By Daniela McVicker
If you have to pick a skill that will help you in almost any walk of life it’s the ability to write. It isn’t just useful in the office, but in whatever occupation you might choose – as it will help you put together everything from your resume to your project proposal. And those can be money-making skills in whatever walk of life you find yourself in.
That said, there are certainly some jobs where you’re going to do a hell of a lot better than others. Here we’ve put together some of the best job opportunities available to you if you know how to write well. And here we’re not just talking about being a novelist and a journalist, though obviously those are choices that are available to you.
Companies are more and more conscious of how they present themselves and one of the main areas where they pay attention is in the words they use to represent their brand. This has become so important for so many companies, that they have professional word smith on hand to personally supervise how their brand is put out to the world.
To be able to do this kind of writing you need to be able to have a voice, mold it to fit the brand that you’re working for and then keep go it. Fortunately, that’s often easier than you may think, as there are style guides that can be used and other rules of thumb to be followed.
Of course, if you’re not just assigned with the task of maintaining the brand but also in setting up how it will sound, then you’ll be responsible for deciding on those style elements. That can be fun too, though.
Good at making yourself come across as competent and capable from the first letter? Then consider becoming a bid writer. These are people whose entire occupation revolves around making bids for projects so that the company can get work for the rest of their employees.
Here too, there are often very specific ways to do things that you can learn and excel at. I think the best part of this job is that even if you don’t do it for that long (for many of us rejection is already a very difficult part of writing, to make it our job is difficult) you’ll still learn an invaluable skill. For really, in writing – particularly as a freelancer – the most difficult part is often putting your bids out there. So any advantage that you may have will be immensely useful.
Yes, it isn’t for everybody. It means writing tight copy to tight deadlines, with clients who might not really appreciate your genius, but it pays a heck of a lot of money. So it might not be something you want to do for ever, but it might be just the ticket to help you pay off your university loans.
What’s more, it is actually quite a fascinating world. You’ll learn the emotional content of different words and different structures and find out what moves people as well as what decidedly leaves them unmoved.
These can be valuable skills to take into any other career path that you might want to choose afterwards.
Academic Writing Websites
For many of us, writing academic papers isn’t very enjoyable. If you don’t belong to that group. If you find it highly engaging to put together an argument for a professor to grade, then consider becoming a part of one of the academic writing websites.
There are a lot of them out there, so you’ll have to choose which one is the best suited for your talents. I personally thought the people over at Legit Writings were pretty good to work with.
Freelance Content Creator
There is an entire group of writers whose sole occupation is to create content for other people’s websites. The best part of this market is that you’ll get to make your own hours, decide what kind of clients you’re going to take and it’s a booming market.
Of course, you will have a lot more uncertainty, but that’ s the nature of being a freelancer. And you’ll get used to it. Take it from me.
So, if you want to be free the 9 to 5 trap, if you want to see a bit of the world, consider becoming a freelance content creator and perhaps even take up a life as a digital nomad.
Another area where there has been a lot of growth is in terms of internal communications. A lot of companies now realize that if they want to make sure that everybody is on the same page, they need to take steps to communicate clearly across the entire corporate structure.
For this reason, the internal memos and emails are often written by professional writers. These writers are all about communicating information clearly and succinctly. After all, there are already far too many emails in most people’s in boxes, they really don’t need the company itself to add substantially to that.
For that reason, if you enjoy writing clearly and without too many frills, then try to get in on the internal writing game. It can be quite an interesting job – more interesting than you may think. This is the job where you can learn all about how a company communicates internally and what goes into a well-crafted memo or email. It’s a lot more than you may think.
Of course, because most of these positions are quite new, it can sometimes be hard to know how to get into this line of work. There aren’t yet any set ways to get from where you are today to one of these jobs.
This means that I can’t tell you ‘you should do this, that and the other’. What I can tell you, however, is that there are many roads that lead to Rome. The tricks to simply start walking (as in writing) and then take on the projects that come along.
Writing, after all, is about experience. You need a lot of practice to become a gifted writer. And the best way to do that is simply to start writing. Work for different clients. Do different gigs. Find out what area is your forte and which one you’re not that good at.
You might be surprised to find your skill set is much wider than you originally thought. Then, start to specialize when you’ve got a good idea of what is your best skill. Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean you can only do that one area. Later on, you can expand again. Just make sure you’re really good at one thing before you do that and you’ll have a steady source of income. And that makes a writing career a much nicer thing to have.
Daniela McVicker is a psychologist and writer. When not working, she enjoys reading different lifestyle, psychological blogs. You can follow Daniela on Twitter