Writing and editing career paths can take many directions. In this “day-in-the-life” series, experienced professionals share their personal experiences in various roles related to writing, editing and communications. If you’re interested in writing a post for this series, please email The Editors’ Weekly.
What is your job?
I’m part of Kryton International Inc.’s marketing department, working as the company’s sole content marketing specialist. In my role, I determine how best to promote the concrete construction-enhancing products my company distributes.
I was more of a generalist communicator before joining Kryton. Now I can say that while I am still a generalist of sorts, I also specialize in topics related to concrete construction.
What do you do?
As a content marketing specialist, I write most of the digital and print copy that my company needs. That has allowed me to explore a range of writing formats, from monthly e-newsletters to in-depth ebooks.
I also act as the company’s main editor, enforcing the Kryton style guide and cleaning up any awkward writing or typos.
My work has given me a blend of writing and editing experience, so I never feel rusty in either area.
What do you like the most about your work?
I like the sense of learning and accomplishment it gives me. I’m always discovering something new about construction, marketing or writing. That’s given me the drive to start projects I wouldn’t have considered before — like creating marketing ebooks from scratch! In response, my co-workers have always been quick to show their appreciation for the effort I put into my work.
And the least?
While I love the ability to stretch my writing and editing muscles, editing my own work can be challenging. I once heard that your brain often reads what it wants to see when it looks at your own writing, so I do my best to thoroughly go over the spelling and grammar of my own work. However, it’s also very rewarding. After all, I get to personally assure myself that every aspect of my work has been fully inspected to the best of my abilities.
What kind of background do you need to get into this role?
There’s no one-size-fits-all background for any jobs related to content marketing. Many marketers, writers and other related professionals have diverse backgrounds. One writer I know had a theatre background and was still working in the industry on the side. Another was a veterinarian who had started working in science-related communications.
However, no matter your background, it doesn’t hurt to sharpen your skills in marketing either. While you can develop communication skills simply through co-worker interactions, email writing and everyday work, knowing just what will sound snappy and appeal to potential customers is another thing.
The way I gained skills in that area of content marketing is more traditional: I got a diploma and a bachelor of arts that focused on communication and writing, and that eventually led to a copywriting specialist role. From there, I further developed my marketing skills through my work.
How has your editing experience supported you?
It’s helped me distinguish myself from other marketing professionals. I’m not sure how rare the combination of writing, marketing and editing experience is, but the added editing experience seems to interest potential employers. The skillset likely gives them additional assurances that a writer can offer quality work. It’s certainly given me more confidence in my own work and in determining how I can enhance the work of others.
Do you have any advice for editors who want to get into a similar role?
Don’t worry about where your skills take you when you first start out. Not every job opportunity is going to be your ideal type of work, and that’s okay. Diverse opportunities will add to your skill set and give you more experience to draw from. Eventually, you’ll get to a point where you can start to seek out and take on jobs you feel will point you toward your dream career.
Also, networking is your friend! Connect with people you know on LinkedIn. Join professional associations like Editors Canada and volunteer. You never know where those connections will take you. They just might be a way to find a role you really cherish.
How do you stay up to date with your skillset?
My team keeps an eye out for the latest marketing conferences. We’re currently looking forward to attending Content Marketing World 2021. Would-be content marketing specialists may want to register!
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