So You Graduated–Now What?

The days are getting longer and the sun is so inviting! But I’m sure you already have a few stories, a couple of short poems, and that novel you’ve been meaning to get back to. Oh! Let’s not forget those writing gigs you’ve been meaning to get to as well! Finding the motivation to get back into blogging for myself has been incredibly difficult not because I don’t know what to talk about, but rather taking the time away from catching up on sleep to get up and W-R-I-T-E is tough.

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Olga  and her mom after the commencement ceremony. Allergies were brutal that day. Sorry, pretty flowers.

I recently graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) with a degree in English and was fortunate enough to be promoted to a full-time assistant manager at Charming Charlie, where I’ve been since 2014. Having that job security while I work on building up my portfolio is inanely amazing, because it’s my transition time, and I’m using that time to do what many writers do: spruce up that resume with experience that businesses seeking writers look for.

While I’m not some advice guru or an expert on this, I’ll simply pass on advice that has been passed down to me from others.

Write, write, write, write! And if you’re lucky, find some way to reach out to businesses with your writing. Most often times if you’re looking to build up your portfolio, I’d highly recommend freelancing, especially if you’re in a similar position where you need extra writing samples to show your future employer.

Now, some people are lucky enough to make a great living by freelancing, however I wouldn’t say that going down the freelance route alone will be enough to cover all of life’s expenses. I’d call it a nice way to not only earn a few extra bucks, but also a neat way to earn experience for your future writing endeavors, and also a great way to learn something new. 

Like me? I knew nothing about siding or weatherproofing before having to write content for a new construction company. Now, I can tell you what to look for when you’re thinking about a siding replacement.

So…where does one look for these gigs?

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I stumbled upon many sites with job boards for writers that I’ve come to be a fan of. Problogger.com has an awesome job board full of businesses and online magazine in need to freelancers/ghost writers/ proofreaders–you name it. It’s there.

Artisan Creative  was recommended to me by a friend, and is definitely going to be the next website I turn to. The company takes in your resume and then matches jobs to your skill set.

Writer Access is sort of similar to Problogger as there are job boards, but it’s definitely more specific in terms of what you’re looking to do. There are job listings for writing, translating, editing, and more. Your pay is also determined on a “star”system and word count. Even if you wanted to figure out how much you should be charging for your services, this site is really worth taking a look at.Screen Shot 2016-06-05 at 11.41.43 AM.png

The list will continue to grow as I continue researching, but what I find most important is to not waste time by waiting for opportunities to fall at your feet.

Being able to write well,tell stories, or persuade an audience with your language is not a skill that everyone holds, however it is one that is in high demand. This does make it a pretty damn competitive market, so it’s time to break out of your bubble of modesty and SELL YOUR VOICE!

Because you’ve got it!

Now I will do what I do best! Tip my coffee to you, my dears!

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Have a great week!

-Olga

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