How This Transcriptionist Overcame Anxiety and Found Success Working from Home

success interviews Dec 05, 2017

Many people out there despise the 9-to-5 grind. They don't like commuting, the office politics and drama, or having to answer to a boss.

And who can blame them, right? I know I'm much happier now that I work for myself. And lots of other TA grads feel the same way.

For others, working in a traditional office setting surrounded by coworkers and/or the public can be a stressor in itself. That was the case with Murphy. She suffers from anxiety and was looking for a legitimate career that would fit her needs. And she found it!

See how working from home as a transcriptionist allowed Murphy to earn income on her terms.

Q: Welcome to the blog, Murphy! Can you tell us a little about your background? What did your life look like before TA?

For many years I worked for a large corporation doing payroll, accounting, and HR. My days consisted of long commutes, frustrating encounters with coworkers and upper management, a constant feeling of not being appreciated, and lots of tears. I was unhappy, to say the least.

Three years ago my husband and I made the decision to leave Seattle and move back to my hometown in Colorado to look after my ailing father and to be closer to my aging grandmother. I was terrified of what I would do for work in that small town. As luck would have it, I was hired at a small, family-owned machine shop.  I loved the people that I worked for and I loved that I didn't have to deal with the public. I was mostly left to do my own thing. As someone who suffers from an anxiety disorder, that worked well for me. I was happy.

Things were not the same for my husband. There wasn't enough work for him in that small town in Colorado. He was offered his job back in Seattle and the decision was made to return. My husband left, and I stayed behind to sell the house that my brothers and I inherited when my grandmother passed away.

Q: Wow! That's a lot of stuff to have to deal with all at once. How did you end up finding TA?

When the house went under contract, panic again set in regarding what I would do for work back in Seattle. I couldn't imagine going back to my old life in the corporate world. My anxiety over having to be among all the people "out there" was keeping me up at night. I started doing research on working from home and that's when I discovered Transcribe Anywhere. It took a bit for me to push aside my self-doubt and to convince myself that I could do it, but I took the plunge and signed up for the general transcription course.

As I progressed through the course, that anxiety that had been keeping me up at night slowly slipped away. I knew I found something that would work for me. When I'm transcribing a file, my mind is focused on only that file and the voices coming through my headphones. I can't think about anything else. I can't think about any of the things that cause me stress and trigger my anxiety. It took me a bit to realize that was the case and when I did, I felt joy about my choice to go down this path with transcription.

Q: Sounds like transcription is the perfect fit for you! So when did you start doing general transcription, and what made you decide to learn it?

I started the GT course back in April. It was slow going at first as I was in the process of selling my house and was working my regular job. Once the house was sold and I was back in Seattle with my husband, I really dove in. I completed the course in June. I passed my final exam and the next day I was hired as an independently contracted transcriptionist!

The job was for one of the big companies and the pay was not great. I stuck with it while I searched for other opportunities. I figured I was getting on-the-job practice and, while not making much money, I was getting paid. Two weeks later, I was hired by a small transcription company and I have worked for them since. The pay is decent, there is always plenty of work, and they are very nice people to work for. I feel very fortunate.

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

The hardest part about getting started was just getting past my own issues and self-doubt.  I battled my own mind and finally convinced myself that this was a good fit for me and that I could do it. After I was able to do that, it was smooth sailing.

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

I don't think I could pick just one thing. The whole course is so full of valuable information! I would never have known about time stamps, or shortcut keys, or foot pedals, or any of the things that it takes to be a transcriptionist had it not been for this invaluable course. The course is worth every penny paid for it!

Q: Besides working for the transcription company, do you have your own clients?

Although it is my goal for the future, I don't have my own clients yet. I'm enjoying getting used to the world of transcription while contracting for someone else. My confidence is getting better and my typing is getting faster, and those are two very important things that I need to keep working on for myself in order to become my own boss. I know I'll get there someday!

Q: I have no doubt you will! What advice would you give anyone thinking about becoming a transcriptionist? Is it worth the money for training?

If you find that you keep going back and looking at the Transcribe Anywhere website every day (like I did), then just do it! If you are financially able to make that initial investment, stop hesitating. The training provided in the course and the support from the TA team and the TA Facebook group is absolutely worth it. Any questions that I had were answered quickly. I never felt alone on this journey with Janet and Transcribe Anywhere.

Q: The TA community is the best (but I might be partial) ;-) What’s your favorite thing about working from home as a transcriptionist? What about your least favorite?

I'm sure I'm not alone in saying that the freedom from the 9-to-5 grind is tops. Setting my own schedule and working from home is just ideal for me. I have the freedom to take a break at any time of the day and do things like getting the grocery shopping done or taking my ESA dog, Yona, out for a walk. I can start and finish my days at times that work for myself and my family. My husband and I just took a ten-day trip to Minnesota for a family reunion and all I had to do was let my employer know that I simply was not available to accept files during that time. No asking for permission or putting in for time off; I was just able to go!

My least favorite thing is the strain on my hands and wrists. It's not terrible or anything, just uncomfortable at times. I just make sure to take short breaks often and do stretching exercises to avoid too much discomfort. Breaks and stretching are imperative!

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

For me, it's important to treat my days as if I was heading off to work at a regular job. I wake up at the same time every day and stick to a routine of getting ready for my day. I'm always at my computer by 9:00, if not earlier. I work until my husband gets home or until the transcript is completed and turned in if it's due that day.

I know a lot of people who work from home love the fact that that they can work in their pajamas, but that's just not me. After I get up, I have my coffee, take Yona out for a walk, shower, and dress for the day. I'll admit, however, I don't put on makeup for work anymore. Think about the savings! Speaking of savings, the last time I had to put fuel in my car was three months ago! I love my job!

Our Take

There's no better feeling than watching my students succeed, and Murphy is no exception. I'm so proud of her for recognizing her needs and putting all she had into learning transcription in order to make a better life for herself. Way to go, Murphy!

Your Turn

Are you in the same boat as Murphy? Are you looking for something you can do from home that will make you real money? Try out my FREE 7-day course and see if transcription could be the right gig for you, too.

Explore a career in transcription with our free workshop

Enroll in our free workshop