I’ve only recently started writing about my career transition from ELT teacher to self-employed editor and proofreader, but the responses I have got from the few posts I’ve shared have been positive. Encouragement in all forms is extremely welcome, and one person I’d like to thank Louise Harnby. She has a wonderful Facebook page which is more like an editor and proofreader community. It’s very welcoming and there is lots of advice for the experienced and newbies among us.
I thought the other day about my own marketing campaign, thanks in part to Louise and the SfEP. I knew I was missing a trick somewhere. I taught EFL in Japan for a couple of years, like so many people travelling the world, but I wasn’t really using that in my search for freelance work. There are ELT publishers in Japan, so why don’t I contact them for possible work? So that’s what I did. As well as Korea and China. I feel like I might have turned a corner in my marketing. It was right there in front of me.
It was after this that I began thinking about my experiences and what I can offer. As a newbie, we all need to think about our past experiences and what makes us stand out from the other possible candidates. What is our angle? Why should somebody hire me instead of another freelancer?
This is what I’ve come up with (not exhaustive):
Two and a half years of ELT teaching in Japan. Children, teenagers and adults taught.
Ten months of business teaching in Russia.
IELTS tutor and examiner.
English for Academic Purposes specialist.
Head of department experience.
Three reviews and an article published in English Teaching Professional magazine.
Diploma in English Language Teaching to Adults completed.
Post Graduate Certificate in Education completed, with a focus on ELT.
BA and MA in English completed.
Two audiobooks recorded and produced for a paranormal mystery writer.
An author’s third manuscript analysed, suggestions given and amendments made.
This is not even the half of it. It seems that even with very little publishing experience, the experiences that one does have will be valuable to publishers in an editing, proofreading or writing capacity. As a newbie, we need to think about our strengths and what we can offer to prospective clients, and then to market ourselves, emphasising those strengths.