The steps I took to find proofreading and copy-editing.

I thought for my first blog post that it would be a good idea to write about my journey, and the steps I’ve taken to get myself in a great position with proofreading and copy-editing.

Since 2014, I’ve worked as a teaching assistant, and I still do to help pay those all-important bills! I never really thought about the fact that I could do anything else and began to feel a little trapped. Don’t get me wrong though, I’ve learned a great deal, got a great skill set and met my best friend. I find being a teaching assistant both challenging and hugely rewarding, and I love being able to teach and help children enjoy education. However, the trapped feeling grew, and I found myself getting a little mentally drained.

This was until I came across articles on working from home, being a freelancer, and having a side hustle. Of course, I’ve always known about these types of work, but the more I read, the more it appealed to me on so many levels. However, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to make it any kind of reality without lots of hard work and enthusiasm. 

I thought about what I’m good at, what industries could apply to me and gravitated toward proofreading and copy-editing. I’ve loved reading my entire life, which has allowed me to have a great grasp of the English language. I’ve also always been able to spot errors in writing and can follow correct punctuation, spelling and grammar. 

I took the following steps so that I’m now in a great place to receive clients whilst still working as a teaching assistant, but aspiring to going full-time one day.

  • I completed tests to see if I have the skills and knowledge needed for this line of work. I also spent a lot of my time reading and learning.
  • I began to look into courses for proofreading and copy-editing, as I knew that I was a complete beginner. I settled on a Level 4 Proofreading and Copy-Editing Diploma, led by the Collage for Publishing and Media. I chose this course because it was in-depth, with great tutor support throughout. It challenged me, helped me learn essential knowledge, and I gained practice. But most importantly, it allowed me to become a certified proofreader and copy-editor, giving potential clients more reassurance. It took me around 3 months to complete, but I was lucky enough to have a large amount of spare time to complete it in. I’m so pleased with myself for completing it, and would really recommend others like me to do something similar.
  • Alongside the course, I gained extra experience through proofreading for friends and by taking pieces of writing from news websites to try and proofread and edit. 
  • I created this website and blog, so that I have a good base to work from, and can attract people to work with.
  • I signed up for a separate Twitter and Pinterest account to make social media links. I’m able to market myself, communicate and develop relationships with likeminded people.
  • I posted in writing forums recommended to me, and found people who wanted writing support. I offered my services for free in return for a testimonial if they thought I did a good job.

 If you’re nervous about making work-life changes, my advice would be to try and think less about all the what-ifs, the negatives, the setbacks and just take it a step at a time. At some point, you’ll look back and see how much you’ve achieved. It is possible to learn a new skill set and gain the experience needed to change your career whilst working, if you have the drive, mindset and determination to do it. You never know unless you try, and I am so glad that I tried. It’s led me to expand my horizons and discover new things about myself. Life is always changing, but I’m excited to see where I go and keep you updated along the way.

Published by Amy Ollerton

Hi! I'm Amy—a professional copy editor and proofreader living in the beautiful Scottish Highlands. I provide friendly, personalised services that boost writing while retaining the author's unique style and voice. I write a little myself, shown through my blog. Alongside my work, I read books, enjoy baking, and explore the Highlands with my partner and my dog, Lula. If you've ever any editing queries, feel free to get in touch!

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