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I Quit My Job: 9 Proofreaders Who DID IT!

Can I quit my full-time job and earn a living proofreading?

I get asked this question all. the. time. And the answer varies because everyone has a different threshold on what they need to earn to make a living depending on where they live, their family situation, and the lifestyle they want to lead.

But the answer can definitely be YES!

So many of our Proofread Anywhere graduates have done it! I’m going to introduce you to some of them in this post, so you can see how it’s possible. Get ready to feel inspired!

Let’s start with Allison. She felt uninspired with her job in the pet care industry and the long hours were interfering with her family time. Although she found it challenging working through the course and starting a business while still working full-time, she wanted to make sure she could support herself before she quit her job, which meant a lot of late nights and very early mornings. She says it was definitely worth it though! She quit her job eight months after graduating from the Transcript Proofreading course.

Allison started with the Transcript Proofreading course, but if the General Proofreading course had existed when she found Proofread Anywhere, she would’ve jumped on that train first. Her dream was always to help authors by proofreading novels and now she gets to do that!

How long will it take until I can quit my job to proofread full-time?

“I quit my job and started a proofreading business!” Nine kickass proofreaders share their stories.

Great question! Unfortunately, the answer is it depends. It depends on how much time you have to devote to proofreading and how proactive you are with marketing. You reap the benefits of the work you put into it. It can also depend on your reading speed, skill level, and the rates you set.

When I interviewed Transcript Proofreading graduate Linsey, she told me she earned $1,000 MORE than her regular day job by proofreading part-time! Because she makes almost double now of what she makes at her day job, she was able to leave the 9-to-5 behind after only EIGHT MONTHS of freelancing.

Chelsea quit her full-time job after ten months. In her last two months before leaving her day job, she matched (and slightly exceeded!) her full-time salary each month — and that was mostly from proofreading in the evenings and weekends! Now that she’s given her job the old heave-ho, Chelsea is looking forward to spending her summers traveling and seeing more of this world with her husband who teaches at the college level. Proofreading = more freedom!

Less than four months after graduating from the General Proofreading course, Beth quit her job at Google and became her own boss. This was much earlier than she planned, but she decided to rip off the Band-Aid and do it. Her risky move paid off as she landed four clients in quick succession after attending a workshop and networking with fellow entrepreneurs.

If we sit around waiting for the right time, it may never come! Way to grab life by the horns, Beth!

I want to quit my job to travel, but I still need to earn money. Can I proofread while I travel?

Absolutely! Proofreading is a super flexible job. You can work from anywhere if you have your laptop/tablet and internet access!

Some of you may know this already, but when I started Proofread Anywhere, I was living in Ecuador and traveling the world. I was literally freelance proofreading anywhere and practicing what I preached.

There might be a few kinks to work out if you’re in a different country than your client — time zones, payment fees, language differences, etc. — but it’s not insurmountable. You CAN make it work.

Jacki’s boyfriend had been working remotely for years when they met and he took several trips a year, so it really bummed her out that she had only a couple of weeks a year she could take off work. When she ran across Proofread Anywhere, she knew it would be the perfect job for her as it would allow her to work and travel. Even though she was already living abroad in Thailand when she finished the course, she managed to land her first client within a week! And in her spare time, she hangs out with elephants!

Is it too risky to quit my job and become a freelance proofreader?

Only you can answer this question. You need to do what’s best for you. Yes, a regular day job as an employee can seem like the secure option, but most people don’t realize that they’re still working for someone else — someone who can literally make up any reason they want to take your job away, or if you’re in an at-will employment state, they don’t need a reason at all.

The key to essentially everlasting job security is SKILL. If you work in an office for someone else, a boss can take your job away at a moment’s notice, and your earning potential is often capped by your job description — not your true worth. But if you invest in building SKILLS to build income for yourself (not someone else!), no one can take those skills away from you.

And THAT is true job security.

Andrea is a certified teacher, but she was becoming increasingly unhappy with governmental changes that affected her role. She was looking for a way to use her educational background and still be happy with her work. When she took the plunge and enrolled in the Transcript Proofreading course, she didn’t want to tell anyone in case it didn’t work out.

But it did work out! She made her investment back within five weeks and quit her teaching job in just a year and a half!

The most valuable thing Andrea learned was to keep believing. If YOU think it will work, it will. Don’t worry about what others think or say. Keep on working. If you want it bad enough, it will happen.

I’m finding it difficult to continue working outside the home due to illness. Can I work from home as a proofreader?

Sometimes even the best-laid plans don’t work out. We may not actually want to quit our jobs, but circumstances outside our control force us to. There are two ways we can deal with this situation: 1) we can feel sorry for ourselves or 2) we can adapt.

What if you could use your skills in a different way and still have the flexibility to look after your other commitments?

I’m here to tell you it’s 100% possible. The only constant in life is change, and we have to know how to roll with the punches.

When Linda became ill and couldn’t go back to the classroom, she was desperate to find something to do at home that would allow her to bring in some income and be available to take care of her aging mom and granddaughters. A lifelong love of reading steered her toward proofreading, and it was a natural transition from teaching. Now Linda can use her love of words to continue to earn an income from home, and she has the confidence to be her own boss!

Does proofreading have to become a full-time work-from-home job or can I do it part-time?

Many people who take my courses are looking for a way out of their full-time job. But sometimes, I have students who LOVE their day jobs and simply want to earn a little extra money on the side. They want a flexible gig they can fit into their already busy lives with jobs, family, and other commitments. And that’s okay!

Stephanie enjoys her job as a medical laboratory scientist and just needed something she could do in the mornings before work and after her son went to bed. Her scientific background has helped her land many of her clients; she even got her first proofreading client through a work colleague! Proofreading has given her the flexibility to have a second job without taking time away from her family.

Usually there will be signs when you’re ready to quit your full-time job. Not sure what to look out for? Check out this post to learn the top four signs you’re ready to leave your 9-to-5 job.

Should I quit my job before I start my freelance proofreading business?

I would NOT advise quitting your 9-to-5 job before you start your proofreading business. You still have bills to pay!

Proofreading isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. It’s a learn-the-skills-and-reap-the-rewards opportunity. The more you know your craft and the harder you work at marketing and providing excellence, the more money you’ll make. It can take a little time to build your business.

Start your business as a side hustle that you work on during evenings and weekends. When you bring in enough to cover your bills, then you can consider leaving your job!

However, we all have different circumstances. Catherine quit her full-time job in a bank and emigrated from Ireland to Canada. After deciding she didn’t want to get another office job, she focused 100% on making money from proofreading. It paid off, and she recouped the General Proofreading course fee within six weeks!

Our Take

We always love hearing when students take their proofreading gigs to full-time status. These amazing Proofread Anywhere graduates are proof that if you learn a skill and hustle, you can make anything happen. It might take longer than you’d like, but the result is SO worth the wait.

Your Turn

Do you want to quit that job you hate? Check out my courses and see if proofreading could be your ticket to freedom!

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  1. Hey Caitlin,

    I found a typo in this article: Less than four months after graduating from the General Proofreading course, Beth quit her job at Google and “become” her own boss.

    I am enrolled in your General Proofreading course and hope to focus on proofreading websites and/or blogs.

    1. Thanks for the heads up, Kristina! Nice catch! 🙂

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