Ginny* prefers to remain anonymous, so we won’t be including any of her screenshots on her success story, and we won’t be able to include her on our reporter feedback page. We thank her for contributing this fabulous success story anyway, and we congratulate her for using the skills she learned in the course to completely change a scary life situation.
*name has been changed to protect privacy
I grew up in India, Argentina, Japan, and various areas around the US.
I’ve been a Gin-of-All-Trades in diverse industries – business, accounting, finance, legal, insurance, human resources, workers’ compensation, and medical.
I made the mistake for many, many years of staying in jobs and agencies that I hated and weren’t a good fit for me. (Human resources, especially, is soul-killing work, and bureaucracies are a poor fit for my work ethic and values.)
When did you start proofreading transcripts, and what made you decide to learn how to proofread transcripts?
I’ve always loved proofreading and have used the skill in all my jobs. It’s actually not something I DO, but something that just IS. Mistakes jump off the page, and I can’t NOT see them (which is why I’ve often referred to it as both a gift and a curse).
While researching work-from-home opportunities (which give new meaning to the phrase “separate the wheat from the chaff”), I ran across Caitlin’s website. I liked how Caitlin laid it all out there — you get out of this course what you put into it — and success in passing the course and building a proofreading business is attainable with hard work, initiative, and motivation.
I am very skeptical and wary of internet opportunities. I could tell, though, from what Caitlin said and how she said it, that this was no fly-by-night operation. And she proved me right, at a phenomenal level.
I started Caitlin’s course in early June 2015, finished it in early July, and sent out my first email to reporters August 12. I proofed my first transcript for my (to date) only customer on August 17.
What was the most challenging part in getting started?
Getting started wasn’t a challenge because everything about the course and proofreading transcripts appealed to me. (Each practice transcript was as fascinating as the one before. I don’t think I’ll ever hit a boring transcript.)
I was learning to use an iPad and iAnnotate at the same time and remember some moments when that was a bit overwhelming (I’m not happy unless I know all the bells and whistles), but Caitlin designed the course so well (and then made it even better while I was mid-way through) that passing is achievable by motivated proofreaders.
What was/were the most valuable thing(s) you learned during the course?
I don’t think I’m overstating it when I say everything in this course is valuable.
It’s exceptionally well-designed and structured. I didn’t fully appreciate that until I was scrambling to respond to my first client and frantically reviewing all Caitlin’s course material to make sure I hadn’t missed anything.
One thing that helped me was PDFing each course module and then, using Adobe Pro, sweeping through and highlighting all the important parts. I then used those to study for the exam and for review after I started my business, until I had absorbed the info enough to incorporate it into my business practices and forms.
This course is worth its weight in gold, just from the standpoint of teaching how to proofread court transcripts. But Caitlin then went the extra mile (no surprise, there!) and rounded it out with extremely valuable and effective information on how to get clients, set rates, bill clients, invoice, and on and on.
The course not only gave me the skills to become a transcript proofreader, it gave me all the tools and resources and industry-specific knowledge I needed to be successful. And that’s what gives me the confidence to keep going.
(And on a side note, I absolutely love using iAnnotate!! I created a stamp with the blurb Caitlin puts in her email signature blurb, which I add to the end of the transcript, since my email system doesn’t allow customization of the signature blurb. It’s so pretty.)
What advice would you give anyone thinking about enrolling in the course to proofread transcripts? Is it worth the money?
Although I think the course is worth many times what I paid for it, I am very, very grateful it costs less than $900.
I was facing homelessness when I started the course and got my business up and running while staying in a hostel women’s dorm (I’d haul my computer system over from storage every morning and haul it back every night). (A German artist helped me with the business card!)
So I can’t thank you enough, Caitlin, for this opportunity to earn an income and afford housing and food again, while doing something I passionately enjoy. And the fact I can do it anywhere and in my jammies is just icing on the cake.
Good luck, Ginny!