Job Title: Marketing Writer And Editor
Type of Company: My company offers computer hardware, software and services.
Education: BA, Journalism
Previous Experience: I was the editor of a small-town newspaper for 8 months, then the copy editor of a Web site for 6 months, then the writer and editor at a pharmaceutical marketing agency for 7 years before becoming a writer and editor for the largest technical company in the world.
Job Tasks: My main job is to write marketing content that will be on the company's website or distributed throughout the country (and world!). For example, I wrote a brief about the role of water management in supporting sustainability that could be rolled out as part of the Obama administration's stimulus package and the brief was presented on Capitol Hill. Sometimes I write about specific products or services, sometimes I write in more general language about topics. I also edit existing web pages whose content needs the marketing touch (and basic punctuation). I recently edited a brief that the CEO of my company presented to the U.S. Secretary of Treasury.
On an average day, I edit at least one or two documents: Web pages, e-mails, newsletters, etc. Some that are longer (in my example above) may take a week. I work from home, staying in touch with my project manager and clients through phone, e-mail and instant messaging. My co-workers and clients are all over the country. I completely love this job. Compared to working in a marketing agency, the pace is much more manageable and enjoyable. For someone like me trying to balance family life with a career, this is the perfect job choice!
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is that I don't tend to get bored. Sometimes I'll write things that will have a big audience (Capitol Hill) and sometimes I write things that only a handful of my co-workers will see. It varies, and that helps keep it exciting. I also love doing the research for my individual assignments.
The worst part is that, working from home, I don't have a lot of day-to-day contact with my co-workers, which can get lonely. It's also hard to rub elbows and make friends.
Job Tips: Do what you can to get your name out there, have lots of writing and editing samples to show your work, be creative in showcasing your talents, be flexible, have different kinds of work samples--technical writing, marketing writing... Even personal writing shows you have initiative and drive. Take courses to beef up your resume.
Additional Thoughts: Working as a contractor, I was surprised that I didn't take a pay cut from working full-time. I gave up benefits, but sometimes the trade-off in flexibility, time commitments and sanity (!) are worth it. I have a journalism degree, so watching the newspaper industry flounder has been heartbreaking to me, but that doesn't mean my degree or education has to go to waste. I started out in newspapers (my first job out of college was the editor of a weekly small-town newspaper... which was actually a hard job with a lot of work and dedication for someone with almost no experience!) and left because I didn't enjoy the many hours I needed to dedicate to working, plus the pay was beans. I tried to make the move to web sites, but that was right when the big bust happened, and I was surprised to find myself in marketing writing. In particular, I was surprised to find myself doing pharmaceutical writing, and now marketing writing for a computer company! But the important thing is that I love it, and I wouldn't change a thing. I look forward to whatever the future may bring!
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