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Editor Profiles: Margaret (Flexible Working)

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?

I hadn’t done any proofreading before, so there was a lot to learn. I found the different referencing styles tricky, and it took a while to master formatting.

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 started 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.

Editor Profiles: Flexible Working
Margaret: Enjoying flexible working as a proofreader.

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!

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9 Comments

  1. In the far past I was a proofreader at a printing company for two years, I trained as a hairdresser, found pay was poor at 50% of intake, took course as a Health Care Aide in long term care and worked at that for 13 years

    1. wondering if this can be used as a stepping stone. I have been raising kids for 15 years and have an old Dietitian bachelors degree. Cant do anything with it now.. need some skills to re enter nutrition world.

  2. Sounds great and further convinces me that proofreading is the way forward for me. I may then consider progressing to copy editing in the future.

    By the way, I’ve spotted a glaring mistake in one of the above questions. It should say ‘started’ …

    ‘’How has life changed since you startED working as a freelance proofreader?’’

    I hope you don’t mind me pointing this out! All the best …

  3. I started out working as a proofreader many years ago for Volt Information Sciences and also Grumman Aerospace. Combined I proofread for 21 years. Honestly I didn’t think proofreading was a thing anymore and never looked back. For the past 3 years I have been doing gig work, like rideshare. So I don’t run my car into the ground before the auto loan is fully paid, I looked for new gig work and discovered that proofreading was thriving for independent contractors.

  4. Since I found proofreading my daughter’s college assignments enjoyable and interesting, I thought that perhaps there would be some work of this nature online. I’m looking forward to doing the course!

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