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After I got my license as a court reporter, I was faced with a decision to make. It was either I work in a courtroom or do freelance work for different firms during depositions. I also wondered if it would be possible to do both.
As I weighed my options, I answered more questions that could help me decide what I really want to pursue. I imagine myself working in the same place every day, and ask myself if I want that kind of life. Or, am I someone who would like to have a flexible schedule and own my own time and have the freedom to choose which projects I would want to take or not. The first choice is a more stable and predictable career path, which is a good thing if I want to earn a stable income. The second choice however, will make me grow in experience and will give me the chance to travel, which is also something I have always wanted to do.
Of course, there is always the option to do both. Some jurisdictions allow this to happen. You get the chance to get the best of both worlds, have a steady courtroom job, and have the chance to explore and travel for different freelance deposition jobs in different firms.
As I went and explored the wonderful things about this career, I also came to realize the things that helped me grow as a courtroom journalist. I would not be where I am right now, carefree and loving my job every day, if not for the fact that I made the right decisions early in my career, and I had nothing but passion and excitement for the years ahead.
I was excited about starting my new career that I came to realize that it really did not matter which area I focus on. I was just very proud and excited that I finally got the chance to start the career that I have always wanted to achieve.
This is something that other new reporters fail to realize and have – the lack of energy and excitement for the career that they have decided to tackle. Lack of excitement and great goals when starting a career will hinder success. Using old machines, out-dated CAT software, and not getting involved in whatever educational opportunity would come, are things that will never help you become successful in this line of work.
The most important thing, perhaps, is that no matter where we choose to work as court reporters, aiming for greatness is priority. There is a great need for good court reporters, and nothing can be more fulfilling than having the credibility and the record to say that you are one of the few great court reporters there are in your state.
Never stop learning the craft of court reporting. There are teachers, mentors and even World Wide Web, to help you continually improve your skill and craft as a great court journalist.
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Within the last twenty eight years as a courtroom reporter, I’ve frequently been made aware how fortunate I am for getting a real adaptable timetable. When my children were younger it truly was so wonderful for me to be able to pick them up after my morning task and bring them right down to the park during the afternoon, or simply just watch them have fun at home whilst I was doing work about transcripts from the other room. These days, my kids are all grown and often away from home, it’s great after finishing a morning job to run errands that I have to do throughout the day rather than doing so after work when the majority of people are out there doing grocery and standing in line at the Post Office, too.
I really enjoy the freedom of generating transcripts at any given time that works best for me. My absolute favorite times are during the night after everybody is fast asleep, and the house is calm and relaxing, and there are completely zero distractions before the crack of dawn. Therefore when I’ve accomplished my tasks, I have the the whole day to do fun stuff, or proofread a transcript while simply sitting on a stationary bike and working out. And now that I have a cabin, it doesn’t seem to be so bad to work on a transcript on the weekends when I have the luxury of sitting by the pond and enjoying the sounds of the water while editing and enhancing.
Personally I think I am very fortunate to get the overall adaptability to say yes to jobs which involve traveling. Last spring, I took a new job in St. Croix Falls and I had been able to stay at the cabin while doing the job. I also say yes every time I have a chance to work around the Fargo area. My youngest child decided to go to college there and she is now residing and employed there. It’s very nice to have unexpected visits with her and have her spend time in the inn with me.
Owning a flexible timetable absolutely signifies you’ve got to be a flexible court reporter. There are those instances when we were really depending on that two-day job that cancels the afternoon before, right after you’d already been contemplating about how you were going to enjoy the income, changed a hair scheduled appointment, and postponed a coffee date with a good friend. Or there are always those jobs that were only going to last until before noon, but alas, didn’t finish until 6:00, and they have decided they need to have the transcript first thing the next morning. There is often that instance of stress. But on the bright side, don’t you just love that wonderful feeling when you are all caught up and yet your job gets finsihed earlier than expected and you get to have a spontaneous trip and go visit your children, or your partner, or possibly meet a friend for happy hour, or just go on a relaxing trip to the spa by yourself?