Back to Back Issues Page
Transcription Services News, Issue #003
February 04, 2013


Welcome to the Transcription Services Newsletter. Welcome to a new edition of our newsletter. We appreciate that you take the time to subscribe and read our newsletter. We hope that you find some useful tips and ideas to use as you perform transcription services for your own clients.

Transcription Tip of the Month

Keep your mind on the job. Transcription is not the type of job you can perform while letting your mind wander. It just does not work. You have to stay mentally focused constantly. If you are not thinking about what is being said you are likely not going to type the words correctly. There can be a huge disconnect between what you hear and what you type if you are not actively engaged in listening to the conversation. And it will show in your transcript.

If you are listening closely and typing at the same time you are going to quickly realize when you did not hear something correctly because you are going to think, wait a minute, that doesn’t make any sense. Oh, they must be saying this because it sounds similar and it makes total sense in the transcript. Let me give you a couple of examples. We recently had a transcript turned in that had the phrase typed, “My parents have critical ear.” What the sentence should have read and what was said was, “My parents are critically ill.” We had another transcript turned in that said, “The car went up the heel.” Obviously, this should be, “The car went up the hill.” If you are thinking about what you are typing it’s going to be pretty obvious when you are not typing the correct words. And at the very least, you should catch these types of errors on a good and thorough proofreading after you are done typing.

There are days where I am absolutely exhausted at the end of the day. Not so much physically, but mentally fried. This is because my mind has been actively engaged all day focusing on what is being said and making sure that I am typing exactly what they are saying.

So keep your mind on the job and you will be a great asset to your clients.

Transcription Jobs

One of the best ways to get started in the transcription services industry is to work for a company offering transcription. We will bring you a couple each month that hire subcontractors. We do not personally work for these companies or know much about them except that they do hire subcontractors. Make sure to see our Tips When Testing With a Transcription Services article for some help when applying for jobs online!

Verbalink is always looking for highly skilled people, according to their website:

Tiger Fish has a very thorough jobs page. I would recommend that you read their instructions and their Style Guide very carefully before applying.

Transcriptionist Spotlight

Each issue we are going to spotlight somebody who is working as a transcriptionist by conducting a short interview with them. This month’s interview is with Karen Fitzgerald. I love her story because it reminds me of my own, and I am sure many others can relate as well. Here is our interview with Karen.

How long have you been a transcriptionist?

Karen: I have been a transcriptionist for 25 years, as long as my oldest daughter has been on this earth. Ha ha.

How did you get started as a transcriptionist?

Karen: My best girlfriend wanted to quit working in a dental office and work from home so she could be with her baby. She started taking a note reader/scopist course through the mail. This trains you to read court reporter shorthand and transcribe it into booklet format to be filed with the court and given to judges and attorneys. You also learn legal and medical terminology. She told me about it, knowing I was already staying home with my baby and wanting to make some money. She ended up quitting because she didn’t understand it and I ended up excelling and loving it. Yes, SOMETIMES ads you see in the back of magazines do work and are legitimate! ;-)

What type of training do you have as a transcriptionist?
Karen: The course work described above and lots of on-the-job practice. I never took a keyboarding course in my life.

Why did you start working at home?

Karen: My husband and I, before we even got married, agreed that if we were going to have children, we wanted to be able to raise them ourselves, not with babysitters and nursery school. We were fortunate enough that he made a decent living so that I just needed to supplement his income. We have sacrificed a lot of the extras in life to do this, but it was extremely important to us. I have never regretted it. And I realize I am so very blessed to be able to do this. Not everyone has a choice.

What is your biggest reason for working at home?

Karen: Again, my children. Even though they’re grown and almost grown now (28, 25 and 17), I am still able to be here for my 17-year-old. And I actually love working on my own. I don’t have to worry about people looking over my shoulder or having to put up with office drama and politics. There are times when I wish I had co-workers, but 90% of the time, I’m good! Ha ha

Do you work for transcription companies, have your own clients or both?

Karen: I work for my own clients in the court reporting field and with companies for my entertainment/business transcription.

What is your favorite piece of transcription equipment?

Karen: I love my FTW transcriber and my foot pedal. Cannot live without them!

What is the best thing about your job?

Karen: The best thing about my job is being able to have the flexibility of working from my home office. I can wear what I want, work when I want (to a certain point) and most importantly, I’m here when my loved ones (including my doggie) need me.

What is the worst thing about your job?

Karen: The worst thing about my job is that because my office is in my home, I never totally leave it. It’s always there beckoning me to come do work, organize, clean out e-mails, do bookkeeping, etc. I never have a complete break from work.

What advice would you give to somebody trying to break into the transcription field?

Karen: Be persistent. Although, I have actually had great fortune in finding work. My first job came immediately upon graduation with the top court reporter in San Bernardino Superior Court. She was tough, but very loving; a great Christian woman who put me to the test and guided me. I learned so much from her. When she was forced into going to all computer-assisted transcription and wanted to do it on her own, I easily found another court reporter in LA County Superior Court who had heard of me through the grapevine. When I wanted to branch out into entertainment transcription, I did a simple Google search and came up with a company to work with and have had very little trouble finding other companies to work with. But don’t give up and don’t close any doors. You may need to work for several people/companies in order to get the income you need, but if you keep a good reputation with past employers, you are more likely to find work. They often come calling even after you’ve left.

Back to Back Issues Page