Since graduation is approaching very quickly, I have been thinking a lot about what I want to do after I graduate. I’m a very indecisive person and it is really hard for me to make decisions. This is the one thing that I need to really think about and carefully look at the pros and cons to help better myself and my family. I’ve been going back and forth awhile now between three areas: Official court reporter, freelance court reporter, and closed captioning. These three areas that I find very interesting have many pros and cons to them. I have been researching awhile now about which one would suit me the best and would be beneficial to my family. I am very interested in all three of them.
The first thing I have been looking at is an official court reporter. This is where you are employed by the judicial system and have a regular 8-5 job and are usually in the same courtroom and have the same judge. When I first started school this is what I wanted to do. I didn’t want to hear anything else; I just wanted to be in a courtroom. As I got further in school, I started hearing more and more about freelancing and closed captioning. This is where my indecisiveness came into effect. There are so many benefits to each of them, but there is also some downfalls.
I started researching becoming an official court reporter. I will, of course, be in a courtroom setting, which is where I definitely want to be. Some of the pros of being and official court reporter is that you usually have the same hours every day and you get the healthcare benefits. The downside, for me, would be being in the same place almost every day, and you have the same judge that you have to follow around. I live in a small town in Kansas and we don’t get much jury trial cases here, so I wouldn’t be getting as many cases around here. Since we are a small town that has only one judge, we have to go around to the surrounding counties and do cases there. This is something I wouldn’t mind because it would be a change of scenery.
The next thing I started researching about was freelance court reporter. This is something that quickly got my attention when I first heard about it. When you freelance, you still work for an agency, but you’re allowed to be flexible and take the cases you want. I am all about being flexible. I know that when having a kid that is something that is a must. I want to be around and be able to raise my kids, and not have them shipped off to daycare or elsewhere. So it would be nice to be able to make your own hours, and still take cases when you can. Another pro that I found out with freelancing is that you are somewhere different almost every single time you take a job. I also wouldn’t mind travelling. I really like the change of scenery. It’s nice to not be in the same place all the time.
Some of the cons that I found were healthcare. From what I read you don’t usually get insurance for the agency you work at. I know the NCRA offers insurance, but that can usually get expensive especially if you’re the only one paying for it. Also, what I found out was that there are some depositions very early in the morning or even late at night. I figured it would be a preference on if you wanted to take that specific deposition though. The last con I figured was the travelling. Although I really like to travel, none of that would be paid for. It might be best to work close to home for a few years, and then start to travel.
Since my small town doesn’t have a court reporting agency, I researched some. The closest agency is in Manhattan, KS which is about an hour away from where I live. This agency is called Midwest Reporters, Inc and they serve all of the Midwest such as Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. I wouldn’t mind working for this agency and be able to go all over the state of Kansas. Like I said previously, travelling would probably be a little ways down the road in my career.
The last thing that has been of interest to me is doing closed captioning. I’ve just recently became interested in this. Although I would really like to in the court setting, being able to close caption for sporting events and possibly TV shows would be pretty fun. I do have a cousin that works for an agency that specifically covers sporting events. She has done many Royals and Chiefs games. I am a sports fan so this would be quite interesting for me. Some of the pros with this would be being able to work from home. Working from home would be nice, especially when having kids. Also, you would have flexible hours. The only con that I can think of would be not having healthcare. I don’t see anything real cons with doing closed captioning. I wouldn’t be in a court setting, and that’s one of the main reasons I started school in the first place. I think is something I would maybe start to consider when I get older.
My main goal to take away from this paper is to actually figure out what I want to do when I graduate. Now that I see everything written down and the list of all the pros and cons, I feel like I will be more comfortable to be able to decide what I really want to do. In the state of Kansas, doing closed captioning, I can make $70,000-$80,000 a year. If I were to do freelance, it would be anywhere from $18,000-$95,000. That depends on how many jobs I would take also. If I were to be an official reporter, the range would be anywhere between $38,000 and $69,000. I think after researching and making a pros and cons list, I think going down the path of being a freelance reporter would be the way to go for me. Since I live in a small town in Kansas and having just started a family, this would give me flexible hours and a larger case load to be able to support myself and my family. This research paper has really put things into perspective and makes me very comfortable with my decision after graduation.
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