How to Get a Writing Job as a Recent Graduate

You’ve spent the best part of your life studying and are ready to take your first step into the professional world. What if out of all the available options, the one that speaks to you the most is writing? It’s a pretty solid choice, considering how multi-faceted this industry is. Screenwriters, journalists, copywriters, narrative designers, book authors—the possibilities are endless.

Finally, all these writing assignments you have been working through will pay off—no more outsourcing boring essays to paper writing services like WritePaper. Your career is in your own hands from now on. The only thing left to do is decide where to actually get started. It is certainly an exciting stage, but that’s where a lot of people feel lost.

Where to Start

No matter how good you are, the reality of the situation is that you are very unlikely to land your dream job on the first try. Big movie scripts are not entrusted to newbies. Nobody is going to give you a front-page column for a blog until you prove yourself. The first step is to accept it and look into alternative solutions. Luckily, most writing jobs require a very similar set of skills. So there’s plenty of space for a maneuver. You can begin with an online search using a service such as Jooble, for example, to scan for positions as a remote copywriter.

So, after a cursory search, you have ended up with a pretty short list of jobs that may or may not be remotely close to your liking. But it’s too early to throw your hands up. Don’t be too picky—take whatever life throws at you. Volunteering projects? Yes. Assistant editor of a tiny publication? Of course. Content creator internship? Absolutely.

These jobs don’t have to be particularly good. Think of them as stepping stones on the way to your long-term goal. Don’t be afraid to discard them and move on. You will soon notice that with every job the pool of available options increases. It won’t be long before you can secure a semi-permanent position.

One of the most accessible areas that require writing skills is marketing. The endless stream of advertisements you are subjected to every day has to come from somewhere. And there is always an opening regardless of the writer’s education or experience. All you have to do is prove you can put a sentence together and you have more or less guaranteed yourself employment.

Working as a copywriter rarely upholds one’s expectations of what a ‘real writing job’ should feel like. You are always on a clock, you have to meet specific text requirements, and the format may be a little bit repetitive. But that doesn’t mean you can’t try to make it work for you. Even despite all those limitations, you can still sneak some of your wordsmithing talent in. Treat it as a challenge rather than a routine stop on your way to success.

Keep Up the Work

Creating your magnum opus is a very time-consuming thing. It takes a ridiculous amount of effort and dedication to slowly chip away at the perfect book\script you have had in mind for years. This can turn from a long-term goal into a bottomless pit of procrastination and despair.

You definitely should not forget about the work of your life. In fact, we encourage you to work on it regularly. But don’t use it as an excuse for not doing anything else. It can take months or even years until you are even remotely happy with the results of your effort. But unless you have a job to cover your back in the meantime, you will find it very hard to improve and sustain yourself.

Get Feedback

One of the most important things for a writer is feedback. Regardless of what format you are writing in, you should always try and share your texts with those who can provide you with objective and helpful feedback. Hiding your manuscripts in a safe may be tempting. But if you want to evolve, you will have to let them see the light of day.

There are plenty of sources of feedback you can use for your benefit. All you need to do is be willing to throw yourself out there. Your friends, family, colleagues, even certain online forums can all provide you with valuable data.

However, you should always consider how much value this data has. This is true for both positive and negative feedback. You shouldn’t get personally offended by criticism. Accept it at face value and try to incorporate it into your work if possible. You can just ignore it if it appears particularly unjust.

Likewise, be wary of unwarranted praise. Just because your mom and lawyer said you are the best writer in the world doesn’t mean that’s necessarily true. Carefully sift through opinions to crystalize hard, cold facts. That’s the only way it’s going to do you any good.

Build Your Portfolio

Your portfolio is your best friend. It’s a map of your achievements and a showcase of your skills. You don’t have to put every single text you write on it. Here, you are free to pick and choose the best of your work. Your writing portfolio will help you out on more than one occasion. Especially when you are in the middle of looking for your next job.

Your portfolio should always be improving. If you haven’t updated it in more than a month—you are doing something wrong. Add the latest text you are proud of and remove those that you don’t feel are representative of your skills anymore. Building your portfolio block by block is a long and cumbersome process. But once you are done, it will become your golden ticket to secure you the gig of your dreams.

Never Stop Looking

Finally, the last pitfall of aspiring writers is the feeling of content. Yes, taking on temporary gigs is important to stay afloat and perfect your skills. But getting a decent offer may make you lose sight of your real goal.

The trick here is to always be on the lookout for better opportunities. You shouldn’t concern yourself too much with this at the beginning of your career. But with every single job switch, you should shimmy a little bit closer to your dream job.

It is also a good idea to identify your final goal and regularly check if it’s available. There’s no harm in giving it a shot, even if the chances are slim. Your persistence is guaranteed to pay off sooner rather than later.

Final Words

Writing is a very special profession. It has many layers and requires the mastery of many talents. It is widely regarded as ‘artsy’ work, one that needs a gift to succeed. However, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Writing, just like the rest of the skills, can be perfected. Genius authors are not born with an innate ability to write. Their works are usually a result of a long and tiresome journey. One anyone can try to undertake.

Today it is easier than ever to publish one’s work and make a living doing writing. Seize this opportunity. What better time to be a professional writer than in the age of communication?

 

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