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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Accepting Constructive Criticism

I realize that we're self-employed in this business, and you may have thought you'd be avoiding annual reviews and being told what you're doing wrong. Unfortunately, you will probably have more criticism and comments on your work in this business than working for someone just because you're working for so many people, and different people are looking for different things.

Having someone tell you you're doing something wrong is never easy. However, it is important to remember in this business that there are fine lines, and if your contract or client prefers things be done a different way, then doing things that way is probably in your best interest if you appreciate the income they provide. Whether you agree with the criticism or not, it is always important to make sure you let your contact know you're willing to work with them to get to where they're happy with the transcript you are providing for them. If you really disagree or have questions with some things, perhaps consider asking for clarification so you can fix that for next time.

One of the benefits of being self-employed is not having a boss, but you still have clients you are looking to for payment for your services from. While you may not prefer the way a client has you typing numbers, for example, or dealing with a cleaned up transcript versus full verbatim, it is their opinion that ultimately provides your paycheck. Still, if you find that working with a particular client or company just doesn't work for you, it's always okay to find that income elsewhere. That IS one of the benefits of self-employment. You do have the option of finding different sources of income.

If you are looking to completely sever a relationship with a personal client, perhaps suggesting someone else in the industry you think would be a better fit for them is an option. If not, try to leave on good terms. You never know when that contact will come in handy in the future. Perhaps they'll refer you to someone that will increase your earnings substantially, or maybe they know other people in the industry and you just want your reputation to remain in tact.

All of this is part of being a professional. Read Tara's post and the list on being a professional. Ask yourself if you are one and how you can adjust to make sure the way you come across to your clients and contracts is in a professional manner.