Can You Actually Find Success as a General Transcriptionist?

May 20, 2021 by Janet Shaughnessy

Curious about the life of a general transcriptionist? We have helped many people find success in the general and legal transcription fields, and we love sharing their stories. We featured Joanne when she was a new graduate of our course. Months later, she still loves this career choice, and she is back today to share more about how she has found success in this line of work.

How are things going for you at this stage in your journey, Joanne?

I have been working as a general transcriptionist for almost a year, and I still love it. I look forward to the work I do each day, and if there is a day when I just don’t feel like working, I don’t have to!  How awesome is that?!  I am also earning more as time goes on, which is great. As I get more efficient at transcribing, I can transcribe more audio minutes in the same amount of time, so my earnings go up. Also, as I have gained experience, I can charge more for my services, and that also increases my earnings. 

Where and how have you found your clients? 

I do primarily subcontracting work and have not been too focused on finding my own clients. I plan to focus more on that in the future.  I found subcontracting work through word of mouth, through contacting the list of transcription companies provided as part of the Transcribe Anywhere course, and through the Facebook page for course graduates.

How did you develop confidence in your skills? 

Practice, practice, practice. The more I transcribe, the better and faster I get. I also found that my confidence would go up every time I aced an application test for the transcription companies. I used to frequently refer back to the course materials to check on grammar and punctuation rules. I need to do that less and less, which also increases my confidence.

What tools do you find you use the most in your work?

I don’t have a fancy answer for this one. Not needing much equipment is one of the reasons I choose transcription work. I use my MacBook, my headset, my foot pedal, Express Scribe, MS Word, and Google. That really is all you need to do the work. For more details on the equipment I use, you can visit this post on my blog. 

Any tips on how to work productively and successfully from home?

I developed a system for myself of using four to-do lists to stay productive and on task. I actually shared my system for productivity on my blog here. I also use a Google Sheets spreadsheet to track my work and to make sure I never miss a deadline. In fact, if you are a general transcriptionist, I have made a template that other transcriptionists can download if you are interested in using a similar system. You can check that out here. 

I also find it is really important for me to take frequent breaks to walk around and stretch a little bit. I usually choose to work during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, but if something comes up that I want or need to do during that time, like a hike or an appointment, I love that I have the flexibility to work in the evening or on the weekend instead.

What is your best advice to someone starting out on the transcription journey?

First, take the Transcribe Anywhere course. You will finish it and be completely ready to start working as a transcriptionist. Be patient with yourself. It does take some time and practice to build the skills to transcribe accurately and efficiently. It is not something that most people can pick up and instantly do well.

Second, make sure working from home is a good fit for both your personality and your lifestyle. You need to be content not having people to socialize with during the day. Additionally, you need to be able to sit and focus for long periods of time. If your home is loud and chaotic (nothing wrong with that), you will probably need to find time and space to have uninterrupted quiet in order to do transcription work. 

Joanne, we are overjoyed at your success. When we hear stories like yours, we know that our Transcribe Anywhere course is exactly what people need to build a flexible, sustainable career. If you are ready to build this life of freedom and flexibility for yourself, our free mini-course is the perfect place to start.

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