While losing a job can be tough, it might also be a chance to make an exciting career change. Our Becoming A Proofreader course offers comprehensive proofreading training and guaranteed work for anyone who earns a passing grade of 80% or more. This makes it perfect for anyone looking to overcome redundancy – which is exactly what Helen did!
Hi, Helen! What made you consider the Proofreading Academy course?
I was interested in proofreading and considered lots of courses, but I was quite taken aback by how many there are! I completed the free trial of Becoming A Proofreader, though, and I was impressed with the telephone follow-up and chance to work with Proofed if I did well. It was also one of the cheaper courses I saw, so it was excellent value for money.
What were you doing before you started the course?
I had been working as a lawyer for 25 years, but I was made redundant due to the pandemic.
I had always been asked to check writing for colleagues, friends, and family, though. So, when I found the Becoming A Proofreader course, I decided that it was a great opportunity to start something new.
Was there anything particularly challenging in the course for you?
I was lulled into a false sense of security by early modules on spelling and grammar, which were familiar. I then discovered some new things about punctuation, before being plunged into a whole new world of referencing styles and the etiquette of editing and commenting.
What has been the single biggest benefit of having done the course?
I have acquired a new skill that has enabled me to progress from removing rogue apostrophes for fun to getting paid to do so!
What do you enjoy most about proofreading? And do you have a favorite type of document or subject area to proofread?
I love the variety of work: short stories for primary school children, dissertations about laser therapy, website sales descriptions, psychological horror fiction. I do have an inclination toward creative writing and the humanities, though.
How has life changed for you as a freelance proofreader?
I am now able to work from home in a job that is wonderfully varied, enjoyable, and (hopefully) redundancy proof. And I am spending more time with the family (and cats) now!
What is your day-to-day routine like now?
I have time for a relaxed breakfast with the family before the children go to school. Then, if I haven’t got other freelance proofreading work on the go, I take a document from the Proofed dashboard to work on until they come home.
To break up the day, there’s always housework. But I also make sure to give myself time for sewing (I’ve been helping to make scrubs during the pandemic) and the occasional walk.
Where do you proofread? Have you got a workspace set up?
I work from home in a room that has, at various times, been a playroom, a homework room, a dumping ground (still sometimes the case), and my sewing room.
Have you been self-employed before? How are you finding it?
I have never been self-employed before. It has been quite a steep learning curve while overcoming redundancy, but I have been lucky to find support from family, from friends, and online. I haven’t yet reached the point where I have submitted my first tax return, so my feelings on the subject may well change then!
What do you do when you aren’t proofreading for Proofed?
I did have a go at some writing, which was fun. And I do some voluntary work, such as helping to lead children’s activities at church. I’ve also picked up some other freelance proofreading and copy editing. This has come to me so far through recommendations by friends.
When it comes to my free time, I have come to the conclusion that lockdown suited my lifestyle. I am perfectly happy spending time with the family at home, watching TV and films, playing games, cuddling the cats, drinking coffee, and chatting.
Do you have a website or LinkedIn profile that you’d like to share?
Yes! You can find me on LinkedIn here.
Finally, is there anything else you want to share?
Taking the course changed a lot of things for me at a time when I really needed it.
Becoming A Proofreader
Have you recently faced redundancy like Helen, or are you just looking for a career change? Sign up for our free Becoming A Proofreader trial and start a new career today!