“What career path should I take” and “what skills will improve my professional prospects” were two questions that persisted throughout my studies. Beyond exploring voluntary and internship opportunities, I did not know how to answer them. Following graduation, however, I decided to write a blog to fill my time and tap into my creative side. The experience have been immensely rewarding and I wish to share this fulfilment with others.
In this post, I will explore reasons as to why writing is an valuable asset not only to yourself but to employers. I hope that from reading it you will consider the benefits of writing and perhaps pick up the activity yourself.
To begin, I will talk more about this idea of writing being an asset – a skill.
Writing is a valuable skill
From composing emails to completing reports, writing inevitably comprises a part of any professional role – not only those within the creative industry. Thus, learning how to write proficiently and concisely showcases initiative and commitment, giving you an edge over other candidates for internships, volunteering opportunities, and contracted employment.
Writing skills prove useful in unexpected ways. They are also an asset for roles that are not conventionally associated with the ability – for example, within an interview for a sales role, the interviewer told me that I could use my “unique selling point” of writing to produce articles about the company’s products and services. They mentioned they knew many people who could sell but not many who could write well, demonstrating the demand for the skill in the industry.
You might have reservations regarding the learning curve for proficient writing. My reassurances here are twofold: firstly, you should not concern yourself with perfection or even excellence when starting out. This will be an obstacle to getting started, meaning you should focus on producing content for the experience without concern for getting everything correct. Secondly, as a student or graduate, you have a natural advantage in writing due to your familiarity with researching topics, completing written assessments, and conforming to proper grammar and syntax practices throughout your studies. Writing skills can therefore be honed smoothly and a wealth of work can be built up quickly to show off to employers.
A portfolio can be built to showcase your abilities
A portfolio is a body of work that someone has amassed to showcase their abilities. Regarding writing, this will be anything that you have produced that can be presented to someone else.
Listing a skill on a CV is a good thing; however, providing evidence for it is even better. Supporting your claim of writing skills has never been easier with websites that freely host content – common examples include WordPress, Medium, and even LinkedIn.
Via online platforms, I have written and published articles regarding self-improvement and human psychology, and intertwined them with ideas from philosophy (my Bachelor’s subject) and politics (my Master’s subject). From there, I began sharing my articles via social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, growing my audience by interacting with other creators and their pieces.
Not only are writing and building an audience impressive transferable skills, having a body of work is an effective means of showing employers what you are capable of. This makes your portfolio an indispensable resource. Your work can even be tailored to an industry – for example, if you want to break into copywriting for technological products, you can produce articles and copy regarding the latest tech trends.
To begin with, however, I recommend writing about any topic you are interested in to keep yourself engaged and to get a feel for producing content. The more interested you are, the more likely you are to stick with it. Case in point: as mentioned earlier, I started writing about philosophy – my Bachelor’s subject – which blossomed into articles regarding self-help, psychology, and life advice – my areas of choice. I am of the firm opinion that anyone can be a proficient writer – they simply need to find out what stimulates them!
Writing can become a stream of income
Your studies might be supplemented with part-time work to gain experience and money. You might do the same as a graduate as well, for you might not immediately secure a job in your desired field. Retail and hospitality are common options for work, but few consider opportunities in content creation and writing, and the doorways they open up.
Admittedly, it takes initiative and time to build up to earning through these options. However, with consistency and dedication, it can become a solid stream of income that supplements other working pursuits. The opportunities are plentiful, too: Fiverr enables creators to earn money for “gigs” and the Medium Partnership Program gives writers the opportunity to earn money from their articles.
Gig work may suit your arrangements better than contracted work. This is because you can set your own workload, and the process can become lucrative over time as you can increase your rates as you gain more experience. Gaining that experience is crucial, so the best time to start is now.
Immersing myself in the world of freelance writing and content creation has allowed me to synthesise passion with professional prospects. My current ambitions are to transition into a full-time creative role, monetise my work via the Medium Partnership Program and other freelancing ventures, and become a leading contributor on Medium.
I thank you for taking the time to read this article and hope that you consider writing and content creation. Why not share a creation of yours online – I am certain that many would love to see it!
About the author
My name is Ross Stringer and I have graduated from the University of Reading twice with degrees in BA Philosophy (2014-2017) and MA Public Policy (2021-2022). My professional background is in customer service, freelance and voluntary writing, and self-employment within the music industry.