain you're not working weekends, though you might make an exception based on budget and deadline next time.
D. Say you’d love to help, but you're going on a getaway with your family this weekend, so perhaps if she'd called in advance, you would've managed to reschedule your trip.
PLENTY OF As
Well, you’re obviously a “Yes-to-everything-that-comes-out-unexpectedly” freelancer. You seem to be in need of more planning ahead so as to start prioritising and putting your effort into what really needs to be done and what can take "No" for an answer with no serious damage to the rest of the world. Try to be more realistic about the projects you take and your own personal life and leisure. Before saying “Yes” to any unexpected event, ask yourself: Would I really gain anything extraordinary from this? Do I need to say “Yes”? What outcome can I expect from my agreeing to it? What outcome can I expect from saying “No”?
PLENTY OF Bs
You have enough self-control to give quick answers when all that people need is that, a quick response to their request. However, you also tend to disappoint yourself and others by not keeping all the promises you make or simply evading responsibility. You sometimes find it hard to say “No” to the kind of things you wouldn’t exactly enjoy doing, but you’re aware of this and you keep hoping you can improve on it… some day. Try to be less anxious about contingencies, respect your timing to go over the situation and consider the possible consequences of that quick response you’re about to utter. Sometimes it’s better to take a minute or two to reflect on the big picture and then make your next move. Ask yourself: Would it be honest of me to say “Yes”? Would it be fair to ask someone else to do this? Would saying “No” lead to some sort of irremediable damage to myself and/or others? How would they react if I asked the same favour of them?
PLENTY OF Cs
You are always a mixed blessing, always sitting on the fence. You put yourself and your job first, no matter what, and you feel that’s just how it should be, since you're so busy as a freelancer you can't be there for everyone else when they need you, right?
Perhaps you could try slowing down by taking short breaks in between your work routine. Maybe 10 to 15-minute breaks would do in between long-lasting projects. Otherwise, you’ll always end up swallowed by work and your comfort zone: home, sweet home. Do you always have to prioritise your job? Are your reasons even reasonable? What are the kind of situations that would require you not to do so? Can you brace yourself for the hard moments (a relative is suddenly in hospital, your child needs you, a neighbour trips in front of your house) so as to have an action plan when they happen? Having an action plan to briskly react to unexpected event could actually save you and those in need of your help a great deal of time and effort.
PLENTY OF Ds
You’re not the kind of person who’d agree to do or help or act in a way that may benefit others if that means hardly any benefits for you. Yet no pain, no gain, right?
You’re quick at assessing the pros and cons on almost every situation and you're comfortable saying "No" when you fee like that's the right thing to do. You tend to adopt the “The end justifies the means” attitude, which can sometimes damage your reputation as a freelancer or even your family ties. Try to be less self-centred, think twice before you make the next move. Life happens only once and we’re meant to live it.