Here’s another tip for you on Medical Writing and your future.
1. Focus and Specialize
We have counseled a lot of writers over the years on how to focus their career. The biggest error writers make is trying to be too many things to too many people, without specializing.
We highly recommend four steps to focusing:
First, decide which area(s) you want to be your specialty.
Is it consumer health writing, scientific journal writing, regulatory writing, CME writing?
It is best to specialize and get known in an area.
Choosing an area you want to learn will help you focus on WHAT you need to learn and the marketplace for your writing.
You can pursue multiple types of writing, but you need to be known in each. Employers and companies look for specialists, not generalists.
Within your type of writing you choose, pick what specialty you want to write on. For example, it could be breast cancer, or women’s health, or multiple sclerosis or heart disease. You need to pick a few topics and start writing in those areas.
The second step we recommend is getting trained in the type of medical writing you want to do. Getting trained and getting a certificate improves your skill and improves how you look to recruiters and employers.
Third, think about whether you want to pursue medical writing by finding a job, or by building your own freelance business. They are two distinctly separate ways of earning income from medical writing. Writers are successful doing it both ways, but you have to learn the skills for finding a job, or building your business.
Fourth, optimize your profile online. We love LinkedIN. Your profile is your online resume. Make it look its best. Include a photo – that creates so much more connection. Employers and recruiters do search for medical writers online. Put your best foot forward.
Does this help?
We are happy to email or speak further.
2. Concerns you might have….
But if I focus, I might lose out on opportunities?
It is OK to have a number of specialties. But don’t promote yourself as a generalist, as a one-stop shop for everything.
Promote yourself as a specialist in a select number of areas.
People want to pay money for specialty – to get their specific problem solved. Get to know your client or employer in one specialty. Let them get to know your work.
THEN tell them about other things you can do. You will already have built experience and trust.
I don’t know what to specialize in, or what to promote.
Take the focus off of you, and take a look at what the market wants. Look at job postings. Look at new developments in your field. See what the market needs. Specialize or promote yourself in that. Make yourself the best possible match for opportunities that are out there.
Listen, look, learn.
Get knowledgeable or training in what’s hot. Be able to speak the language. Offer confidence to your prospective client or employer.
I want to branch out.
Many people change their career interests and directions over time.
Not a problem. Just recognize that you need to develop yourself in your new area of interest.
You have to enjoy what you do. If you don’t you’ll be unhappy, do poor work, and it will effect your income. Love what you do.
If you are starting in a new direction, great! Get yourself up to speed. Work hard at it. Do some work at low pay or free, until you establish a foothold.
But specialize. Don’t generalize. People want to pay for expertise and specialty to feel they are getting their money’s worth.
Any questions or comments, please email us. We are here to help!