Whether or not you can “do this” 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 reporters. When I left that job, I went back to school for personal training, and I’d proofread in my free time after school. After I finished personal training school, I struggled in 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 on 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 did personal training, 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.”
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 🙂