Whether you like legal, business, medical, or general transcription, there is nothing more important than finding the right fit. Once you do, you will find you get jobs done faster, and the work load itself seems easier. All you have to do is explore your options within the realm of transcription.
This blog post will cover:
- Exploring Your Options
- Specialization Pros and Cons
- Stuck In a Category With a Client
- How to Broaden Your Transcription Scope
Exploring Your Options
Some of the best advice I received when I was first starting out in my new transcription career, was to try every type of transcription I could get my hands on.
Doing so will get you started that will have most every door open to you. Which is a great thing if you’re looking to transcribe full time.
Having multiple avenues allows you to see what category of transcription is the best fit for you. You could get an hour long interview requiring medical transcription, and it could be all medical terms.
This could be great for a person who watches a lot of Grey’s Anatomy, but horrible for the next person. It is all about knowing what you would like to listen to and type about for long periods of time.
I started with general transcription: business interviews, documentaries about rainforests, and even a few conferences concerning school lunches. But for me, none of these things really suited me well.
But I stuck to it, because I wanted to find that perfect job, the one that I looked forward to doing every single day. And it did not take long at all, thankfully.
The first time I transcribed a legal court hearing, I knew this was the category I loved. The precise questions, everything time stamped, and everything was professionally recorded, so the audio files were always wonderfully clear.
Just starting out, it is best to stay in the realm of general transcription, but if you know right off the bat that you love to listen to business interviews and the discussion of numbers, then choose what will make the time spend listening to people fun and exciting every day.
Specialization Pros and Cons
Once you find your area of expertise, don’t pigeon hole yourself. Try to keep yourself doing a couple audio files of other transcription categories every so often.
Doing this will keep your mind fresh. In other words, if you spend 40 hours a week doing medical transcription, after awhile it can become very boring.
Do the occasional legal file, or even a bizarre sounding general audio file. This will refresh you every so often so that the work you like to do, you continue to like doing it!
Specializing in specifically on category can be great, you know what types of files you will be doing everyday. You know what formatting to use. There will not usually be any surprises.
The downside to specializing though is that it may be hard for you to find work under a different category if you only have experience with a specific type of transcription.
You will not usually run into that problem if you try to do general transcription. But if you wanted to do a business transcription, and only have medical experience, you will most likely have a pretty hard time getting the job.
There is good and bad in everything, but I always try to keep myself dipping into every category so I have the highest likelihood of getting the jobs I want, plus I make more money having a wide variety of experience in all of the different categories.
Stuck In a Category With a Client
So you got a long term job with a client, but it turns out that you hate it. What are you supposed to do?
First of all, this is bound to happen at some point. And it will be neither the clients fault or any fault of your own. After spending a large number of hours on one project, or multiple projects, you are bound to get bored and fed up with the work. For a variety of reasons.
Have no fear! Just talk to your client.
Explain to them that you need to take a break. The constant work is wearing you thin especially on the same topic.
In my experience, most if not all clients will completely understand. You have been working with them for a certain frame of time, and you are bound to bond with your clients.
They will understand, do not over think it, trust me.
Typically on larger jobs, clients will have more than one transcriber working on it. The client will just re-route your work load to the other clients while you take some time off.
However, do not completely snub your client, because that is a great way to lose your job, and the client as well.
Keep in frequent contact with your client, letting them know that you have every intention of picking right back up where you left off. Do this and you shouldn’t run into trouble.
How to Broaden Your Transcription Scope
If you’re new to transcription or a veteran, broadening your transcription scope is always important.
If you’re new, start off small. Do a couple small jobs just to get experience. But this is the crucial point in this new career. You can only make one first impression, the saying holds very true.
Your first few jobs should be small, simple tasks of transcribing just a few minutes of general transcription. These little jobs will add up to a lot of positive reviews and feedback for you and the work that you do.
That point is so very important, I can’t stress it enough.
You will have to work hard, I’m not going to say it is all easy. You will have to work harder because you are new and you don’t have a lot of experience or even any at all for that matter.
Once you have a few smaller jobs under your belt, next is the hard part. Try to find a stable, long term client. You may not make an exceptionally large amount of money with your first client, but it is important to take the job regardless.
When you have a stable client, you know that you will always have income coming in from that client. You will typically know how many hours a day or week you will be spending on this client.
With that knowledge, you can then go and fill up your time with more smaller jobs, or if you’re lucky, find a second stable client.
Look into the varying avenues transcription has to offer. The different categories and formats. Try to get a few of every type into your repertoire.
Doing so will make you a better investment for the long term clients, and an easier choice for the smaller projects.
But again, try not to pigeon hole yourself. Unless you have found the perfect fit for yourself, then go right ahead!