One great thing about freelance proofreading is the flexibility it offers. You can work as much or as little as you want, whenever you want. As such, it is a great way to supplement your income or add a little variety to your work life. To see how this works in practice, we’ve spoken to Margaret, a recent Proofreading Academy graduate, about the benefits of flexible working.
Hi, Margaret. What made you consider Proofreading Academy?
I was, and still am, a practicing osteopath. I heard about the course through one of my patients and thought it sounded interesting as I was looking for another income stream at the time. After having a go at the taster module, and really enjoying it, I signed up for the course.
Was there anything surprising or challenging in the course for you?
How have you found the transition to working as a freelance proofreader?
My transition was smooth. The onboarding process with Proofed was quite straightforward, even for someone who isn’t a tech wizard. I think I was lucky to get going just before the busy period in the summer of 2019, as once I had completed my introductory documents, I was able to progress quite quickly to longer documents and even academic dissertations.
How has life changed since you start working as a freelance proofreader?
I still work as an osteopath, but I have the option to proofread whenever I have a free day or half day. It’s a very flexible system in which you are in control of your own availability. This is coming in very handy with the current pandemic situation as I am unable to do my other work with social distancing. I am hoping to use my healthcare skills in a contract tracer role, though.
Have you been self-employed before? How are you finding it?
Yes, so I’m used to it. It’s nice to have control over when you work.
What is your day-to-day work like? And where do you work?
Unless I have other work commitments, or recreational plans, I try to do some proofreading most days. I will either pick something up from the queue in the morning or ask the Proofed admins to assign me something. It has mainly been proofreading/editing journal articles.
At the moment, I proofread at home because of the restrictions on going out and social distancing. Normally, I like to go across the road and proofread in a light and airy supermarket cafe. I find the soft chattering of other people talking and general bustle conducive to working.
What do you enjoy most about proofreading?
Recently, I have been assigned a number of medical articles, which is right up my street. More generally, though, I enjoy the challenge of improving a document, and the satisfaction of reading through it at the end to find the language and flow considerably improved.
What do you do when you aren’t proofreading?
In normal times, I like to visit family, and enjoy the theater and cinema. But I also like to get into the garden, walk, cycle and read, which thankfully are still options even during lockdown!