Why General Transcription Makes a Great Second Career

success interviews Oct 09, 2017

One of the best parts of my job is hearing the stories of TA graduates from all walks of life. Everyone comes into my training with a different background, and it never ceases to amaze me that no matter why you're starting out, anyone can succeed.

Take Julie. She was in a career for fifteen years (Yes! Fifteen years) before she decided to leave it all behind and pursue general transcription. She's had her share of bumps along the way, but she's now graduated and running a successful freelance business. Here's her full story!

Q: Hi, Julie! Can you start off by telling us a little about your background? What did your life look like before TA?

I’m a 51-year-old who worked in the nonprofit sector for most of my professional career. My specialties were in the areas of corporate and foundation relations, major gifts, special events, and grant writing. So fundraising was what I did for over fifteen years. A few years ago, I found that I was growing restless and unhappy and becoming very tired of all the office politics, dysfunction, and working for employers who really didn’t appreciate my hard work. So I took some time to self-reflect and see what it was I wanted to do, and what I wanted my life to look like. And with the support of my husband, I chose to leave the full-time workforce. I went on to be involved in activities more in line with the creative person I am.

Q: Good for you! That's a big leap of faith to make -- but so worth it! So when did you start doing general transcription, and what made you decide to learn it?

My husband and I are planning to move to a more remote area and semi-retire in a few years. In preparation for that, I wanted to change things around in my life. I decided to learn general transcription because I wanted a next phase in my life career that I could do remotely that was challenging, fun, and flexible. I also wanted a career that would use my love of the English language, grammar, and desire to learn. With this new career, I can make it all I want it to be! It’s all up to me!

I remember being interested in transcription but knew I didn’t want to transcribe legal or medical. So when I discovered Transcribe Anywhere’s general transcription training course, I was thrilled! I liked the variety of work general transcription brought. I worked through the tests to see if it would be a good fit for me and read all the personal stories. After I started my training in November 2016, it took me about five months to complete/graduate. That's probably longer than the average person, but we had some things come up during that time that took me away from my training for bits of time.

Q: It doesn't matter how long the journey takes; the important thing is that you finish :-) What was the most challenging part in getting started?

For me it wasn’t a challenge to get started at all. I was very excited. What was challenging was balancing the unexpected things in life with building/growing a business. Unfortunately, we had some family emergencies and stressful things happen right after I graduated. We're still dealing with them, so it’s been difficult for me to be able to both focus on growing a business and also be there for my family. I’m happy to be working, and I know that building my business and working more will come.

Q: It definitely will! I'm so inspired by your perseverance, and I'm sure others will be as well. What have been the most valuable things you learned during the course?

The first thing that comes to mind is that I learned I wasn’t too old to learn new things and study! I really had to spend a lot of time on the grammar part, but I’m so glad I did. Because now I get it! I trusted Janet and others when they said to take your time, work through all the practice modules, and it will all make sense. The training provides you with all the examples you will run into when you get started working with clients. I’ve also learned how awesome and supportive everyone is at Transcribe Anywhere. The Facebook group has been so helpful for me. I continue to learn every day.

Q: You are so right! Age is nothing but a number ;-) How long did it take you to find your first client? How many clients do you have now?

It didn’t take long at all. I found my first client within two weeks of graduating. Currently, I have one client that is ongoing, and then I will be starting work for a larger transcription company soon to fill in my work schedule and get more experience.

Q: Two weeks is incredible -- well done! What advice would you give anyone thinking about becoming a transcriptionist? Is it worth the money for training?

My advice would be to do it, as it offers flexibility and the ability to work remotely. Yes, I do feel it’s worth the money because you get everything you need for your new career and the ongoing support to succeed! But take your time with the training and really work through all the modules. Also, really utilize the Facebook group to continue to learn and ask questions.

Q: In your opinion, what do you think it takes to be a GOOD transcriptionist? How about a GREAT one?

Well, besides the basics (good listening, command of the English language, and typing skills), I think it takes patience, focus, good organization, follow-through, and good communication skills. A great one? I think to make a great transcriptionist you have to have the desire to provide stellar customer service. You also must have the thirst for learning and the ability and creativity to keep work in your pipeline.

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

For me, it’s the flexibility and the ability to work from home. That is what I need the most in my life right now. The least favorite for me is taking jobs that don’t pay as well, even though I know it helps me gain experience. I’m keeping my eye on the big picture, though, and I know that this is a piece of it.

Q: And to wrap it up -- what does a typical day look like for you? Anything else you’d like to share?

It feels like right now I don’t have a typical day. I like to do my transcribing work in the mornings mostly, so I start after my husband leaves for work at 7:00 a.m. and I have walked our dog and got my cup of coffee ready. I go to my office and plug away at my transcription work for a few hours. I’m a planner, so I also like to build in time to do research on transcription companies and also brainstorm how to find more transcription work. YouTube and PhD student research/dissertations are areas I’m really interested in learning more about in regard to possible transcription work. I’m still new at building my transcription business so I’m finding that I’m spending some time organizing that, too, and getting my office and procedures set up.

I want to give a big thank you to Janet and Transcribe Anywhere! I do feel this course is well thought out and does a great job at preparing you for all real-world examples. I’m so excited to be working as a general transcriptionist and couldn’t be happier with my choice for my second career!

Our Take

I hope you are just as encouraged as I am hearing stories from graduates who, no matter their age or previous career, take charge of their lives and pursue transcription through my training. They take all the excuses out there and toss 'em in the trash. You CAN do this too!

Your Turn

Are you in the same boat as Julie? Are you ready to leave your first career behind and find your passion in a second career? Leave any questions or comments you have for Julie below!

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What separates a ho-hum transcriptionist from an excellent one? Is there even a demand for transcription? Who hires transcriptionists? 
 
 Can anyone be a transcriptionist? 

Get the answers to all these questions and more by enrolling in my free introductory course, Transcription Foundations.

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