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How This Canadian Gets Proofreading Jobs from Home

We all go through seasons of change in our lives. Sometimes they are good changes,  and sometimes they’re difficult. 

Whether it’s raising your kids, retiring, or moving to another part of the country or world, it involves some kind of upheaval. 

No matter what the circumstances, we need to make plans for the future so we can adapt. 

What if you could maintain some sort of consistency throughout these changes?

What if your ability to earn an income from wherever you are is the one thing that didn’t change?

It’s totally possible if you start a business that will allow you to work completely online. 

Then, no matter where you are or what stage you’re at in your life, you can take your business with you wherever you go!

As Nancy approaches retirement and the possibility of moving across Canada, she’s looking for something that will allow her to supplement her income and work from home. 

She turned her love of reading into an income stream, and now she can get proofreading jobs from home — or anywhere in the world!

Q: Hi, Nancy! Tell us a little about your background. What did your life look like before you crossed paths with PA?

Nancy shares how she gets proofreading jobs from home

I grew up reading. As a child, I always had my nose in a book. I loved that my bus ride to school was an hour, as I could get some serious reading done in that time frame. I always noticed improper grammar and it bothered me!

Then I worked for a financial institution for twenty-eight years, the last role being in the management capacity.

Looking forward and planning for retirement, I decided that I needed to find something to supplement my income when I was ready to give up my lifelong career. I felt I would still need to be productive in some capacity. 

Moving to another Canadian province to be closer to family was something to consider as well. Would I be able to find a part-time job in another province? What were my options? What did I like to do?

Q: When did you start proofreading, and what made you decide to learn how to proofread?

I came across Caitlin Pyle’s ad for Proofread Anywhere; I believe it was on Pinterest. I was intrigued so I listened to the presentation for the General Proofreading course and was immediately excited. This was exactly what I wanted to do! That was about a year ago.

Q: Pinterest is awesome; you never know what goodies it will lead you to! 😉 What was the most challenging part of getting started?

Overcoming the fear of failure. I went to a business mixer for women and came back armed with these tidbits from our speaker:

How do you let go of fear?

What would you do if you were not afraid?

Be afraid but do it anyways.

Seize those opportunities.

I posted this on my wall above my computer and looked at it every time I started to feel my confidence slipping or fear of failure emerge.

Q: I love that! There’s nothing wrong with feeling afraid, but good things happen when we push past that fear. What was the most valuable thing you learned during the course?

Nancy shares how she gets proofreading jobs from home

Mindset is everything. Whether you believe you will succeed or believe that you won’t: you are correct. It takes grit and determination.

It is a challenging course, and it is easy to get overwhelmed. There are so many grammar rules that you cannot remember them off the top of your head. That is why it is more important to master tools such as the Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS). We do not need to know everything at first, but you need to know where to go to find the answers. 

Q: Learning how to use your resources is so important. How long did it take you to find your first client? And how many clients do you have now?

About a month after graduating, I found my first client on LinkedIn. She was a mutual professional of a relative of mine. Now, I have three clients that regularly send me work.

I work on Upwork as well, and in that platform, I have three clients that I developed relationships with while working on their projects, and they now send me a new contract when they have further work to complete.

So I have six regular clients and pick up the rest of my work from Upwork.

Here’s what some of Nancy’s happy clients have to say:

“Nancy has done some short jobs for me where she exhibited professional, insightful, and timely editing support for my professional work.  

She is a pleasure to deal with and always has a positive and a helpful attitude. She takes initiative to be both a creative and productive writing aide.” 

—Julie Robinson, Empathic Psychic Medium and Angel Intuitive.

“Nancy was able to quickly and efficiently give me feedback on my essay. With her ability to decipher exactly what I am trying to convey; I was able to boost my work up to the next level. I completely recommend her if anyone is looking for a quick and skilled response for their editing needs.” 

—Lauren Main, University Student.

Nancy shares how she gets proofreading jobs from home

The joy of #proofreading Reading a great story; in detail.

Q: Congratulations! Building lasting relationships with clients is the key to success. How long did it take you to recoup the cost of the course?

It took about two months.

Q: What advice would you give anyone thinking about enrolling in the course to learn how to proofread? Is it worth the money?

This course is primarily based on hands-on learning, which I believe is beneficial for most people’s ability to learn. The course is designed to give you what you need: practice. Take your time; the more thorough you are at researching your errors and understanding where you went wrong on each practice document, the more success you will have on the next one — and that will boost your confidence. There is no time limit to complete the modules.

Yes, the course is definitely worth the money with the amount of learning, practice, and support you receive from your colleagues. There are also valuable marketing modules, website set-up instructions, and resources to support your journey into freelance work once you are done with learning how to proofread. 

Q: What does your life look like now as a working freelance proofreader? 

I am doing what I love. If you are doing what you love, you will never work a day in your life. 

I get paid to read! Yes, I proofread, but I also get to read the novel in the process!

I have the flexibility to go on errands, make appointments, and work the hours that I want. As long as I get done with my projects in time (usually exceeding expectations by delivering a day earlier), I can choose what hours of the day I need to work to accomplish my goals. I live on a farm, and sometimes I can do a quick task while giving myself an OH&S break.

With the world in crisis right now, I am safe at home working. 

Note from Caitlin: We interviewed Nancy during the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m so glad Nancy and other graduates of my courses are able to continue working from the safety of their own homes during this troubling time!

Q: Anything else you’d like to share with the PA community?

What is holding you back from achieving the life that you want? With belief, hard work, and a positive mindset, this is totally achievable for you as well!

Our Take

Well done, Nancy! One thing that really jumps out at me from reading Nancy’s story is the fact that she didn’t let anything stop her from starting a proofreading business and applying for online proofreading jobs. She faces fear head-on, and that will pay off for her time and time again.

Your Turn

Wondering how you can get proofreading jobs from home? Check out our free Intro to Proofreading workshop to learn how you can get started!

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