From teaching to a writing startup: Why and how I’ve pivoted my career

From teaching to a writing startup: Why and how I’ve pivoted my career

I had spent two years working as a French language teacher for high-school students. In love with languages and the process of learning, I dreamt of being a teacher since childhood and considered this profession a perfect fit for myself.

Later, I’ve given up teaching for pursuing copywriting, working as a ghost and an essay writer for college students between whiles.

Now, I’m a professional copywriter and guest contributor, currently blogging at Bid4Papers and freelancing as a content creator. I do data research, content writing, repurposing, and distribution.

Why I decided to make the change

I loved the actual teaching. But when I chose this profession, I forgot about one tiny detail: introversion!

All collaboration and social interaction behind the class was hard to handle: noisy kids, regular talks with parents, — let’s face it, far from all agree with a teacher’s feedback, arguing rather than listening — group work… They all drove me nuts.

Stresses and burnouts were not long in coming. And the time is ripe for my disillusion with a teacher’s daily routine. Every time I went to the class, I thought I couldn’t deal with the school environment anymore. It was a kind of work depression, with all physical and mental problems that it implies.

The moment of truth

It was my boyfriend who helped me drive home to reality. One day, after I came back from school nervous and willing to ‘kill those who invented parents’ evenings,’ he said, “It’s just not your thing.”

And it was that very moment, after two years in school, when I stopped and thought first about what was MY thing, actually.

I took a seat, a sheet of paper, and a pen; I wrote down my hard and soft skills to see what work I could do that would fit my inwardness as well. I even checked different coding boot camps in Chicago, believing in the power of cross-skilling and IT for my future career.

Also Read: Beyond burn out: Why you should also celebrate the pursuit and not just wins

But long story short, writing appeared to be the best option to try.

How did I go about making the shift?

It was a game-changer that led me to a successful career as a content architect in love with neuro-copywriting. And it allowed me to beat the impostor syndrome and reach (finally!) a work-life balance.

Once I left my school job, I started looking for freelance writing opportunities. I had two problems that day: I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything besides academic writing, and I was strapped for cash.

So, I joined the team of writers at Bid4Papers, who helped students with academic papers. It wasn’t an entirely kosher activity, but it helped me network, polish my writing skills, and take the next step toward professional copywriting and ghostwriting.

My mistake was to consider this work something terrible and unfair.

I didn’t work on building a personal brand and promoting my writing services because of that. And it cost me tons of nerves, portfolio absence, and problems with self-identification.

Hundreds of my articles were live online without my name in bylines. It led to difficulties with getting freelance offers – people wanted to see my work, but I couldn’t provide them with anything worthy.

But once I’ve managed my self-presentation, I already had enough background and skillset to ask fair charges for my services.

The most challenging thing about shifting to a startup

I was leaving my comfort zone of a nerdy academic and stepping outside some of my inner principles.

It was more like a struggle with my demons, my one-sided vision of education, and my rose-tinted glasses about noble people in a business world. But thanks to this struggle, I was able to adapt my knowledge and skills to the market demand.

Also Read: Why I left Silicon Valley to build a coding boot camp in Singapore

Online courses, webinars, niche blogs, and conferences on copywriting and digital marketing were (and are!) my best friends to stay tuned, polish my skills, and get inspiration for new writing projects.

Also, I am lucky to work with professional editors who are strict but fair to say something like, “It’s bulls**t, revise it all!” or “Your grammar sucks, go and re-read Strunk’s Elements of Style!” They don’t allow me to relax and stop learning.

The biggest lesson

There’s no pure black or pure white in this world. To succeed, you need to develop emotional intelligence and adapt to that grey reality.

Don’t stop learning and trying new things. Even if it seems useless or controversial at first, every skill you have will come in handy one day.

If you feel uncomfortable with your career, it’s never late to make a turn. Yes, it’s scary. Yes, you will doubt. And yes, many will try to dissuade you.

But it is better to take the risk than spend years doing something that doesn’t bring comfort and harmony with your inner self.

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Image Credit: helloimnik

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