Proofreading employment offers a stability that freelance positions can’t provide
Freelance opportunities in proofreading are a great way to get extra part-time work that you can do from home. However, the freelance lifestyle is not for everyone. If you only want to work as a full- or part-time employee but don’t want to have to move across the country to chase jobs, a number of options are still available by which you can gain proofreading employment.
You will greatly improve your chances of getting proofreading employment without moving if you have your own transportation. Big cities have extensive public transport networks, but getting from one end of the city to the other may involve several bus and rail changes, with long waits for the next leg. Having your own vehicle extends your search field for proofreading employment to cross-city opportunities. Also, residents of small towns can consider neighboring towns within driving distance if they own a vehicle. The wider your search area is, the more likely you are to find multiple opportunities, and this will greatly enhance your chances of finding proofreading employment.
The organizations most likely to offer proofreading employment are publishers. You may think that all publishers are in cities like New York or London, but you would be wrong. Many publishers are based in small towns to reduce costs. Take a look through your Yellow Pages, or do a quick search online to find publishers that might offer you proofreading employment.
Types of publishing
When people think of “publishing,” they probably think of book publishing houses. However, don’t overlook your local newspaper. Track down printing companies in your local area, and ask them if they will let you contact the companies that bring them printing work. Anyone who gets anything printed will need a proofreader. Take your résumé when you go to meet the manager of the printing company. Maybe the printer will consider hiring you so it can offer a proofreading service along with its printing services. Many printers offer typesetting, layout, and graphics services to their customers, so this may be an avenue to explore for proofreading employment.
Advertising agencies produce a lot of written work and need proofreaders. Look in your local paper for ads from advertising agencies, and send them a copy of your résumé. Proofreading employment could even help you get started in an advertising career.
Chances are, your town has one big employer, and you probably already know people who work there. Big companies produce in-house magazines, sales brochures, user guides, and operational manuals, as well as a whole range of other printed literature. It’s possible that the company outsources much of its sales brochure work to an advertising agency, but that will not be the case with its internal communications. Network among your friends and neighbors to find a contact within a company if you think it could offer you proofreading employment. Ask around to find the right person to send your résumé to.
If you don’t want to be a freelancer, you probably don’t want the loneliness and stress of starting your own business. Instead, consider going into partnership with other proofreaders you might know. If you gather together the copywriters and editors in your contacts book, you might be able to form a company. In this scenario, you would get all the benefits of proofreading employment, such as professional insurance, health coverage, and a pension. A cooperative is a useful midpoint between self-employment and corporate work.
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