I have to write that writing has permanently marked my life and not only due to my line of work. Amongst e-mails, text messages and Facebook updates, our society is devoted to communicating through the written word. We employ more time and brain power on writing than anybody in previous generations would have imagined. What one doesn’t always realize is that these written exchanges can enrich one’s life or hold it back, depending on how much attention and care one gives to them.
A Paralegal student I work with just began an internship with a law firm and he is rapidly discovering that his writing skills are tremendously essential in his future career. In the few months he has been interning, his responsibilities have grown. He says, “Immediately after I was hired, they told me it was very much due to the writing sample I had given them during the interview process, and that they had stopped considering other candidates because of it.”
Obviously, if you are applying for a position that requires writing samples with the application process, you would not be surprised if strong writing skills land you the job. Yet another student of mine, a Medical Office Specialist, recently obtained a position because of her writing skills, even though she was not even asked for a writing sample.
This student met with a potential employer for an interview and she left thinking the interview was not successful. She did not think she had ‘connected’ with the interviewer. “I sent a short thank you email after my first interview, but this time I composed a longer email than before, fully describing to the interviewer how I was confident that I could help their office, and offering to meet once more,” she says. “A few days later the interviewer called me asking to set up another time to meet. During my second visit he mentioned my email extensively, thanked me for it, and said it showed another side of me he did not get to “read” during the interview”. This student made her way in to a new career with the power of a good email.
A reputation as a writer has even paid off for a Court Reporting student of mine. She says the drive to write has heightened her professional image in ways she did not imagine. “I am not a Nobel Prize writer but my writing has always made me stand out,” she says. She has constantly earned high grades because of her writing skills, skills that she developed herself writing and writing more, something that has favored her professional life. “I am assigned many fun side projects as writer or editor at my job.”
As a college professor teaching Oral and Written Communications as well as Professional Development, I know that not only how you write but just the fact that you take the time to write aside from work and school assignments, speaks volumes about you. As a writer, I am always asked what it’s like to write in a language that is not my native tongue. Challenging, yes, yet liberating too. I distance myself from cultural reflexes and instinctive ideas, and write about writing a lot. “The desire to write grows with writing.”
(BTW. new writers needed today at Democracy Chronicles!)