Here it is, folks! The long-anticipated Where Are They Now?-style update you’ve all been waiting for!
We have had TONS of requests from our readers to hear what our “early grads” have been up to, so we asked them!
I am super stoked to, erm, reintroduce you to freelance proofreaders Jacki Berlo, Jennifer Hardman, Keisa Frugé, and Victoria Hubbard — four students we interviewed in early to mid-2015.
From Bali to Vietnam and Dallas, to Puerto Rico and Ecuador, you won’t believe what these PA grads have been up to — and where they’ve been going! — since we last heard from them.
4 Freelance Proofreaders Living the Life of Their Dreams
“Since my interview in July, I’ve traveled to Bali, Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia, back to Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Australia, and New Zealand — proofreading everywhere along the way! I have five regular clients and a few I’ve done one-time or short-term work for. It’s certainly not full-time work, but it’s exactly what I want right now! I haven’t done any marketing or client searching since September since living in Southeast Asia is so cheap and I wanted free time to explore all the amazing places I visited.
I just created a website this week since I’ll be returning to the U.S. in May and hope to add a client or two once I’m settled and not moving around so much. I signed up for the course exclusively to have some income during my yearlong trip, but I’m definitely going to keep at it for the foreseeable future! Before traveling and proofreading, my ‘day job’ was working with children with autism. I loved it, but it was physically exhausting and I’d hardly ever do anything after work because I was so tired. Once I’m back home, I plan to return to that field part time and supplement it with proofreading. (Luckily, the job is very conducive to working part time, and I have an old boss who’s happy to hire me back at any time. 🙂 ) I’ve never been someone who enjoys doing ANYTHING 40 hours a week, so I’m thrilled I found proofreading to complement my other career and think it will be a perfect balance!”
Read Jacki’s original interview.
“My husband and I have always wanted to move somewhere tropical. Thanks to Proofread Anywhere, we have been able to move to Puerto Rico. It has been an amazing experience. Being able to work from anywhere has truly helped us reach our goals.”
Read Jennifer’s original interview.
“Hi, all!! It’s been about a year since I graduated the course, and things have been going very well! I’m still proofing and enjoying ‘the life.’ My business and income have grown (yay!!!), and while my primary focus is still court transcripts, I’ve also had opportunity to expand into other areas, including screenplays and corporate marketing.
One of the things that I’ve really appreciated is the flexibility of this business. Recently, my husband was offered an amazing job opportunity that prompted my family and I to move from Atlanta to Dallas. As we all know, moving can be so stressful!! But being able to control my workflow has been awesome and such a blessing as we settle into this new place.
So all in all, this has been an amazing year, and I’ve learned a lot. Among other things, I’ve learned to pace myself during the crazy busy times and to enjoy the more peaceful times. I’ve learned that it’s okay to say no. And finally, I’ve learned that I’ll never stop learning. With gratitude, I look forward to exploring the possibilities of this business and am excited to see what God has in store! ?”
Read Keisa’s original interview.
“Update from abroad! Things are still pretty darn amazing, and proofreading’s a big part of that, so let me bring you up to speed on how work and life is a year and a half out from my training and a year into our adventure in Ecuador.
As so many probably dream and imagine, proofreading was a godsend to my itching feet. Wanting to travel is awesome; worrying about money isn’t. Proofreading bridges that gap and lets me work from wherever I want to. I’m not just talking the doctor’s office or the DMV or even my own couch…I’m talking worldwide!
My goal by June of ’15 was to be bringing in closer to $2k since I was generally around $1k when I left my “real” job in March. Currently, I average between $1,600 and $2,100 depending on what the month looks like and how much work I want to do. If we’re on adventures, I tend to unhook completely because trying to work while on a bus or in the middle of the jungle kind of defeats my purpose for traveling.
Essentially, I’m still working part time. Some weeks I work more than 20 hours; other weeks I barely crack 10. You learn to go with the flow and enjoy the downtimes. 🙂
I still have four or five main reporters with another three to five who send me work several times a month. Referrals have been how I find new clients. My reporters are happy to pass my name along and I’ve picked up about three monthly clients and one regular client through them. I can honestly say that I have the best reporters, and I love working with them. I even count several of those who have been with me since the beginning as personal friends now.
At the end of the day, proofreading is still everything I want it to be, and I love that it can change based on what I want my life to look like. If I want to back off in the future, I can do that. If I want to really put my nose to the grind and make it a job that can give me a full-time salary, I can do that too. The flexibility is what I love the most.
So that’s the update from the southern hemisphere! If you want to travel but also be able to make a little extra money to support your empanada or churrassco cravings (guilty!), I highly recommend the PA course. It’s in-depth with a variety of support options, not the least of which are your own peers. The best part is that with hard work and dedication on your part, it’ll take you wherever you want to go, even if that’s only to the doctor’s office or the DMV. :)”
Read Victoria’s original interview.
What else can I say? These ladies have completely rocked the proofreading world and show no signs of slowing down! And yes — we will be publishing more of these as time goes on.
Questions or comments for the fabulous freelance proofreaders featured in this post? Leave ’em some love below!
I love reading all these success stories! Thank you all! Can I ask any or all of you, how long and how difficult was it to find your first clients? Also, what was the hardest thing to adjust to when starting?
I have the same question…how did you get your first clients, and how long did it take? It seems like no one wants to take a chance on a freelancer. Thanks!!
I believe I had my first client within a week or so of completing the course. One great thing about this course is that it teaches you how to go about looking for clients and the details of marketing your business. It’s very straightforward, and if I can do it, anyone can do it. It’s just a matter of doing the work and then being patient, which was the hardest part for me when I started. I was just so excited and anxious to hit the ground running. But it was so worth it and now most of my new clients come from referrals, which is always very encouraging.
Thank you so much! It has really made me consider taking the course after seeing so much success.
What was the hardest part in getting clients? Did you feel prepared after the class was over?
Once we register/sign up for this course, will there be a phone number provided In case I have questions and want to talk to a real voice?
I’m a course grad and just wanted to take a moment to reassure you that the Facebook support group you get access to is AMAZING (I would highlight and bold that if I could). I really mean it. Any questions/concerns you may have, the PA family is ridiculously helpful. You’ll get all the support you need, I’m certain. I think my favorite thing when I started out was reading through certain threads that asked the same questions I had and soaking up the advice people gave. I felt at ease to jump in a join the community right away. 🙂
I am SO excited to read this! I haven’t even started, but I know I’ll love it 😀
Thanks to each of you for sharing your updates. I have a question for Victoria . . . you stated you’re averaging from “$1600-2100”. Is that your monthly average? Thanks!
Many of you mentioned being busy at different times or “unhooking”. Do you find that you lose reporters who want you to work for them by doing this? I’m not through the course yet so maybe this will be answered. Sorry if so 🙂
Once again, I always feel inspired after reading amazing posts such as the ones posted above. It truly helps to keep me on track and moving forward with my goals.
Thanks again for sharing!
Do most of the jobs just give you a 2-day advance notice? I really need to know this because I can’t operate on that kind of a schedule due to my regular freelance job. I’m so sad about this because I really want to do transcript proofreading. I can’t turn down my regular freelance jobs because that’s my main pay. The problem is I often get a call the day before or that morning for a freelance reporting request.
Just after I graduated, when I felt that most transcript proofreading jobs are 2-day advance jobs, I decided not to market myself to this segment. So after graduating from the course & loving it, I feel like I’m in limbo with transcript proofreading.
I wish there was a course on how to market myself to other proofreading markets. Maybe that’s what I really need. If so, I’d need guidance with that.
I have another question: don’t you lose your clients when you stop proofing for them at your convenience & then try to restart again when you’re able?
Thank you in advance to anyone who replies.
Out of curiosity, can you tell me what your main freelance job is?
Hi. I do freelance digital reporting. Doing it as full-time as possible here in the DC/VA/MD areas, it really needs to be supplemented. The pay isn’t that great for just this alone. – Judy
Another great thing about this business is that it is your own. You set your own turnaround times and guidelines. Personally, my regular turnaround is two business days. Anything less is considered rush and is charged at a higher rate. Some proofreaders do three-day turnaround. The choice is yours and you can turn down work if you need to; that’s your prerogative. As long as you do great work and communicate clearly with your clients, you will be fine.
I have been trying to find that “one thing” that works to supplement my income for some time now, and have wasted money on something that seems legit, but ends up being a scam. I am NOT saying this is a scam by any means, but convincing my husband to throw money at something that isn’t a “for sure”….well I think I may have my work cut out for me in that area. While I think I would be good at this job, it’s not something I ever thought of even doing before in my life….so therefore I’m unsure of myself and jumping in! HELP!!!
Hi, Tina. It sounds like you need to start with the free intro course, which was created to answer questions and concerns exactly like yours. Go here to sign-up.
Oh I have already been through it about a week ago! I am SUPER excited…just have to convince my husband and jump into it!
Thank you Caitlyn and Jackie, Keisa, Jennifer and Victoria for this blog post. It is just what I need to see and hear in order to go forward. I expect to communicate with all of you more as I begin my studies.
I am from India and I do believe that I have a pretty good of grasp of English vocabulary and punctuations. I am working as a freelancer with different clients at the moment. I want to take my earnings to the next level.
Out of curiosity, do you have any Indians who graduated from PA and became a success story?
People like to outsource to Indians but I am sceptical as to whether potential clients would hire Indians or not for this job?
Is there like a barrier that non-US proofreaders has to go through? If there is any, does PA take care of that.
Sorry for my long message.
Thanks in advance.
Hi, Sam! The course is geared toward American court reporters, and, as I’m sure you know, there are differences among the different branches of the English language. In addition to punctuation and some grammar differences, there are idioms, slang, and other differences peculiar to American English that you’d need to be familiar with to successfully proofread for American court reporters. (There are PA grads who live abroad and have achieved success. Read about that here: https://proofreadanywhere.com/what-if-i-dont-live-in-the-united-states/) But there is good news! Our Jumpstart program is an excellent way for non-American English speakers to grow and refine their skills. What’s even better is Jumpstart will give you the opportunity to test your skills with our new, in-depth Word Skills Test. This will do one of two things for you: 1) It’ll help you gauge if your skill level is a good fit for proofreading American transcripts, and 2) if it’s not, will help you save a LOT of money by letting you know that the full course might not be a good fit for you. Either way, you walk away a winner with new skills that will benefit you for a lifetime! For more information, go to proofreadanywhere.com/overview.
Did any of you create a website?
So are the only people doing well at this the ones who work for court reporters? I couldn’t see all of the comments above so I’m sorry if this was asked previously.
While we do have more transcript course graduates since the course has been our much longer, we do have a number of successful graduates from our General Proofreading course in our Student Success Interviews. Check them out here! https://proofreadanywhere.com/category/testimonials/student-spotlight/.
This article spoke to me on a spiritual level. Thank you for sharing your inspiring stories! I’m currently researchig iPads for the course and was wondering what specific iPad and apps that you (anyone) has found helpful in the course and on the job? Thanks!
I’m really glad that this article resonated with you! We highly recommend the iAnnotate app here at Proofread Anywhere, but others may have other helpful recommendations too.
Hi all, I am thinking of taking this course, but, I read that there are more proofreaders than jobs. Is this true? Thanks in
As someone who has been proofreading transcripts for about 18 months, I can say that there is not a lack of work out there! 🙂
I am considering this field as a second income source. I love to read anything and can pick up errors quick. BUT what would happen if I were to miss an error on a transcript?
Good question! Check out this post: https://proofreadanywhere.com/missed-some-errors-heres-how-to-handle-it-with-grace/.
I am considering taking the course as well. I noticed that much of the content and comments are from 2015. It seems that most grads felt that the best place to get support while trying to get new clients after graduation from the course was on the Facebook page. I’m a little concerned that the Facebook page for graduates is no longer active and that there isn’t much support now for students starting out now in 2018. I know that part of the class deals with submitting practice transcripts to be corrected by PA- is that still being done?
The Facebook group is still very active and just as amazing and supportive as ever! 🙂 We don’t look over the practice transcripts, but we do grade a midterm transcript and a final transcript. In order to graduate, you have to get passing grades on both.
It's so exciting to read these stories! I recently purchased the course with the intent of retiring in about a year, and having finished the course by then. Reading these makes me want to consider retiring a bit earlier!! Thank you for sharing your journey. It's so inspiring!
That’s so exciting, Deleath!! Welcome aboard 🙂
I would very much like to take the Free 7-Day Intro Course. What I'm really curious about is the cost to learn how to Proofread?