Since March 2020, the virus we have all become familiar with, Covid-19, has had an enormous impact on millions of people around the world.  Due to Covid, various iterations of my career path have emerged since I began the Diploma in Proofreading and Editing with NZIBS back in 2019.  It meant considerable gaps in the completion of assignments as I embarked on a new role (from legal secretary to real estate personal assistant) handed in my notice (as I was due to move to the Middle East where my husband was based) only to discover that he was returning to New Zealand due to Covid. 

We then played a waiting game, so I picked up another legal secretarial role on a temporary basis however the tables turned once again when a couple of months ago it was decided the Middle East was no longer viable.  I am now back in the world of law working as a legal assistant to a senior author (lawyer) in a project-based role which I am really enjoying. I can work from home primarily which is great and is proving very useful during lockdowns.  I finally finished my course, nearly two years after starting it.  The enormous support from the very understanding administration team enabled me to get “across the line” in the end!

I wasn’t entirely sure what the scope of the Diploma in Proofreading and Editing was, although have always driven my family mad by spotting a spelling mistake at a hundred paces (my kids got so used to it, they would always ask, particularly if we went into a restaurant/café, “Okay mum, so where are the mistakes in the menu, let’s get it over with now…”). 

I definitely had a leaning towards all things word-related – I attribute a lot of this to my mother who inspired a love of reading and writing in me from an early age.  According to my father, mum kept the wheels of the publishing industry turning – we did have a lot of books at home!

From the first assignment I was utterly intrigued with the material, and also at times was extremely challenged.  I think part of this was due to a few age-old habits I learned when quite young at school – certain things in the grammar, comprehension and punctuation world have changed considerably, others not so much.  It was a real delight to pick up new skills and reinforce some established ones.  My tutor was extremely encouraging, and I really valued his comments on each assignment. 

However, I still can’t stop proofing or editing everything and anything I see! I just discovered five glaring errors in the marketing material for the sale of my mother’s house – possibly things I may not have spotted before my course or have been confident enough to identify. So, I am pushing forward after-hours (or as it’s now called, a “side hustle”!), with establishing my online freelance business, Word-Wise Limited.  I am currently working through ideas for a website and am planning to launch through social media, personal and business networks and connections soon. 

I have a varied background having trained as a beauty therapist many moons ago, worked in graphic design, retail, real estate, and law and studied numerous things over the years including photography, history, Italian, psychology, anthropology, classics, piano, flute and art history.

It’s hard to pinpoint any one tutorial that was the most helpful as there were fantastic “ah-ha!” moments in each one, however, as I now turn my thoughts towards generating business, I must make note of Assignment 12.  We were asked to compile a list of potential areas that we thought we had particular skills or experience in – I keep going back to this list and adding to it as more and more things spring to mind that I realise I have knowledge in.  This is a simple but brilliant tool and an example of just one of the many, many tips and tricks I have picked up during my course. 

So, as they say, “watch this space” – I hope to update you all again soon with my progress in the world of proofreading and editing.  If any of you are considering taking this course, for whatever reason, I cannot recommend it highly enough – go ahead and take the plunge, it is absolutely worth it, becoming a little more “word-wise” is just the beginning!


Graduate of the Proofreading & Editing course.

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