You’ve probably seen advertisements on TV offering to train your for a successful career as a medical or legal transcriptionist. While these can be rewarding careers, you can also become a successful transcriptionist without spending all your time and money in classes and learning all the special terms.
You can get to work in no time as a general transcriptionist. A general transcriptionist needs to be able to listen to spoken notes and type them in a format that is understandable not only to the person who gave the dictation, but also to a third party reader looking over your documents. This means you have to be able to type, but also think on your feet, interpret what people are saying, and understand a variety of voices.
One of the benefits of being a general transcriptionist is that there is very little start-up cost to get your business going. However, there are a few essential tools you will need:
* Headphones. Make sure to get a high quality pair of headphones. You’re going to be using them a lot and it’s going to cost you a lot of time if you keep having to go get new ones. If you’re someone who is easily distracted, you may think of investing in some that drown out outside noise.
* A solid computer. If you’re going to work from home, you don’t need a state-of-the-art computer, but you probably want to invest in one that is newer with a few basic capabilities. If you’re constantly having to deal with a computer freezing up or being slow, it can not only slow you down, it will also really stress you out.
* Some good word processing software. Microsoft Word is usually the best choice. Almost everyone has it, so you don’t have to spend time converting files and such.
* A good transcription software. This will play the files so that you can transcribe them easily and properly.
Practise, practise, practise. Getting work as a transcriptionist not only requires you to be able to type quickly, you also have to be able to do it accurately. Your skills will improve as you work, but you have to have some skill before you get started. If you aren’t the best at typing, don’t worry; just keep going until you get it.
Also, practise listening to someone and typing what they’re saying at the same time. You may also want to brush up on your spelling and grammar. Spell check will catch some of these, but not all of them, and it takes longer to fix than to do it right the first time.
Once you have everything you are ready to go. There are lots of online sites, like Elance, that post work for you to bid on. Just make sure you have a quality cover letter ready to send. You may have to start out slow, but if you build quality results and reviews, you’ll eventually get the business you’re looking for.