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Working from Home in General Transcription

Posted By Tara Kuczykowski On October 21, 2008 @ 12:15 pm In money-making ideas | 67 Comments

I mentioned recently that I was an accidental stay-at-home mom and found myself in the situation of trying to find a flexible, child-friendly work-at-home position.

Through much trial and error, I finally settled on general transcription as a means for providing supplemental income for our family. I've had several people email me about how they could find out more information about becoming a transcriptionist, so I wanted to share a little bit about the industry with you all.

General transcription is a wonderful opportunity for moms to look into.  Whereas many of the traditional home-based business opportunities require significant cash to start, you can get started doing general transcription for a very minimal investment.

In the three years that I've been doing this, I've been able to grow my income beyond what I ever thought was possible for an at-home position. The downturn in the economy directly impacted my family long before recent developments, and transcription allowed me to support my family on my income alone through my husband's intermittent layoffs over the past two years.  While it’s a lot of hard work and definitely not a “get rich quick scheme,” I feel so blessed to have this wonderful source of income that provides me with the opportunity to stay at home with my five children.

Being a work-at-home mom is difficult at times; however, the benefits far outweigh any drawbacks for me.  Staying home to raise my children is only one of a number of benefits that transcription can afford.

Others include:

  • The hours and workload are flexible.
  • There is good – if not great – earnings potential.
  • I'm always learning something new.
  • It is a growing field that is not showing signs of slowing down.

While the benefits are many, success in this career will require hard work and perseverance on your part. The most common misconception that a lot of people have about transcription is that the only skill you need is the ability to type. The truth is that there’s a lot more than that involved. In order to have a successful career as a transcriptionist, you need to be able to listen, think and type at the same time. Additionally, one of the most important skills needed is to be able to actually take the spoken word and transcribe it in a way that fits grammar rules for written language so that it actually makes sense to the person reading it.

Questions to ask yourself if you’re considering transcription:

  • Do you enjoy reading, and do you keep up with current events?
  • Do you have a good grasp of basic grammar and spelling, or if not, are you willing to work hard to hone these skills?
  • Are you detail-oriented, and do you have the ability to follow instructions well?
  • Are you a self-starter, and do you have the drive to work independently with minimal supervision?
  • Do you take pride in your sense of professionalism and meeting your commitments in full?

If you’re just starting to consider transcription as a career, this may seem overwhelming to you, and that is not my intention.  It’s important to know that while you can make a decent living doing this work, it is not “easy money.” It takes a lot of hard work to develop the skills needed to succeed, and you must be committed to developing those skills or you will most likely give up before you reach the point where you are happy with your earnings.

Is transcription right for you? I can’t determine that for you. I can only tell you that after much research, this is the career that works best for me. But the benefits of this career are plentiful, and with dedication and hard work, there’s a good chance it’s the opportunity you’re looking for.

Getting started is fairly easy. Check out these action steps and/or consider purchasing our General Transcription 101: Your Complete Guide to Getting Started ebook package!

This article was adapted from a prior article written by the founders of Transcription Talk, Mandi Ehman, Tara Kuczykowski, and Shaina Olmanson.


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