2 Simple Steps to a Better Transcriptionist
The better you are at what you do, the easier it becomes.
Within six months of joining a transcription company as TC (typist/transcriber) I was promoted to QC (Quality Checker) from a novice transcriber. In the following short two years, I was made Team Coordinator, and then Assistant Team Leader.
And in doing so, I more than tripled my salary in 3 years!
How did I do that?
Well, I have these few secrets that help me to be a better transcriptionist. These are what I call my secret sure-fire ways to be a better transcriptionist.
It’s all about quality, NOT quantity
As transcibers (TCs) a lot of my colleagues focused their attention on their typing speeds and other statistics. And, you know what, after 3 or 4 years they are still transcribers while I moved up the ladder.
From day one, I concentrated on my quality/accuracy. I was and am only interested in getting everything right – the words, the phrases, the tenses, the format, the grammar.
Don’t get me wrong. Being productive is well and good. And, as a transcriber there are certain expectations you have to meet but first concentrate on quality. Everything else will follow.
Being the fastest transcriber crunching out hundreds of pages a day will not help unless your transcript meets the quality standards of your clients. It may be helpful if you work by yourself and get paid by the pages or line count. Because someone else (a QC) will have to proofread the whole transcript anyway. That’s why quality should be your first priority; not quantity.
How To Improve Your Transciption Quality
- Improve your comprehension skills: The most important skill you can develop as a transcriber is your comprehension skill. All else will follow. Accurate comprehension of dictations is what most transcribers struggle with. To improve your comprehension skills its important you practice listenting to different accents. Try watching the news on foreign TV channels in English.
- Improve your English vocabulary: Make it a point to note down every new word your come across in your work or anywhere else. Note down and look up a dictionary for its meaning.
- Brush up your basic grammar: Remember the boring English grammar classes in high school? Well, now is the time to revise and improve upon it. Most transcribers struggle with the basics! Tenses and verbs are pretty important so do learn them again.
- Create Notes for each client: By notes I mean a document where you note down commonly occuring uncommon words, addresses, names, places, legal terms, technical terms, etc unique to a client. These notes will be a quick reference for you and your colleagues when in doubt or when clueless about anything in the dictation. And over time, these reference notes will be a resource for everyone.
It’s Team Work
In an office setting, interpersonal skills go a long way in developing your career. They can break or make your career. Transcription industry is not exception. I got my promotions with the help of my (previous) Team Leader!
Granted transcription can be routine and mundane, but that’s not an excuse to be a recluse. Make it a point to get up from your cubicle and interact with your colleagues and team members. Remember, transcription is a team work unless you are a freelance transcriptionist working from home.
- Always be presentably dressed.
- Always be helpful.
- Be understanding to new transcribers.
- Be ready to work beyond the call of duty.
- Be proactive and take initiatives in your work.
- Ask when in doubt.
- Ask for feedbacks on your work from quality analysts (QCs) and your Team Leader.
To conclude, transcription is a team work where it takes at least two persons to complete a job. But, with practice and perseverence one should be able to work alone and produce transcripts that meet the quality standards of clients. And, that’s the ultimate goal because it only gets easier and better from there on. I promise.