A Guide for Transitioning to a Writing Career in 2020

highest paying jobs without a degreeWriting is a professional skill that can lend itself well to a satisfying career.

Whether in academia, research institutes, public relations departments, government agencies or on your own, writing is flexible, creative and profitable if you’re talented.

For people who love to work independently, research extensively, and craft compelling text that can engage people and inform them, it is a great career path.

How can you best transition to a writing career if you have never done it professionally?

Here are our top tips.

Earn an Advanced Degree  

Writers need a thorough understanding of the subjects they cover. No matter what you want to write about, you need total immersion in your subject first so you can form a large foundation of knowledge to build your new career on. If you want to write about finance, you need to know how to write in the jargon of finance professionals.

If you write about military history, you need to know the field inside-out to make expert claims, so a relevant degree from an institution like Norwich University is an effective way to develop your knowledge. The lack of academic experience in your subject can make you feel like a fraud in the worst case or, more mildly, get your writing ignored.

In a career transition, you need confidence and a degree can give you that.

Demonstrate Your Passion

Some people are so passionate about a subject that they study it with utmost seriousness for years. Whether you plan a writing career in a corporate environment or freelance, in order for your writing to truly shine you need to put a lot of passion into it. To make things easier, choose a niche you either care about passionately and plan to explore extensively or you are already familiar with.

If your current job is in finance, you can use your knowledge of the industry to write about financial topics. If you have a passion for self-improvement, carve a niche for yourself in this area. The more you care about your topic, the more able you will be to engage your audience.

Whether you want to sell something, influence someone or earn popularity, lacklustre writing will not get it for you. Meanwhile, passion gives you the much-needed confidence to achieve your goals.

Create an Outstanding Portfolio

The desire to get a successful career in writing puts you directly in competition with dozens of bright and driven people who aspire to the same thing because they love the creativity and flexibility involved in the job. How to get ahead and find stable work? The most efficient thing you can do is to create a portfolio that showcases your talent, skills, and experience.

Even if you’re new to writing, you can fill your portfolio with sample articles you write specifically for the job you hope to get. If you want to become a technical writer or a grant writer for a government agency, your portfolio must reflect this.

Pick a few related topics and write some articles to have something to show to a potential employer or client. If you have writing talent, this will trump other requirements for experience or educational background.

Armed with these tips, your transition to a writing career should be anxiety-free and bring you the satisfaction you rightly hope to get from work.

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Kate Torrone on Email
Kate Torrone
My hubby and I are constantly on the road. After over 40 countries I became an editor of the Travel Section at Independent Femme, and I'm more interested in seeing even more new places than ever. Feel free to drop me a line to let me know which destination you'd like to see featured next!

I get asked a lot: where are you right now?

Currently, I'm in Cambodia (and loving it!)

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