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Editor Profiles: Paula (The Career Change)

Proofreading Academy will help you to pick up the skills you need as a freelance editor and proofreader. And with a work guarantee for those who obtain a passing grade of 80% or more, our system is perfect for those planning a career change. To prove this, we’ve spoken to one of our graduates: Paula, from near the Lincolnshire coast in the UK.

Hi, Paula. What were you doing before Proofreading Academy?

I was teaching – 23 years in primary education, including 2.5 in leadership, from which I was made redundant. The experience put me off teaching for good; hence the career change!

And what made you consider the Proofreading Academy course?

I had tried a paper-based course before without much success as the feedback was incredibly slow and vague. I spotted the PA course when I was searching for a replacement – reading about it, I realized that it would be more responsive and the fact there was a chance of work at the end was very appealing, especially as I hadn’t worked freelance before.

Had you done any proofreading before your career change?

Only as part of the grammar police! 😊 Totally embarrassing for my kids!

How have you found the transition to working as a freelance proofreader?

This is the first time I have been self-employed. It was scary at first, but I settled into it quickly. I rely on Proofed for my “bread and butter” income – it is brilliant that I get paid weekly. The regular contact, support, and feedback from the admin team keeps me in check with skills and they are always on call when I encounter difficulties. I can also offer my skills to private clients and other companies on the back of what I learnt from the teams at PA and Proofed.

Being my own boss is great, and I thrive on searching for work and getting positive feedback, knowing that it’s something I’ve achieved on my own. I was very scared of my tax return and accounts, though. I decided to take on an accountant to do it for me. Best decision.

On a personal level, before training with PA, I was suffering with depression and stress from my job and relationship problems. But doing PA and starting to work freelance enabled me to take steps forward. And although I still struggle at times, my life has improved a hundredfold.

How often would you say you proofread for Proofed in a typical week?

Oh, one hundred times at least (when the work is available). As much as possible.

Are you proofreading elsewhere? If so, how did you find this work?

Yes, I have some regular private clients now and do some work for another proofreading company. I also do regular editing for companies in Greece and France and some for a website in Ireland, an author in the US, and a new company setting up in the Netherlands. I have secured all this work through the Find a Proofreader website and LinkedIn.

Where do you proofread? Have you got a workspace set up?

I work from home in my kitchen! Next to my garden, the kettle, and my dogs. 😊

What do you enjoy most about proofreading?

I get great satisfaction from improving writing for people, especially ESL writers. I am in awe of how they write at such a level in a language that is not their native one. Kudos to them.

I also love working on LaTeX documents and have a soft spot for PDFs now that I know how to use all the tools. Subject wise, I really enjoy the technical/scientific/medical documents.

What do you do when you aren’t proofreading?

Sleep, usually! When I do take time out, I like days out somewhere new (often in my classic MINI Clubman), reading (when my eyes don’t hurt), dog walking, piano playing, and painting.

Thanks, Paula. Is there anything else you want to share?

Training with Proofreading Academy changed my life. The course was excellent value. Along with the informative modules, assessments, and feedback, working with Proofed feels like continuous professional development, which I don’t think I would get from another company. The PA and Proofed teams have been a massive support throughout. I couldn’t ask for more.

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  2. Hi paula – thanks so much for sharing your experience – one question, Ihow did you get onto the Proofed company list of proofreaders? Was it after you had completed all the Academy courses?

  3. Very interesting – I’m planning to do your course later this Year (I’ve no idea why the first letter of each word I write is being capitalised – did I click on something?).

    1. Hi, Lydia. I think the capitalisation thing is to do with the preview ‘Write Your Comments Here’ text being capitalised, but the published comment comes out capitalised as typed. Will let the relevant people know, though, as I can see it would be confusing!

  4. Thanks for your great story, Paula. I too am a member of the grammar police.
    Sorry to ask this, but I really would like particulars. Would you mind saying, in general terms, if you were able to match your teaching income, without working more hours? The pay rate looked a little low to me, which is one concern I have about taking the class.


    1. Hi, Diane. Our featured editors do not monitor the posts and so are unable to respond to your query directly. However, all members of our customer service and tutor teams have successfully completed the BAP course and are happy to talk about their experiences of proofreading with Proofed and our work guarantee (we’ll have someone reach out to you soon). We also have some advice on how much a freelance proofreader can earn here: https://www.proofreadingacademy.com/advice/how-much-can-a-freelance-proofreader-earn/

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