In a previous blog, we addressed the importance of meticulousness while providing court reporting services, as well as several reasons why one should hire a court reporter. In this blog, we will identify ways to develop practical, lifelong skills in your chosen profession as a court reporter. These tips and tricks will be particularly helpful for student court reporters who may not yet be entirely comfortable with their workload as they are just starting their careers.
It is no secret that a court reporting career can be stressful. Although the rewards are appealing, there are certainly times when the abundance of responsibilities can be overwhelming, especially early on in one’s career. Having a plan in place to address the pressure can help ease the feeling of being overwhelmed. First, it may help to know that this is a feeling experienced by many busy professionals at some point in their career. Time management skills are essential in keeping the stress at a manageable level.
Though some people thrive under pressure, one of the most common causes of stress is having to accomplish a plethora of tasks within tight deadlines. Court reporters are frequently asked to produce perfect transcripts virtually immediately. Here are some steps you can take to help keep yourself organized and efficient.
Know the amount of time you have available and plan your next steps. Take a moment to assess how long it will take for you to complete each task on your agenda. Think about each task from start to finish, from proofreading to delivery. Having a schedule in hand will help you measure whether or not you are meeting specific targets, and it will keep you on track as to what tasks take priority. Such a schedule will visualize each task and allow you to take each step at a time, preventing a feeling of being overwhelmed. Focusing only on the task at hand with the comfort of having scheduled sufficient time for all tasks on the agenda will focus your mind and let you work efficiently.
There is nothing wrong with taking some time to think before starting the task at hand. Ask your client questions if you are unsure about what is required, or if you wish to know whether or not the stated deadline can be extended. Your schedule will enable you to see clearly where you have taken on too much for the time available and asking for a deadline extension early on will prevent uncomfortable conversations later on. You will appear organized and professional if you raise concerns early on.
Learn how to delegate. Sometimes the unexpected happens and you may find yourself unable to meet the deadline to which you originally agreed. In this case, ask family or a friend to help you take care of non-work issues. Recourse to a colleague can be helpful, provided you do not breach your obligation of confidentiality to the parties involved in the case you are reporting on.
Feeling overwhelmed can be remedied. Prioritizing, planning, and knowing when to seek help and advice can help you accomplish your goal of becoming a star court reporter and delivering professional service to your clients.
Call one of our locations today, conveniently located in Whitby and Barrie to book a court reporter for a meeting or mediation, or even to discuss a court reporting position with OTR. We look forward to discussing your court reporting skills.