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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Juggling Multiple Contracts

Holding multiple contracts is important to being able to weather the inevitable slow periods in the transcription industry. It's not often that all companies endure a slow period at the same time (except possibly around the holiday season), so by being able to request work from more than one source, you can hopefully avoid unexpected fluctuations in your income.

Juggling multiple contracts can be tricky though. I've held as many as six contracts at one time, but I found that I was stretched too thin. I've whittled my way back to three that work best for me as far as pay, scheduling, and type of work offered, and this seems to be working out very well.

How many contracts you can successfully hold down is ultimately a personal choice and can probably only be achieved through trial and error. It took me close to a year to find a mix that worked well, and I still tweak it from time to time as my priorities and needs change.

You may find that certain companies are just not a good fit for you because of their turnaround times or the transcript style they use (I personally detest strict verbatim work), and that's okay. Don't be afraid to cancel a contract that isn't working out. However, do be sure to do it in a courteous and professional manner. Burned bridges can come back to haunt you just as much in the virtual world as they can when working brick-and-mortar positions!

One final note about holding multiple contracts is to make sure that there aren't any conflicts of interest between companies. For example, we've mentioned in the past that companies that transcribe financial earnings calls for Thomson may preclude you from holding a contract with a company that transcribes them for CallStreet. Do your due diligence!

This site is a much more valuable resource when readers share their input. If you've been working in the transcription industry for a while, what are some tips you have on juggling multiple contracts?

2 Comments:

Julie said...

I agree with everything said. I have been transcribing from home for about two years now and I am still tweaking what works best for me.

margi said...

Up to now, I've always been a one-contract at-a-time person. I'm trying to get motivated to finish up my medical transcription course and when that's done, I plan to see where that will take me.

I'm very interested in exploring more contract work and hope that you'll write more on this.

Speaking of motivation. . . .