Six years ago, I started my new job as a court reporter. With a heart full of excitement and a mind full of anxiety, here are some thoughts I had on my first days.
‘OK, be cool, be cool’.
‘Oops! I made a mistake’.
‘They didn’t fire me! Thank you, Jesus’.
‘She wants me to do what? But I’ve never done that before’.
‘I miss my college days’.
‘Finally! Time to head home’.
Yes, I’ve had these thoughts on my first week (well, if I’m being honest, a little bit longer) and I can almost guarantee that the first few days are rough for almost every stenographer.
So for anyone out there who’s starting a new job as a court reporter and is worried about everything, relax! Below are a few helpful tips for you to follow!
Court Reporters: Never Be Afraid to Ask for Help!
‘I think this is how I’m supposed to do this….but I’m a little afraid to ask’. Well, try to get rid of such thoughts as soon as possible and never be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Instead of trying to look as if you know everything, talk to your fellow students or your instructors, and seek out advice from experienced reporters. Experienced court reporters will give you advice on how to prepare for a deposition, what to do prior to deposition and after to ensure you provide accurate transcriptions.
Trust me, most court reporters are always happy to help, as long as you just speak up and ask.
Practice Typing and Stenography Skills
For a court reporter, speed and accuracy are simply part of the job description. A trained court reporter must be able to type 225 words per minute at very high accuracy. Without a doubt that doesn’t just happen overnight. It takes hours and hours of practice to reach that speed and accuracy. Thus it’s crucially important to get comfortable with the stenography machine and practice typing each and every day. At the beginning, work on accuracy rather than speed (it’s just a matter of time).
Continue to Advance and Develop Your Job Skills
Dreaming of becoming a professional, efficient, and reliable court reporter who produces accurate, and dependable transcripts, earns six figures, and always has job security? Then never stop learning! Look for an internship opportunity to be a proofreader or a scopist for an experienced court reporter, familiarize yourself with terms and abbreviations that are new to you, boost your typing speed and work on your listening, writing, and transcription skills, etc. So, keep moving forward dear young court reporter!