Finding Work in Unexpected Places: Curriculum Writer for a Driving School
When people look for work, they are likely to try standard places such as employment agencies, career websites, and professional organizations. However, looking in unexpected places can be successful, as it was for me in finding work as a curriculum writer for a driving school.
Looking for work can be quite straightforward in many cases. Teachers and doctors, for example, tend to know exactly where to look for work, and it is only when these options are exhausted that they might look elsewhere. Tradespeople like electricians and plumbers also have a generally clear path to a job.
For writers, the situation is somewhat different. The types of writing that people do can vary widely, from composing poetry and novels on the creative side to writing instruction manuals on the technical side. In this field, personal contacts or just catching someone’s interest can be the best paths to success.
Connections are important for finding work in any field. Experts suggest contacting former employers or coworkers, or even people who chose not to hire you, for finding a new job. Gyms, social clubs, and volunteer organizations can be good places to meet potential employers, and alumni organizations can also be useful. Many professional organizations also have job boards or places where members can advertise their services as part of their membership fees. All of these can be good paths for making the necessary connections. A lot of the time, things can just happen when you are in the right place at the right time.
Sometimes, however, even the best sources for jobs can fail, while the unexpected can succeed. That was the case for me. I was a former librarian who, finding it difficult to get work in that field, decided to move into writing and editing. I soon had a variety of freelance writing and editing projects to supplement my half time job, although never enough to be confident about earning a living.
Then I decided to put a listing on the Kijiji site advertising my availability as a writer and editor. I received several small projects from various people and completed the work, assuming that I would be freelancing for the rest of my career.
One of the people who contacted me was the owner of a school that specializes driver training, with curriculum on such topics as making right turns on red lights or changing lanes in intersections. It was a subject that I knew quite well, and I was glad to have relatively easy, if not particularly interesting, material to work with.
For several months, I worked on various projects for the driving school, writing descriptions of street signs or finding the spelling or grammatical mistakes in the course material. Then when the business owner mentioned that he was hoping to hire a fulltime writer, I said that I would like to be considered for the job. I started soon afterwards and have now been working full time since then. I expect that I will continue in this job for some time to come.
Moving from freelance to fulltime work is not necessarily easy. Still, for anyone struggling to find work in a particular field, it is worth pursuing.
Antczak, Stephen L. “5 Unexpected Places to Find Work.” https://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2017/08/17/5-unexpected-places-to-find-work/#87e61dc416d7.
Job Bank. “Technical Writer in Canada.” https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/marketreport/summary-occupation/20923/ca.
Jones, Peter. “7 Unexpected Places to Find Jobs.” https://www.thejobnetwork.com/7-unexpected-places-to-find-jobs/.
Ontario Ministry of Transportation. “The Beginner Driver Education (BDE) Program Curriculum Standards.” http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/driver/pdfs/beginner-driver-education-curriculum-standards.pdf.