By: Beth Worthy, Chief Financial Officer and Director of Operations of GMR Transcription Services Inc. (www.gmrtranscription.com)
For Shannon, working as a transcriptionist meant she could stay home with her children when they were young and contribute financially to uphold her family’s lifestyle–no matter what may be happening in the outside world. Shannon jokes, “If we’re snowed in, I just make myself a cup of tea and go to work in my slippers.”
Instead of, “Should I work or stay home?” the question for moms is often, “What work can I do from home?” Women today are more educated than ever but find themselves considering leaving an established career to stay home with their children, at least while they’re young. While having one parent stay home to raise young children and handle family business has many benefits, making extra money and maintaining skill sets from communications to business management can be just as valuable in the long run.
Consider transcribing from home
For many stay-at-home moms seeking part-time work, naptime can be a two-hour gold mine of opportunity, but jobs are hard to find, inflexible or low-paying. One great job to do at home is transcription. Transcription services are used in many professions such as the medical, business and legal fields. Transcriptionists transcribe voice recordings for academic, business, legal, non-profit and other organizations. Aside from the convenience of working from home, the hours and workload are flexible, the equipment is minimal and inexpensive, and the work pays well.
“Most of the moms who have applied for a position at our company desire flexibility with family. This is the number-one reason they want to work from home,” says Ajay Prasad, founder and president of GMR Transcription.
Fifty percent of GMR’s employees are stay-at-home moms who all enjoy flexible hours (like working during naptime or in the evenings, for example), and a good paycheck (one of their transcribers earns $1,000/week without stepping foot outside her home).
There is a wide variety of interesting work in transcription, which can even expand your own knowledge and abilities. As Shannon mentioned, the commute is a mere second, depending on how long your hallway is or how fast you can walk across the house to your workspace — and no heavy coats or snow tires required.
Here’s what you will need to start transcribing at home:
As a transcriber, the most import things you need to do on the job is make sense of what was said, punctuate the speech correctly, and edit and correct the grammar of the speaker, if necessary. A good transcriptionist should have sound knowledge of grammar, spelling and punctuation, quick and accurate typing, attention to detail and finally, patience.
To get started as a transcriptionist, you’ll need a computer with word processing software such as Microsoft Word and audio playback software. You’ll also want to invest in a good headset that cuts out external noise, has built-in volume control and fits comfortably. Finally, you will need a foot pedal that allows you to control the speed of the speech you are transcribing and allow you to pause or stop the speech without using your hands.
Some tips for success in your new work at home:
Every stay-at-home mom will agree that naptime is priceless: it’s that peaceful moment in the day to get things done. Time management is just one tip to success. Here are some tricks for succeeding in balancing an at-home career as a transcriptionist:
- Set regular work hours and stick to them as much as possible so that you can get work done and not take away from time set aside for household duties.
- Set aside a formal workspace that is used only for work. Even if it’s a tiny corner of your dining room, you need a physical space devoted to work.
- Stay focused. Working at home as a transcriptionist – or any job – requires a fair amount of self-motivation. There’s no one doling out tasks and hovering over you to finish them. Try to avoid distractions in the few minutes or hours you have to work.
“Transcription is an ideal match for anyone seeking the flexibility of a work-at-home arrangement combined with the security of working with a solid, reliable company,” says Prasad.
Benefits to transcribing from home with the right transcription company include: dictating your own schedule, choosing to take on as much or as little work as desired, counting on a steady paycheck—conveniently direct deposited into your bank account, and having the transcription company’s support team available to help find the answers to your questions.
What about the future of transcribing, you ask?
While it’s true that technology is advancing with voice recognition software and other device-driven transcription, there are still several human elements of style and grammar that these programs are lacking. Transcription requires a human touch to understand multiple speakers interjecting at once, careful proofreading and more. Just use your speech-to-text function on your smart phone a few times and you’ll see that technology certainly has a long way to go before it could ever replace human transcription.
As a transcriptionist, women like Shannon can balance their desire to stay at home with their families and their needs to maintain professional relationships and skills, should they ever decide to re-enter the workforce outside the home.
If you’re interested in transcriptionist career opportunities, check out GMR Transcription’s careers webpage to submit an application.
Beth Worthy is Chief Financial Officer and Director of Operations for GMR Transcription Services (GMRT), overseeing client relations, human resources and new business development to accomplish the company’s mission and goals. Beth began her career in transcription and translation services shortly after graduating from California State University, Fullerton, with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. After a brief period serving as office manager and transcriptionist supervisor for GMRT, her exceptional skills were noticed quickly and she was promoted to her current position.
ABOUT GMR TRANSCRIPTION: GMR Transcription Services, Inc. (GMRT) is a leading U.S.-based provider of secure and affordable transcription and translation services, relying solely on a 100 percent human workforce to accomplish mission-critical goals and objectives for individuals, private organizations, public corporations, government agencies and academic institutions. With over 3 million minutes of transcription completed, GMRT is renowned for its nationwide network of 250+ highly educated and skilled linguistics professionals—many of whom hold licenses and certifications from top institutions—who have consistently delivered (98 percent) accurate protected transcription services to more than 8,800 clients throughout the United States and around the world. GMRT is woman-and minority-owned and small business certified. For more information, visit www.gmrtranscription.com.