Work After Retirement As A Proofreader

Many people like to stay sharp after retirement by learning a new skill or keeping busy by working a few hours a week. Personally, I believe that you can work after retirement as a proofreader while being able to enjoy your life. It’s a flexible job that also allows you to draw from your knowledge and experience.

I took the opportunity to interview my friend Lach, who has been retired for the past nine years. He keeps busy by proofreading part time, and in this post he discusses retirement, and gives valuable advice about working as a proofreader.

If you’re near retirement and wondering how you’re going to spend your days, you’ll enjoy this interview.

How long have you been retired for?

Nine years.

Why did you choose to keep working after you retired?

Money, [and the] need to be active.

Can you tell us how you juggle proofreading with retirement?

I proofread in the morning one or two hours after breakfast, more rarely an hour late at night when sleep evades me.

What do you like best about being retired with no office to go to?

I come when I want, go when I want, no fretting over weather and commute, and easy availability of the refrigerator.

What kind of projects do you work on?

I proofread fiction novels.

Some of our readers are people who are getting ready to retire or are already retired.  What advice do you have for them for getting started proofreading?

Do not be afraid to learn, and practice on ads on the bus, and newspaper columns; restaurant menus almost always have a typo. I learned to read as I was ill a lot as a child so being able to read is [necessary], but so is facility in writing. It is not just knowing spelling and grammar.

It is necessary to enjoy reading, have at least one dictionary, have a copy of The Chicago Manual of Style, not necessary to have a degree in English, but it is necessary to be well read and have a good command of English. And get to have some facility with a computer and Microsoft.

There are courses on computers and editing and proofreading out there, both in school, evening courses, and online.


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Any advice about maintaining a work-life balance so you still enjoy retirement?

As to how many hours I started after retirement [it was] about 24 hours a week, but I cut back to half that a couple of years later for reasons I won’t go into except as one ages, one’s eyes get tired of looking at a screen. As a retiree, it would be well to remember that reading is only a part of life, there are other things to do and people in your life. There is more to life than reading! Exercise of some sort and be with people.

What are some of your favourite things about proofreading?

Sometimes you run into new things or thoughts about the world that seem intelligent.

What have you learned over the years that you think today’s proofreader should know?

Never ever complain about how awful a writer is. Some [can be], other work is not, but good or bad, writing or graphics, art comes from the heart.

I will tell you a secret. First, I learned to write dipping a pen in an inkwell. Second, I did not graduate properly from high school, and third, take the lead in your own life!

Finally, there is a whole world out there to explore, so sit back from the computer and look around you.

Thank you, Lach, for a very honest and informative interview! It’s really wonderful to see how retirement can be a good balance of work you enjoy and life.

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7 thoughts on “Work After Retirement As A Proofreader”

  1. I’ve worked in health for the past 35 years, and am getting ready to retire. I think proofreading will be a great way for me to stay busy and make some extra spending money. Plus, I don’t want to lose my mental acuity. Good interview.

  2. I have stumbled onto proofreading as a possible activity in retirement, but know little about it. Initially I was considering teaching in local schools. Most desperately need teachers and I have seen a drastic decline in kids’ reading/writing skills during my few years as an adjunct college professor, primarily online. I do not know precisely what proofreaders do, but I think I may have relevant skills, interests, and energy and would love to know how to get started.

    1. Hi Clark! Teachers make excellent proofreaders and editors. We’ve actually trained quite a few teachers and professors, and they find editorial work not only financially rewarding, but fulfilling as well. To learn more, I recommend getting a feel for it with some of our free training resources.

    1. Hi Bobbie. That’s great to hear! I recommend you start with our free ecourse, Proofreading 101, to get started. It’ll give you foundational knowledge and guide you on how to start proofreading professionally.

  3. Truly expressed views. I was a professor in Life Sciences and remained busy in research activities and published good number of original research papers wth my PhD students. I find students although are getting PhD, many are poor in English language.
    Even if they proof read their articles, I always found some mistakes and they certainly need training for their future progress.
    Recently I got retirement, but being workaholic I want to remain active. I find that proofreading is a good profession for me too to earn, learn and to utilize the time.
    A. Kar

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