With a creative writing bachelor of arts degree, I found a job just two weeks after graduation–and it wasn’t in a retail or fast food setting like the jokes suggest. Just fourteen days after shuffling along in a procession of black gown-clad graduates, I took the title of communications manager in a provincial non-profit association. The title was amazing, but the pay was less than I could have made as a supervisor at Wendy’s. It was a small step towards a larger goal, though, and I was thrilled.
Eventually, I was promoted, and I did everything I could to make an impact. I spent three years as executive director, chatting with writers and creative types every day. It was a great experience and opened many doors. The organization did its best to send me to workshops and conferences as often as possible, which allowed me to hone my skills and learn more. The networking (more on that later) was invaluable. After three years, however, it was time to look for something new.
Here I am, graduated for 3.5 years with a CREW BA, looking over my options… and there are just too many of them.
First, there’s freelancing. There are hundreds of companies and individuals that need to hire writers for small jobs, and they pay pretty darn well. I make anywhere from $100-600 for a single blog post, but the work is spotty. I could have no jobs for one week, and then be swamped with twelve the next. Besides blog posts, people look for writers to build resumes, to proofread manuscripts, to ghostwrite books, and more. If you don’t require financial security, and staying home is valuable to you (perhaps you have children or are in the middle of writing a book, or your spouse makes enough money to support the household) this might be the path for you. I’ll write more about my experiences with freelancing later. For now, let’s assume you want a regular job–something 9-5, or similar.
There are many jobs that I qualified for fresh out of university, and even more I could have applied to after additional training (like a certificate in technical writing, or office administration). A tip, though: even if you don’t quite meet the qualifications, there is no harm in applying. I mean, don’t apply if they’re looking for someone with a doctorate, you don’t want to waste their time, but if they need you to have five years experience, and you have three, send that application in.
So what kind of job can someone with a CREW BA get? There are jobs in publishing, journalism, and more, but here I focused on positions that average businesses will hire writers for.
A common position is social media management. Companies need professional writers to fill these roles so that they can quickly respond to questions, and have a unified voice across all platforms. As a social media manager, you will probably be in charge of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Depending on the size of the company, you may also be the one writing news releases, blog posts, newsletters, and some internal communications.
If you have a bit of management experience, you can also apply to be a communications manager. This role differs in every organization, but it commonly involves overseeing other people in a communications department. Sometimes, especially in a smaller organization, it implies running the communications of the company on your own.
Content writer, or copywriter. This job is so varied, it’s hard to summarize it. In a tech company, like Best Buy, it might mean someone who writes product descriptions. In a real estate company, you may write about homes, create content for the website, and the copy for marketing materials, like brochures. In essence, you are just writing whatever that organization may need.
Marketing… something or another. There are a lot of different jobs in marketing, and this position overlaps quite often with a content writer. Basically, though, this is a position for someone with a keen business sense. In this job you probably need to love to write snappy one-liners or epic sales pitches, and always consider the product and market. The job titles for writing positions are varied, so read the description carefully before you apply, or you may end up making phone calls all day.
One thing to note: don’t despair if you aren’t seeing dozens of these positions listed. I live right near Vancouver, so there are many startups and large companies looking for employees.
Anyhow, these are just a few of the jobs I can think of right now. Do you have any you’d like to add to this list?
Next, I’ll discuss a few extra certificates and training courses that may enhance your skills and provide you with additional opportunities.