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The Juice Journal: Memoirs of an Unemployed Web Writer

January 26, 2017

In today’s Juice Journal we are going to provide an insight into an aspect of life we can all relate to – being unemployed. Yes, that dressing-gown-wearing state of self-pity and frequent fridge raiding in the dark. Job centres, employment advisors, CVs, cover letters, application forms – it’s all one big headache! Being an unemployed web writer is no different to being unemployed in any other trade really and the consequences are just the same for anyone not on the bread line. It’s an equally horrible situation to be in, filled with days of self-reflection and the inability to buy the things you don’t even need but desperately want just because you can’t have!

Unless you’re stinking rich of course. Then unemployment isn’t an issue you. You lucky bugger! For the majority of us though, not working has serious implications for our lives and wellbeing. Being a web writer does come with its advantages in this situation though. As a web writer you have a particular set of skills that should allow you to find odd bits of work here and there; through various freelancing content sites. Let’s take a look into how plausible this is.

A Day in the Life of an Unemployed Writer

I cannot speak for everyone in this predicament, I can only provide a personal account. For me, being an unemployed writer was a frustrating and extremely anxious time. For starters, unless you are a technical writer or a bid writer, there aren’t that many permanent writing roles available these days. There always seems to be tons of bid writing opportunities out there, but this is a very niche profession within the writing world and will take some experience in order to land the bigger roles.

So initially, a day in the life of an unemployed writer entails a lot of searching online for jobs worth applying for. Digital content writing is an obvious avenue to go down, and there are often content roles available in this market. Journalism is a totally different ball park and to obtain a job in this industry, in most cases, you will need some form of journalism qualification.

I would recommend spending a lot of time self-promoting yourself in every way possible. This will fill the day with productivity and prevent the self-loathing from taking over. Build a website, update your website, perfect your portfolio or improve your CV. There are lots of things you can do to improve your chances of landing a job when the opportunity comes. Spending time on Facebook and eating cheesy Doritos is comforting and may take your mind off things for a while – but resist the urge with all of your power! Digitally socialising with the rest of the unemployed world will not make you feel better.

The Best Parts

A good thing about being unemployed? Lie ins. Aren’t they just beautiful? Although I’m not suggesting you waste your day away, not having an alarm clock is just bliss. Then there is of course the fact that you are not working. No one likes to work. We work only to obtain little bits of paper and metal that we can exchange for necessities – food, shelter, medical care and Apple products (apparently). If all of this came for free then we wouldn’t work. So of course, no one will admit it, but the best part about being unemployed is just that – being unemployed! The consequences are horrible – but the situation is undoubtedly convenient. Sitting in my pants playing FIFA in the morning suits me down to the ground.

The Worst Parts

Jeremy Kyle. Honestly, why is television SO bad during the day? I feel this is really unfair on parents/carers/unemployed people all over the country. Absolute tripe. That is the best way to describe television most of the time, but during the day, my lord! Being an unemployed web writer consists of mainly shouting at the TV, cursing yourself for watching TV, wondering why the TV is still on and then looking forward to Bargain Hunt.

Having no money is also pretty shambolic, of course. Lack of drive, purpose, finance, direction and job satisfaction are also major downfalls. But what I found most depressing was the lack of contact with other human beings. Getting out there and interacting with people is good for the mind, body and soul. After an extended period of no meaningful contact with another person, you can begin to develop cabin fever!

The Most Important Things to Remember

One of the most important and encouraging things to remember as an unemployed web writer is that, fundamentally, you really should not be unemployed. Fair enough, you may not have a permanent working position, but that does not mean you should be doing absolutely nothing. As a writer you have a particular set of skills that are always required online. There are tons of freelancing opportunities out there for you to exploit if you have the patience and the commitment.

Bricklayers, accountants, plumbers and many other types have tradesmen have a lot more to worry about when finding themselves in a position of unemployment. Why? If a bricklayer has no work then they have no work. Period. When a web writer has no work, it is much easier and quicker for you to search and find opportunities online.

How to Become a Working Web Writer

People Per Hour and Upwork are just two examples of freelancing platforms where you can obtain work and grow a portfolio. Keep applying for permanent roles if that’s what you are looking for, whilst improving your portfolio along the way. Most permanent roles are obtained off the back of a great portfolio, so even if you do not have any paid freelance work, keep writing your own stuff and use it in your collection. After some time you will notice the freelance opportunities come thicker and quicker, so much so that you might even decide to not go permanent and stay freelance. I did!




This edition of The Jouice Journal was provided by Ian Arnison-Phillips, Director here at Content Juice, so thankfully no longer unemployed!

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Ian Arnison-Phillips

Director at Content Juice
This piece has been written by Ian Arnison-Phillips. Ian is an experienced content marketer, author and creative writer. His specialisms are web content, blogging, PR and creative content.

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