I love watching videos of inspirational people who tell their truth. Yesterday I watched the Steve Jobs’ 2005 commencement speech at Stanford. Because court reporting is my thing, while I listened to Steve’s words, I thought about how what he knows for sure applies to court reporters and our profession.
At one point in the speech Jobs states, “You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the yeas roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”
It is easy to find the court reporters who love their profession. They can be found at court reporting conferences; they belong to their state associations and NCRA. The court reporters that love what they do are CSRs, RPRs, CCRRs, CRRs, RMRs, et cetera. They are always working towards being better and being great. Those court reporters are excited to go to work and make very good money.
As a firm owner I get resumes from reporters weekly. I find it puzzling when I meet a court reporter looking for work, and I ask what steno machine they write on and what version of their CAT system, and they tell me they plan on retiring in the next five years or so and therefore have decided not to upgrade their equipment and software. And already their equipment/software is five to ten years old.
The court reporters who have old equipment, outdated software, in my mind, have settled. Court reporters who have not gone to a court reporting seminar or class since they got out of court reporting school need to find a job that they love, like Jobs recommends. I doubt those court reporters enjoy going to work most days.
I think the speech by Jobs is worthy of watching once a year. He talks about life, death, and how life’s lessons often lead to great things.
As a court reporter, there is no better feeling than writing realtime for a room full of lawyers, taking down the words of a witness who might talk about securities, science, or any subject on the planet, and you knock it out of the park! Your fingers are flying at 250+ wpm and your tran rate is fantastic.
It takes years of practice, hard work, and talent to be great. And as Jobs says, “it just gets better and better as the years roll on.”
My 2012 wish for all court reporters everywhere is to be great. I believe being great will bring you joy.
Happy New Year!