Turning A Corner

In my last post, I created a nifty little collage of images that was based on the currently popular “What People Think I Do” meme.

Then I really got to thinking about what exactly it is I do for a living and realized how much I no longer want to be a proofreader.

That’s not to say that I never have. When I first got my start I thoroughly enjoyed doing it because up to that point, I was just another retail slave. Going from printing photos in a photo lab to working in an office proofreading and  writing articles for magazines that were published across the country was a quantum leap in terms of personal enjoyment, compensation, and my overall career.

And the writing I do here on the blog is fine and well because, let’s face it, I’m the boss and everything is up to me (except those things which I cannot control). Whatever I want to say and however I want to format it – the choice is always mine. It’s enjoyable and is my outlet at the end of a day, a day that is filled with 8 hours reading a variety of labels and Instructions for Use in multiple languages, none of which I can tear apart and reconstruct the way I wish I could.

I have been proofreading since 2003 and I believe that it has taken its toll. Additionally, it’s not something I can see myself doing in 10 or even 5 years from now. Heck, try 1 year.

To top it all off, my eyes sometimes feel like they are going to fall out of my head by the end of the day.

Taking all things into consideration, it’s safe to say that I think I’ve reached the end of my line as a proofreader.

The lack of personal enjoyment aside, the market for experienced proofreaders is ridiculous. I can’t tell you how many recruiters have contacted me regarding open (contracted) proofreader positions they had available. The contact is made, I send my resume, and then I either hear nothing or get the “Thanks, but…” e-mail or call. It’s an employer’s market and I’m nowhere near the top rung on their ladder of qualified candidates.

What makes me less attractive, aside from the obvious physical traits, is that I’m 43 with no college degree which pretty much makes me look like a loser when they open up my resume. I simply lack the required education for the available proofreading jobs and it’s not like going back to school was going to help me one bit. In fact, I have scrapped that plan because at this point, I would be wasting my time and money by taking whichever course I was considering: Technical Writing or Effective Business Writing, I forget which. I don’t even think I had my choice narrowed down yet.

Yay verily, it’s safe to say that my days as a proofreader are most definitely numbered – by my choice. For the sake of my sanity I’ve decided that my next job will most likely not be in the same field. If anything, I may consider a return to retail management or go off and so something completely out of my element.

In short, the time is right to move on and try something different. Going for a real estate license? Selling cars? Driving the tractor that picks up golf balls at the local driving range?

Who knows. Anything is within the realm of possibility at the moment.