How This Grandma Found a Lucrative, Flexible Career with Transcription: Michelle’s Story

success interviews Dec 20, 2022

Michelle is a grandma who recently moved cross country from California to Virginia to be closer to family.  She was looking for a legitimate, flexible work-from-home job that would allow her to continue to be a full-time granny/nanny to her granddaughters.

After seeing Transcribe Anywhere online for a while, she decided to finally take the plunge and it paid off!

Here’s how her experience has gone with transcription!

Q: Can you tell us a little about your background? What did your life look like before TA?

I’ve been an elementary school teacher and in-home tutor, a retail business owner and a store clerk, but I have always wanted to be a work-at-home kind of lady. I love the challenges of being a homemaker, but we were never able to live on only one income. Two and a half years ago we moved from California to Virginia to be near our little twin granddaughters, and thus began my current job of being a full-time granny/nanny. I am with them, and their new baby sister, 12 hours a day, every work day. I absolutely love this “job”. I am having the time of my life…but even with the changes in our life after the big move we still need a bit more income.

Q: When did you start doing transcription, and what made you decide to learn it?

I have looked at work-at-home jobs for years. As you may know, there are a lot of scams out there. I never was able to get serious about any of those opportunities because I was just too nervous to waste my time and money on a bad one. About a year and a half ago I saw an ad for TA online. At first, I was super excited to see the cost of the program which was about one third the cost of the one advertised on the flier I had received in the mail that day.

That was a great sign, but then my old worry came back. What if this is just another scam and I get hooked into it? I would be angry at myself and embarrassed. After a few weeks of stalking Janet and TA on the internet I decided I would give it a shot. I decided to do the plan where you pay and learn in three installments. That way if I thought it was not what it was cracked up to be, I could get out with minimal damage. I didn’t tell anyone except my husband that I signed up for the course. I stalked some more. The Facebook group was the deciding factor. These people were real! This is where I could actually see what’s going on. I felt so much better! I knew I had made the right decision.

Q: What was the most challenging part of getting started?

The most challenging part was just deciding to do it. Once the decision was made, it was relatively easy to keep on track.

Q: What have been the most valuable things you learned during the course?

During the course I learned that there is always more to learn. I was always naturally good at grammar and stuff like that. Let me tell you, it’s one thing to write a story with perfect grammar and spelling, it’s another thing to listen to and understand someone else’s story, then it’s a whole different animal to be able to listen to someone’s story, figure out every word they are saying, and put it down on paper in a way that makes sense to yet another person. I am learning more every day, and getting better all the time, I hope.

Q: How long did it take you to find your first client? How many clients do you have now?

I am working for a transcription company that contacted me just a few days after I passed the final exam. I had been in touch with (and hired by) a couple of others, but I like this one the best. Since my days are busy with grandbabies, I need to work with the one that works best with my schedule and their deadlines. It is working out great!

Q: How long did it take you to recoup the cost of the course?

At the very beginning I was doing very few jobs and working very slowly. It took me about two months to recoup the cost of the course and software.

Q: What advice would you give anyone thinking about becoming a transcriptionist? Is it worth the money for training?

I have told many people that if transcription is something they are interested in TA is the place to go. The course is very flexible. It took me several months to finish it because of my time restraints. When I finished the course and passed the test, I made an announcement on my personal Facebook. I was so excited! I wanted other people to know that it is possible. Work-at-home opportunities are not ALL shady. The website and course outline are very logical and easy to follow. The support is amazing. TA is definitely worth the money spent.

Q: What do you think it takes to be a GOOD transcriptionist? How about a GREAT one?

To be a good transcriptionist you have to be good at the basics. You have to learn how to use grammar and spelling, know how to type, know how to listen, and know how to manage your time. To be a great transcriptionist you have to be willing to learn. There is always more to learn. English is a living language. The things I learned in school way back when may not necessarily be best practice today. You have to be willing to put forth effort, work hard, and keep at it.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about being a transcriptionist? What about your least favorite?

First of all, I love being able to work at home—just like I always wanted to do. That, for me, is the absolute best part. I also enjoy hearing the conversations I am transcribing. Is that weird? I don’t know. I also like having the peace of mind that if I need to be away from home, I can still work. My parents are not getting any younger, and they live on the other side of the country. It wouldn’t be too hard to pack up my foot pedal and jump on a plane if they ever need me to be there for an extended time.

My least favorite? Hmmm. Really bad audio quality. Are you serious? Did you really think that an airport runway with emergency sirens and bleating goats running around was the best place to conduct a recorded interview?

I guess I’m not super happy when I feel like I could have done better, but I’m up against a deadline. I have gotten really good feedback from my company, but 100% perfect is a goal, right?

Q: What does a typical day look like for you? Anything else you’d like to share?

I usually only work on transcription for about two hours per day. I just don’t have time to do much more than that. My original goal was to make $50 per week. I met that goal in the first month. That was in April of 2018. Now I feel comfortable with $100 per week. (That’s after the amount I set aside for taxes and stuff.) When I hit that level, I know I have made a bit of money and not compromised on sleep. It’s just the right balance for me. When my “real life” schedule changes I know can adjust my time commitment and my income level.

I think the amount of money you make is up to you. Some of us are real go getters and love to push, push, push. Some of us are at a time in our lives where we can give unlimited time to a new endeavor. Some, like me, are happy as a clam in the place we are right now. We’ve got lots going on and enjoy a steady pace.

I have decided not to look for clients of my own for now. I am perfectly happy to work for a company that sends me jobs to do and not have the hassle of setting up the type of business that I would need to find my own clients and run it all myself.

Our Take

It sounds like Michelle has found the perfect balance for her life right now.  She gets to spend time helping out with her granddaughters while working a flexible, work-from-home career.

Your Turn

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