What does a dream career look like for tech-savvy millennials?
I assert that it includes the ability to travel, to be your own boss, to wear your pajamas to work, to work according to your own schedule, and to, in general, avoid the restrictive feeling of the dreaded office job. Not surprisingly, the first career to which millennial English majors are often tempted to turn is freelance writing. The job appears glorious, much like the idea of homeschooling looks to public middle-schoolers and to people who have never been home schooled.
What English majors, like disgruntled public-schooled students, do not see in the career is the discipline involved in finding work and in producing writing even when the pay is slight and the jobs are few. The freelancer is constantly on the hunt, looking for articles to write through online sources (such as Freelance Writing Jobs, Freelance Writing, or Be a Frelance Blogger), endless submissions to the same newspaper that has turned them down about ten times already, and finally finding gigs that may not relate to how they thought they would be writing. Very few authors suddenly rise to fame as the result of one or even a few articles. More often, in fact, the pay is so unpredictable that it is nearly impossible to make a living without a secondary source of income. Timothy Lemire seeks to demystify freelance writing in chapter seven of his book titled appropriately I’m an English Major – Now What?: How English Majors Can Find Happiness, Success, and a Real Job.
The following presentation seeks to further explain and demystify this career choice by pulling from Lemire’s book (see review here) and from an interview with Christen Weimer, a freelance dance critic, choreographer, and teacher in the Atlanta area.