Why Legal Transcription is a Great Fit for This Former Programmer

Mar 12, 2018 by Janet Shaughnessy

One of the coolest things about doing what I do is hearing the different ways my students start their transcription businesses.

Krista's story is no different. She actually came across Transcribe Anywhere after completing a different course and is now a successful transcriptionist.

You never know where life will take you, right?

Check out Krista's journey to legal transcription below!

Q: Hi, Krista! Can you tell us a little bit about your background? What did your life look like before Transcribe Anywhere?

I spent several years as a programmer before I decided to quit a few years ago to devote more time to my kids. I spent about four years doing volunteer work in the public school system. Last year, I decided I needed to start looking toward earning an income again.

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

I actually kind of came in through a back door. I had taken the transcript proofreading course through Proofread Anywhere and was looking for work. One of the companies I contacted was looking for transcribers more than proofreaders (I should mention at this point that I did do some medical transcription for a few months many years ago). I told them I'd be willing to start with that.

Once I started, I found I really enjoyed it! I enrolled in the Transcribe Anywhere legal transcription program as a means to learn the things I didn't already know.

Q: I love that you took the TA course to enhance your skills! What was the most challenging part for you in getting started?

Probably balancing work/training and family commitments. I really enjoy my work and want to make sure I'm giving the attention it needs to do a good job. However, I do still have a fair number of family activities going on. It's a continuing challenge making sure nothing and no one is neglected!

Q: Work-life balance is always a tough one, that's for sure. So what were the most valuable things you learned during the course?

Since I actually began working before beginning the course, and I work with specific jurisdictions, I wasn't 100 percent clear what "rules" for formatting were specific to each jurisdiction and what were more global rules. The course was very helpful to me in that respect. Also, the templates are really useful.

Q: I always say transcription is more than just typing fast; it's knowing your profession inside and out! When did you graduate from the course, and how long did it take you to find your first client? How many clients do you have now?

I was already working for a company as an independent contractor when I started! I can tell you that after I completed the proofreading course, it took about four or five months before I began working. However, I did take a vacation in there, so that probably added a little to the time it took.

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

Yes, it's definitely worth the money. If you are thinking of becoming a transcriptionist, you may think it's mostly about typing, but there is SO much more to it than that!  Knowing the ins and outs of formatting is a HUGE deal, and the course covers that very well.

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

Well, "great" is what I'm striving for, so I'm going to focus on that one. :-)

Attention to detail is SO important! Speed is important as well, but I'm willing to give up a little bit of speed for accuracy. My work style is to move through a transcript fairly quickly at first and leave blanks for things I can't hear that well or don't know. I then go back through the transcript again, do my research, and put in those things I didn't catch the first time through.

It's also important to realize that clients may have certain requirements for formatting that are different from what you are used to. Make sure you are clear on the client's wants/needs.

Q: Client communication = key to success. What’s your favorite thing about being a transcriptionist? What about your least favorite?

The subject matter is really, really interesting! And the flexibility is awesome. Sometimes I work a 9-to-5 schedule; sometimes I need to squeeze work in early mornings, evenings, or weekends instead. I love that I can do that.

My least favorite is that I have a hard time remembering to take breaks! When I start feeling frustrated, I know I should stop for a little bit, but that's hard to do, especially if I'm really involved.

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

I generally wake up between 4:30 and 5:00 a.m. and do a workout. Breakfast and making sure my kids have everything they need for school comes next. After that on most days, I work straight through from about 9:00 a.m. until I reach my "goal time" for the day. If I have a big project, I may work longer than other days. During work time, I try to take breaks about every twenty minutes or so to walk around, have lunch, do laundry, or other little household things. I try to be done with work for the day by 5:00 p.m.

After that, it's family time. If I don't have any kid-related activities going on, I might work another hour in the evening.

Here's an important tip I'd also like to add: TAKE BREAKS!

I know you want to get a lot done, but it could eventually affect your posture and overall long-term health if you don't remember this!

Our Take

I love that Krista recognized she had more to learn and took the legal transcription course to fill in the gaps. None of us knows everything, and having that growth mindset is key when working from home.

Your Turn

Do you have an interest in learning a new skill that enables you to work from home? See if legal transcription could be your next adventure!

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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.

For our legal transcription mini-course, click here.