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What if I have a 40-hour-a-week job?

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Whether or not you can take a Proofread Anywhere course plus a full-time job just depends on how much time you have and how much proofreading you want to do. (The course is at your own pace, too, in case you were wondering!)

When I first started, I was working full-time in an office and would proofread at lunch, or when I got home at night, for one or two court reporters. When I left that job, I went back to school to be a certified personal trainer, and I’d proofread in my free time after school.

After I finished personal training school, I struggled with how I wanted to do things with my new certification — did I want to spend a lot of money marketing, did I want to work at a gym that took 50% of my earnings, did I want to spend all day driving around to clients’ houses? Long story short, I decided that no, I didn’t! I didn’t like having to be in a certain spot at a certain time, all the time.

So, one day, I heard from one of my two clients that she wouldn’t be able to use me anymore because her agency was requiring her to use one of their proofreaders, and I thought HEY, I want a piece of that pie!

So, I inquired about doing proofreading work for them, and one thing led to another…and another… and another… and before I knew it, I had full-time income proofreading from home! I still worked as a fitness professional, but now it was on the side. My proofreading work was about 15-20 hours a week at the time, but my income had surpassed what I was earning at my 40+ hours-a-week job.

Ask yourself: Do I want to do this on the side to supplement my regular job? Do I hate my job and want to take a break to pursue something new? Do I want to find something that will help me work remotely, or while the kids are in school?

If you want to make some money on the side, the same techniques work, whether you want a few clients or a lot of clients. You just get a few clients first, see how you like it, see how much work it is, and if you want more, go get more. Sometimes, though, the “more” comes and finds you! Often, clients don’t ask you before referring you. They assume you’d like more work — and especially when you’re starting out, you do, so this is awesome.

I do recommend, though, if you want a LOT of work fast, get plugged in with an agency. No better way to get referrals than to get on the good side of an agency. What do you say to them? I tell you in the course, of course ;-)!! It’s all there, I promise. And if you find that I’ve missed something, I hereby promise to fill in any gaps.

Check out this video interview with Victoria Hubbard, one of the first students to take my course, as we discuss her experience as a new proofreader. Oh, and let me mention up front — Victoria still works a full-time job, along with four court reporters she proofreads for!

Here is Victoria’s student success story written interview.


February 2015. Victoria reports:

I’ve gotten one or two reporters inquiring from [forum], but most of the rest have come from various and sundry […] groups. The first time I posted […], I didn’t get anything. I posted again about 3-4 weeks later and got 20+ inquiries within the day.  Since then, I’ve basically accepted referrals and I’ve garnered 3 reporters who regularly give me 2-300+ pages a week, 2-3 who give me 1-200 pages a week, and I’ve got about 2 others who use me regularly throughout the month for one-off jobs.”

March 2015:

Victoria quit her full-time job on March 12, 2015. She is leaving for Ecuador on March 26, and has been working a max of 12-14 hours weekly and has been earning $1100 per month for the last three months since starting in September. She is confident (and so am I!) this number will increase, since she no longer has to work 40+ hours a week at a “real” job 🙂

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  1. So excited to take this course. So far, all of the information i have read i have liked. I also work a full-time job, however, i am looking forward to supplementing my income. I have much to do for my future….
    Thank you for the great videos.

  2. I am 60 years old and have a 40 hrs a week job, I am looking for a supplemental job that will not require my presence in an office settings. I find proofreading a perfect kind of job for me. My only question is am I gonna be too old for this. Right now my full time job is a doctor’s office/billing manager.

    1. That all depends on you, Elizabeth!! At 60, you’re NOT too old, but if your mind is telling you otherwise, it may be time to check it at the door 😉 We can learn new things at any age. Transcript proofreaders can be excellent no matter what their age.


      I say this because I am 59 years young and am going to court reporter school!
      BRING IT ON!

      No one sees your face while proofreading. They just need a great product that’s delivered on time. 😉

  3. The thought of earning income for proofreading has me thoroughly intrigued! For years, I’ve had a knack for catching errors and inconsistencies and now, proofreading items for friends is sometimes how I treat myself for completing less-desireable tasks. To realize I could do this as a living (and from home or anywhere else, at that!) has possibly changed my life forever… I’m seriously considering your course, Caitlin. Thank you for sharing Victoria’s testimonial.

    1. You are so welcome! I am so glad to hear it has inspired you! The world is at your fingertips. We just have to recognize we’ve got the power to make something out of it 🙂

  4. Thanks for this blog. It would be great to start out doing this while having another job, then when my business has grown enough, leave the away from home job. I hope I can scrounge together the money to take your course soon!

    1. If you’re willing to put in the work/time it takes to truly master the skill, the course will deliver all the tools and knowledge you’ll need 🙂

  5. Caitlin,
    I am so interested in this possibility, but my biggest concern is marketing. I’ve tried other work at home jobs, and I would have to say that marketing myself and my product was always where I fell short. I read about the overwhelming numbers of proofreaders out there, and fear I will fall through the cracks because I won’t be able to catch any of the work out there.

    1. Hi Lynne! It’s hard to market something if you don’t believe in it, or if you don’t allow that product or service to become part of you. If you decided to enroll in the course, you’d be committing to mastering the skill and by the end, it will become part of who you are. It’s not about you, doin’ proofreading, it’s about you, BECOMING a proofreader. Assuming the identity. Know that you have to master the skill *before* you can have the confidence to sell it. Trust me when I tell you, the course is very thorough and very intense. If you follow it the way it’s laid out and don’t take any shortcuts, you will have MUCH more confidence in yourself, which makes it a snap to market. Not to mention the course goes over exactly how to market your skill — I don’t make any of that information public, though, because then I’d have a bunch of people trying to follow my marketing guidelines without bothering with mastering the skill. Mastering the skill is the key.

  6. I am wondering if this work can be done as effectively on a Kindle Fire HD vs the iPad? I have a Kindle Fire HD. Also, which model iPad would you recommend getting started with if one is concerned about budgeting with purchasing the course and the tablet.

  7. What’s with the going to Ecuador thing I see going on? I read you are going (or already went maybe) and Victoria as well a few months ago. I live here, what’s bring you?

  8. Great information in the video. Particularly about the difference between ‘editing’ and ‘proofreading’. That was very helpful! I’m struck by the juxtaposition that most of us who enjoy this type of work are probably introverts who like working autonomously in a quiet environment on our own terms and yet we still need to challenge or balance that with ‘putting ourselves out there’ for the marketing piece. As an Actor who auditions, I’ve accepted that the ‘rejection’ is usually not about me but, about what the other person(s) is/are looking for – that mindset allows for not taking it personally and not becoming discouraged.

  9. I have yet to find my question elsewhere, so I’ll take a stab at it here. You say the course takes 2-4 months to complete – do you have an estimated hours per day or week to attain a 2-month goal? I work full time but have a lot of down time at the office. Maybe it would be frowned upon to work on this while I’m there, but I’m wondering how quickly I can complete the course if I put in an hour or so on my lunch break and then some time after work. Thanks for any input 🙂

    1. I wish that question had an easier answer 🙂 It just depends on what you can get done in each hour’s time. Students who’ve been able to work on the course as their full-time “job” have finished in as little as five weeks; however, we truly recommend spending MORE time as opposed to LESS time on the course to allow your skills to really develop. The goal is not to finish as quickly as possible; the goal is to become an excellent proofreader so you can do the highest work for your clients.

      1. Honestly, I think 2 months might be quite a lofty goal haha. Of course, I don’t want to just rush through but was trying to get an idea of how much time others have put into it before completion and being able to push into their marketing and securing clients: if someone had said “I spent 4 hours a day on the course and finished in 8 weeks” type of scenario. Obviously it’s individually based, but I was just wondering if anyone had put it into concrete terms before. Thanks for your reply, and I think I’ll be signing up soon 🙂

  10. Ok Caitlin,

    Its day 7 and I have read, enjoyed and learned from and understood everything you have said. I am in Kenya (do you know where that is on the world map? (OK, I will give you a hint, that’s where all those world-conquering marathoners come from!! that’s if you are interested in athletics.) So how do I get clients from your base?

    1. That’s all included in the course material 🙂 I can’t divulge it publicly. We actually require students to pass all quizzes and exams before allowing access to that content. If it’s just out there for everyone to use, people who aren’t able to do quality work will attempt to find work with that information. That doesn’t make us look very good.

  11. I have debated about starting many, many times. I have one question I hoped to get answered. How are people paid for their services? Having been an independent contractor as a custodial worker in the past, I really don’t want to have to deal with self-employment tax and possibly reporting sales tax if I can avoid it. Thanks in advance.

    1. You’re an independent contractor paid individually by the client. You will need to deal with self-employment tax (TurboTax makes that really easy, though)… I don’t think there is any need to charge sales tax, but that could depend on the state and if the client you’re working with is also in your state.

  12. Hello Caitlin
    So sorry not to be able to contact you soon, as I was a little busy. Thank you for your 7 days course. I have printed it and have been able to give just a bird’s eye view.
    I am curious to know some of these questions. In the beginning how should I contact the client ? How can I know what kind of translation works I can do – articles, documents or books ? And how much knowledge do I have to translate them properly ? Can you help me by providing the translated sample works together with the original matter for my reference and guidance ?
    By the way how would they pay me; of course I have a savings a/c. Moreover there is the bank commission and govt. Tax involved in the payment received from abroad.
    Hope you haven’t been bored with my inquiries.

  13. Awesome course. I’m ever so glad i took it because it has opened my eyes to a lot of things i did not realize before. However, I clicked to watch the video but couldn’t find it. I don’t know if it is the network which is an issue in my country Nigeria.

    1. Hi, Esther. I’m glad you enjoyed the course! I’ve checked the video on my end and it is playing fine. Shucks that you can’t watch it! Sorry about that.

  14. What is the content of court reports? Is it interesting work in itself?

    1. Court transcripts are the transcripts of the legal proceedings. It could be a deposition or a trial or hearing. There are several types of proceeding that court reporters record. It probably depends on what you find interesting. 🙂

  15. Caitlin knows of my skepticism about investing in even the Basecamp. She has had to deal with my anxiety that I am buying a pig in a poke through a couple of angst-ridden emails. This video may have turned the corner for me. Getting to see someone’s face and hear their enthusiasm rather than just reading a comment made a big impression!

  16. I REALLY appreciate the idea that you don’t divulge the marketing information and materials until after we pass. It seems to show a genuine interest in giving us tools to proofread WELL rather than just paying you money for you to mail us a certificate. Seems very legit to me.

    1. Agreed, Kassandra! At PA, we believe mastering the skill should always come first. The reason why successful proofreaders are successful is because they take the time to learn valuable, practical skills that make them marketable to clients.

  17. I also appreciate the amount of information that is given so that you can really think if you should plunge into this field. From going through the material, I was able to come up with a plan for how I am going to transition into working from home. I want to clear up some bills and save to cover my living expenses whilst in training and getting clients. Thereafter I can plunge in one time so that within to 4 to 6 months I can leave my current contract job.

    This year 2018 is my year to start transitioning into working from home. Traffic is getting horrible in my home country here in the Caribbean so I want to find something that I can do at my pace.

    I am the introvert type so working alone and doing long nights will not be a problem. Doing computer programming gives you that kind of discipline. I really want to make a career change.

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