I know a lot of court reporting students are out there who go to school and can't wait to start reporting in the "real world." And you guys have lots of questions about what it's like reporting out there. You wonder about is there going to be work for me? Am I going to make enough money to pay off my debts and live the "glamorous" lifestyle?
Well, this is a great place to ask those questions. And if you have any particular topic that you want discussed, bring it up. But I thought I'd share some of the things that I learned the first year out.
A lot of students focus and worry about going out and being in the actual deposition or court setting and taking down the words. A lot of students never even think about actually producing a transcript.
What you've got to realize that for every hour you sit there and take down notes, it's going to take you at least two hours to produce a transcript that you're going to be willing to give to your agency/client. You've got to scope, edit, and proof. Those are the minimum parts to producing a transcript.
The first transcript that you do will be painfully slow, for the most part. You're not going to be sure on format, parentheticals (what are parentheticals? that's another whole discussion). You might be unfamiliar with your software. You might not know all the shortcuts. IT WILL GET BETTER. Once you have that first transcript under your belt. Then it will get easier and faster.
Know for your first year out, don't overwhelm yourself. Don't burn yourself out. Remember, you have the right to turn down a job. If you find yourself awash in 1000 and 1000 of pages and the agency is begging you to take the job, you can turn it down. They will use you again. If you're a good reporter, turn in a quality product and do it in a timely manner, they will use you again.
Anyway, that's my first thought for new reporters and students. I'll try to post more as time goes. And if you have any questions, you can ask me or any reporter on this board.