Time. There’s just never enough of it, right? Our days are packed with work, family, social obligations, and a million other things to do.
You might think there’s absolutely no room to add anything else to your already-packed schedule — especially if you’re already working a full-time job. How in the world could you add a part-time transcript proofreading gig on top of that?!
Well, guess what? You CAN! And we have proof that you can successfully rock at both.
Check out this interview with our very own PA grad, Maria. She is a total numbers person by day (as a full-time accountant) and a part-time proofreader by evenings and weekends.
How Maria Became a Part-Time Proofreader
Hi, Maria! Can you start off by telling us a little bit about your background?
I’ve always loved to read since I was very young. I was that student who was always in the school/city library, the bookmobile, and always got a free pizza for reading! For study hall, I signed up to work in the school library instead, and I’d get in trouble sometimes for reading during classes. As I grew up, I’d notice spelling and grammar errors in the books I’d read and other everyday places.
As much as I love to read, I’m also good at numbers, and that’s what I ended up doing as a full-time career. But I’d always thought it would be great to get paid to read and find errors. It seemed like most of those types of jobs require some sort of degree, though. That is, until I found Proofread Anywhere two years ago.
You were an Eagle Eye at a young age — love it! So when did you start proofreading transcripts, and what made you decide to learn how to proofread transcripts?
I found out about the Proofread Anywhere course in early March of 2015. After corresponding with Caitlin, I signed up for the free 7-day intro course. Once I went through that, I realized that even though I had a knack for finding errors, I needed more training when it came to proofreading for court reporters, so I signed up for the transcript proofreading course right after that and finished at the end of May of 2015.
The fact that I didn’t need a degree to do this was a major factor in my decision to learn how to proofread transcripts. I had also been trying to find a way to make some extra income on the side since I do still have a day job. This seemed quite convenient because it wouldn’t require me to go to another physical job location to work. Plus, it would be something I’d enjoy doing and wouldn’t really seem like work. I also hope to eventually leave my day job and make proofreading one of my few freelancing jobs instead.
Proofreading as a Side Hustle
Side hustles are definitely more common these days. What was the most challenging part for you in getting started?
The most challenging part was finding the time to take the course with everything else I have going on. But because of the portability this job offers, I was able to find time to take the course at my own pace, and it was easier than I thought it would be.
What was the most valuable thing you learned during the course?
I would say learning how to market myself was most valuable to me. I have never been good at sales in general. In the past, I’d signed up for a few direct sales companies, but I never really made any money because I’m just not good at sales. But the course teaches you how to market yourself in more than one way — and it worked! I no longer fear putting myself out there and reaching out to potential clients.
Way to conquer your fear! How long did it take you to find your first client, and how many clients do you have now?
Well, I have a court reporter friend, and she started sending me work once I finished the course. But on my own, I was able to find my second client within a few days of finishing the course.
Right now, I have six clients. Three of them send me work on a regular basis, and the other three send me work on a more spread-out basis. I never thought I’d be able to take on several clients while still having a day job, but it’s worked out well so far. The nice thing is that I can always take on more clients as the need arises and my circumstances change.
What advice would you give anyone thinking about enrolling in the course? Is it really worth the money?
I would say that it’s worth every penny. If you like to read a lot and you have a knack for catching errors, then this might be a good fit for you. You might find, at first, that you thought you knew how to proofread but really don’t. That’s where the course comes in. The free 7-day intro course made me realize that I didn’t really know as much as I thought I did about proofreading in general. But that didn’t stop me. It actually made me want to learn more about specifically proofreading for court reporters.
Any parting words for our fellow proofreaders?
If you’re really serious about proofreading, you can make it work. It will take time to go through the course, but you’ll have all the information you need to make this a part-time or full-time career. For me, finding Proofread Anywhere has also opened the door to other opportunities I wouldn’t have considered before.
In the almost two years I’ve been part-time proofreading, I’ve branched out into proofreading for businesses, academic proofreading, and copyediting, and I continue to look into other avenues of proofreading as well. All of this has also led me to further branch out into being a virtual assistant, not only as part of the Proofread Anywhere team but also assisting a few court reporters as well. Really, the sky’s the limit.
What Maria’s Clients Are Saying
Check out the glowing reviews Maria keeps getting from her clients. Talk about providing excellent work 🙂
We love that Maria is running a successful proofreading side gig while maintaining her full-time accounting job.
You CAN find time to hustle and work on the things you love while still working a 9-to-5!
We know Maria is going to continue to rock and eventually turn her part-time proofreading business into a full-time job, and we’ll be there to celebrate with her when it happens!