I’ll start out with the most important thing first!
I think probably the most important thing to remember, as you think, oh, I want to work at home, and I can fit it all around everything, and be real flexible, and everything will be real easy (if anyone actually thinks that, I know I kinda did, at first) —– no.
First, start here and read to learn more about the business, http://www.transcriptionessentials.com/forum/index.php?board=3.0 . I highly recommend visiting this site and reading A LOT before making a decision to be a transcriptionist. And I will repeat this often — LOL! — this is the transcription guidebook site for me!
Anyway, deadlines. You get a job of an hour audio, due in 1 week. A newbie may think, oh that may take a few hours, I’ll do it the day it’s due.
First of all, it takes at LEAST 4 hours to type an hour of audio. Then you really need to proof everything to audio, which can take another 2-4 hours. Then you have to spell check, reread for dumb errors (which don’t always show up to your tired eyes right away!) AND check all your formatting which must be exactly as the company gives you. You also have to research everything. This means Googling, etc., terms you don’t know, double checking your company’s documentation, etc. I’ll get more into this later.
I try and start my work early on when I first get it, and even still have to do some late hours/early mornings to make sure everything is absolutely perfect. Companies are not highly forgiving, and they don’t like missed deadlines. Check right away when the deadlines are. Even if something says, due July 15th, ask them, what TIME is it due? Most of my companies are due anytime on the due date, but I have differences where some may be due at 9 a.m., some due at noon, some due at five, some due at 11 p.m., and many actually due anytime on that date even if it’s 11:59 p.m. before the next date OR EVEN 4 in the morning the next morning as long as it’s before the open of business.
But check check check. And arrange your life around the deadline — don’t arrange and rearrange (asking for numerous extensions) from your job. Stay up until 3, get up 4, whatever you need to do — as getting a reputation for missed deadlines is not a good plan.
soon — dori