1. What exactly do you do?
- What field is your job in?
- What is your job title?
- Please provide a brief description of the firm or organization that you currently work for (size and general description of what type of organization it is)
I work for an online company, based in Pennsylvania. They have over 100 clients and these clients need articles written about different things. They put all the requests on one page and I search through and find those I feel qualified to do.
- How long have you been employed in this position?
Over 3 years
- How many hours do you work a week on average?
- Please provide a BRIEF description of your duties and responsibilities. (job description)
- Please provide a BRIEF description of your duties and responsibilities. (job description)
I log onto the website, see available requests, choose one I feel comfortable with, do about 4-5 minutes of research using Google, and write an article that is original and error free.
- What was your gross income last year? Please include any bonuses or incentives received.
- What is your expected gross income for this year? Please include any bonuses or incentives you expect to receive.
- Please list any benefits you have (Please include number of weeks vacation, sick leave and type of health insurance, retirement plan 401k)
- Do you feel you are under/well/over compensated at your current position?
2. Work environment!
- Does your job entail you working with others on a daily basis? Is this something you like/dislike about your job? Explain
No. I have no actual contact with anyone in my job, because I work from home. I do not speak to anyone who runs the company. If I have a specific problem sending my work, I email support. I never have direct contact with the clients. I both like and dislike this. I like it because I am my own boss in a way, but I am social, so I also dislike not being able to speak with others.
- Do you work collaboratively with supervisors/managers?
- Do you work collaboratively with your co-workers?
- Describe your work location (e.g., office, home, theatre, in the field) and what you like/dislike about working in it
I have a home office, which takes up the entire living room. We do not own a couch or a television, as there is no place to put it. I have a large table that serves as my desk with an executive chair that is made for sitting in for long periods. I have my "desk" placed in front of the window and I like to open the blinds and see outside while working.
My computer setup goes like this: I work mainly from my laptop. My laptop is large and has a numeric keypad and has a normal-sized keyboard. My lamp sits to the right of the laptop, shining light on the keyboard. I also have another monitor hooked up to the laptop. This is because my work makes me switch between many tabs on Google Chrome. It is easier to have my research on one screen and my writing screen separate. I can glance over and find a tidbit of information quickly and easily and input it immediately into my article.
- Please rank in order of importance from 1-8 (1- most important 8- least important) Assign each number once.
- 4 Income
- 5 Work Environment - co-workers
- 6 Work Environment - supervisors
- 1 Benefits
- 3 Hours
- 7 Level of responsibility
- 2 The actual "work" you do at your job
- 8 Job Title
3. How should someone new to the workforce get a J-O-B like yours?
- If someone wanted to go about getting a job similar to yours, what would you recommend for him or her to do?
Write every chance you get. Being a writer is difficult, especially now that no one reads papers and magazines. I started writing at an early age, doing poems and short fiction stories. I never won any awards, but I enjoyed myself.
You should also be a creative person and be able to think outside the box. There are many times where the perfect word is already on someone's website, so you have to find creative ways of saying the same thing.
I have never taken any creative writing courses, but I would have if they had been available. Taking English or creative writing will always be a benefit.
You should also LOVE the English language and love words in general. If you find yourself using words that others don't, chances are you would be a great writer.
If you love writing, you should go online. There are many scams out there, so you must be very careful, but there are legitimate work-at-home opportunities. Look for companies that do not require you to pay money. Also try craigslist.org and other free "job" sites, as they can help as well. If you prefer fictional stories over technical writing, consider writing novels or writing for a magazine...just remember that many published works are no longer in business.
- What skills do you think a person should have if they want to pursue a position like yours? Please be specific and explain why (e.g., social skills, organization skills, technical skills)
They must be creative and know the English language. Those are the most important, unless you plan to write for foreign clients.
Know your limitations. Many people think they can write well and they can't. If you have an odd sense of humor, technical writing may be best for you. If you leave everyone on the edge of their seat while telling a story, consider fiction.
You must also like to be alone. Writing, especially freelance writing is a work-at-home thing for the most part. If you crave attention or need to be around others for chatter, this may not be the best choice. If you have a large family or other people in your home and never have a moment to yourself, you may find it hard to really make a career out of freelance writing, as you need to concentrate and be able to think.
- Do you feel that you need a certain level of education or training to be successful in your job?
Other than knowing the English language, no. However, it depends on what you wish to write about.
- What advice would you give to someone who was about to start work in your position/ line of work?
Read up on SEO (Search Engine Optimization), because many clients want SEO driven work. They will also want you to be able to include a specific keyword a certain percentage of the article. Find a keyword density website (there are tons out there) where you can copy/paste your article and see the percentage. Many companies/clients want between 1 and 2 percent.
Another great idea is to have an interactive thesaurus. You will usually find the perfect word already there and can't use it again because of plagiarism concerns. An interactive thesaurus lets you type in a word and get many similar ones.
4. How did you get your J-O-B
- How did you find your current job? (e.g. newspaper, internet, referral, etc.)
Through many long days of searching the Internet and craigslist.org.
- What was the application process for your job? (e.g. submitted resume, paper application, electronic application, all, etc.)
I had to submit a resume, they has a short questionnaire (with about 15 questions) and I had to write a sample article about a topic given to me.
- Did you have to interview for your current job? If yes, what did the interview process entail? (e.g., number of interviews, who you interviewed with, group interview, individual interview, etc.)
I did not have to interview for my job. They emailed me and said they thought my sample article was well written.
- If you can remember, what questions were you asked at your interview?
- Is this the job / field you planned to work in?
- If your job is in a different field from your original plan how did you get here? Explain (Plan can be from high school/college/post college/personal plan)
I planned to be a Math teacher right out of high school. I went to school for 1.5 years, and then I couldn't afford tuition. After that, I planned to be an administrative assistant, but again, couldn't afford schooling. 5 years after that, I chose to go to school to be a Pharmacy Technician and passed my course with 100%. However, with the economy, I wasn't able to find work in my field that was close enough to commute. Therefore, I went online and found other opportunities.
5. Background: Are you qualified?
- Was there training for your current position? If yes, what did it entail?
There was no training. I was given a username and password. There was a short tutorial on how to maneuver through the website, but that was all.
- Do you feel your employer properly prepared you for your job? Explain
I do. I don't believe there was preparation needed. I was there to write and you can't prepare someone for that--you either have the skills or not.
- Do you feel your educational background prepared you for your job? Explain
Not really. I wasn't going to school to be a writer. I believe my experiences in life prepared me for a job as a writer.
- If applicable, do you feel your internship experience helped you prepare you for your job?
6. The Future and Beyond (FINAL SECTION)
- If someone were to observe you at work, what would he or she say is "fun" about your job?
The ability to work on your own time. I usually have Netflix on while I work, because I hate complete silence. Other times, I turn the radio on and when a good song comes on, I'll stop for a few and dance around or sing or something. I can take a break whenever I need to.
- What is (are) the most fulfilling aspect(s) and least fulfilling aspect(s) of your current employment? (e.g. fiscal, spiritual, type of work, hours, commute, compensation, etc.)
Most Fulfilling: No commute. I don't waste gas driving back and forth. I can be my own boss. Least Fulfilling: No contact with others. Not "steady" work sometimes. I really have to save because there are a few months every year when there is absolutely nothing to write.
- Is your current employment part of your career plan? Why or why not?
It is now. When I first started writing, I was living in the West and my husband worked. We only had one vehicle, so I was "forced" to be a stay-at-home wife. I learned to cope by writing. When we moved back home to be near our families, I actively looked for outside-the-home work and couldn't find anything, so I kept writing. I am now hoping I can work at home while my husband works outside the home and between our incomes have enough for what we need and want.
- What are your current career goals? (Can be broad or specific)
I would love to find a company to write for exclusively. However, this is very difficult as any one company doesn't need or want a full time writer. I am hoping to expand to transcription, copywriting/editing, and more to broaden my abilities.
- Is there anything else you would like to share about your career?
7. A Day in the Life Of...
- 7 am - 8 am
- 8 am - 9 am
- 9 am - 10 am
Log onto the specific website and see what there is to write about for that day. In many cases there are 20-30 articles available at a time, but I can only choose one to work on. I get 8 hours to do the assignment, but most take less than half an hour to complete. I do my research, which usually takes me 5 minutes or less. I then plan out my writing task, including an introductory paragraph and a closing. I submit my article when I have reread it and checked for any grammatical or spelling mistakes. Then I submit the article to the client, saving it in a Word document as well. The client has 3 days to look it over and approve my work. If there is anything wrong, it is sent back to me for corrections. I then check to see what other articles are available and repeat the process all day, every day.
- 10 am - 11 am
- 11 am - 12 am
- 12 am - 1 pm
- 1 pm - 2 pm
- 2 pm - 3 pm
- 3 pm - 4 pm
- 4 pm - 5 pm
- 5 pm - 6 pm
- 6 pm - 7 pm
- 7 pm - 8 pm
- 8 pm - 9 pm
- 9 pm - 10 pm
- 10 pm - 11 pm
- 11 pm - 12 pm