Accidentally Finding Your Writing Niche By Sara Hodon

As a former program manager for career awareness initiatives aimed at school-age students, sometime Career Advisor at a technical college, and frequent job seeker/interviewee who has also made nice extra income as a freelance writer, it seemed like only a matter of time before my two “worlds” merged. Although I’ve written for a number of consumer magazines, once I discovered the lucrative opportunities that exist with industry-specific trade publications, I decided to try to break into those markets.

It worked.

I researched markets and sent letters of introduction to editors at publications targeted at job seekers of all ages and walks of life, and for the past year, the bulk of my writing projects have consisted of articles on various job and career topics. I’ve written both in-depth profiles on specific careers and industries and straightforward how-to pieces (i.e., “How to Utilize Social Media in Your Job Search”). Occasionally I’ll take on a relevant project that’s a little bit outside of my feature writing comfort zone, such as writing items for skill assessment materials. These projects have allowed me to build on my existing knowledge and still keep up with trends in the job market and business world. I also like knowing that I’m helping others navigate through the often overwhelming waters of choosing a career path and landing employment.

For years I considered myself to be a generalist, and I spent hours crafting queries for general interest magazines that received mixed results. Although it didn’t occur to me for some time, it seemed like a natural step to apply my experiences as both a job seeker and career awareness professional to my writing projects. I write about careers so much that now it’s nice to get the occasional assignment that’s on a totally different topic. I still have a lot of interests and will tackle just about any type of assignmentóI think writing about different subjects helps prevent boredom or burnoutóbut I’m lucky to have a specialty area that I can always return to with confidence.

Sara Hodon is a Northeast Pennsylvania-based freelance writer who has made a career out of writing about careers. Her work has appeared in G.I. Jobs, Woman Engineer, Hispanic Career World, and Job Choices, among others.


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