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Despair | Freelance editing

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Re: Despair | Freelance editing

Postby PG » Wed Sep 21, 2016 5:43 am

The fact that advertised positions requests experience will probably continue to be true. However this doesnt necessarily mean that this is going to be true when the position is filled and it is certainly not true for positions available through networks.

Major pharma companies and other well known companies will usually be able to keep this as a strict requirement while smaller less known companies are more likely to need to compromise around their candidates. Several will then prefer a personallity that fits with the company culture and coworkers before previous experience if you can make it likely that you can do the job.

My best advice is to try to find people that are currently doing the job that you woudl like to do in a couple of years time and talk with them about how you would be able to get to the point at which they are now.
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Re: Despair | Freelance editing

Postby D.X. » Wed Sep 21, 2016 9:20 am

S.P. wrote:Let's assume that I have the skills, that I'm a writing prodigiy, and that I can nail any test. Where do I go from here?

As I despairingly mentioned before, I'm yet to see an ad (at least here in Europe) where "entry level medical writers", or, for that matter, entry level anything, are looked for. No experience: don't bother applying. How will a compendium of companies serve me in this regard?

You mentioned certifications. Highly professionalized. Can you empathise with me a little when I say that I never wish to hear of any further education ever again? When I started studying biology 12 years ago it was the next hot thing. Computers out, biotechnology in, everyone said. Twelve years later I'm on the verge of collecting deposit bottles in the street. You're suggesting I take some kind of expensive, lengthy medical-writing course so that two years from now some cryptic "personal relations" will make everyone call the other twenty writers in their contact list?

(Don't take my tone personally, as some here have. I'm simply jaded).

"Start by talking with people about what they do and how they did it". Here, I'm talking to you.


There are many entry level medical writer Jobs available, in this case many 3rd Party Medical Communication/or Medical Service Agencies do not advertise however does not mean they don't have work-load and Need helping Hands. Grunt work in the begining but you learn on the way. You can call them up and see if they have a need. That's what you do with such compendium. Plain old cold call and unsolicited inquiry combinded with request for Informational interviews.

As for Training, no medical writer i know has gone through any form of self-paid Training, they learned on the Job just like I did. Crash-course style with some failures and misses in the begining of thier career. They shared in common, willingness to learn, suck it up, and carry on. Certainly MPB is correct with Expertise and professionalism needed for one to Position oneself as an experienced "Editor" or "medical writer" or a medical writer linked to Content genearation. MPB is just advising you, since we don't the full extent of editing on the subject matter on what is required to Position oneself as such in our industry. I think the key Point here, without fully knowing your Expertise level, is we all have to start someplace. When I first became a medical writer, I had Zero experience beyond the publications and presentations I did as a grad Student and post-doc in the Basic sciences, MPB is right when in Comes to clincial level acumen that's needed which is something I had to learn on the Job. The 3rd Party Medical Communications firm that hired me from the lab-bench threw me in to swim or sink, it remains today an experience that I treasure. And I did sink by the way..massively, at first. But, here, good old Fashion picking up the phone or emailing or linkedin will help. To Position yourself as a freelancer you should have some experience that MPB refers too with demonstrated Portfolio of successful Projects as supporting evidence to your Client(s).

So you have MPB and you have me - for me back in my day and most I knew it was reaching out to agencies directly and using recruiters.

At PG: I can say on the Commercial side of pharma, compromises are made as well on experience, sometimes that is traded for demonor and other experience that is not in the Job description. Certainly, i've been a beneficary of it, I've Held Jobs where the Job description clearly called for someone beyond my level of experience which has generally been the case in all companies that have hired me. And this is the case for many others I know where the Job description was quite laughable to the reality and the candidate they hired. Alot of times These Job descriptions are quite astronomical - so ye old truth, if you feel you are somewhat competitive and meet some of the Points but not all, just apply - usually number of years of experience is the softest of them all.

DX
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Re: Despair | Freelance editing

Postby MPB » Wed Sep 21, 2016 11:05 am

DX and PG have provided some excellent insights: like PG said, focus on smaller companies; and DX's advice to reach out to people directly is basically how I started. Linkedin in a horrible pile of corporate garbage, but it's also a great tool for finding people. When you find a company, try to identify the editorial director, medical director, or scientific director, and reach out to them directly. You can use google and add site:linkedin.com to the end of your search terms to return only hits from linkedin.

You can also look at my post history -- I've written a few times about how I got started.
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Re: Despair | Freelance editing

Postby D. Martin » Wed Sep 21, 2016 12:11 pm

Also, you can look at places like the "author resource center" (www.aje.com/arc, can we post this type of websites here?).

I talked with their people at a conference and it seems something like the thing you are looking for. I know they have PhD's on their stuff (I talked with one).
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Re: Despair | Freelance editing

Postby S.P. » Wed Sep 21, 2016 1:58 pm

D. Martin wrote:Also, you can look at places like the "author resource center" (http://www.aje.com/arc, can we post this type of websites here?). I talked with their people at a conference and it seems something like the thing you are looking for. I know they have PhD's on their stuff (I talked with one).


"American Journal Experts (AJE) exclusively recruits from select research institutes and top universities based on data compiled by U.S. News and World Report. This list indicates the verified school affiliations of our individual editors and demonstrates the exclusivity of AJE recruiting".

https://www.aje.com/us/recruitment/

Yikes. Did they ask to see your affiliation before they agreed to talk to you at the conference?
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Re: Despair | Freelance editing

Postby D. Martin » Wed Sep 21, 2016 8:33 pm

They were looking for customers. Your posts are a good indication of what you think, how you take advice, and attitude (sorry, and I think that is where you need to look for answers).

It does not matter what the web site says. You are based in germany, so I assume you have a decent to good command of that language. You can approach them and see what happens. You had great advantages: a lot of proof reading experience, vast research experience, international experience, english and german language (???, they do not have a market there), you can be a great asset if they seek to expand their language options or their european base, just convince them of that.
Maybe a positive attitude and confidence is what you need (for the record, I got my current job fresh out of my postdoc, north of 35...)
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Re: Despair | Freelance editing

Postby Katherine Lee » Thu Sep 22, 2016 6:38 am

S.P. wrote:Yikes. Did they ask to see your affiliation before they agreed to talk to you at the conference?


I think you're missing the main point. Not every conversation you have is going to DIRECTLY lead to that perfect job.

Talking to someone from this editors organization could be a start. If they liked you, got some good vibes about you, perhaps they would be willing to connect you with a friend that is in a different editing organization that does not have the same academic affiliations requirement. I'd advise you to stop assuming something is a dead end without actually trying. You never know who you can meet along the way who will point you in the right direction. Positive attitude and persistence is key.
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Re: Despair | Freelance editing

Postby Dave Jensen » Thu Sep 22, 2016 9:53 am

Katherine Lee wrote:
S.P. wrote:Yikes. Did they ask to see your affiliation before they agreed to talk to you at the conference?


I think you're missing the main point. Not every conversation you have is going to DIRECTLY lead to that perfect job.

Talking to someone from this editors organization could be a start. If they liked you, got some good vibes about you, perhaps they would be willing to connect you with a friend that is in a different editing organization that does not have the same academic affiliations requirement. I'd advise you to stop assuming something is a dead end without actually trying. You never know who you can meet along the way who will point you in the right direction. Positive attitude and persistence is key.


Katherine and MPB -- thank you guys for being here. Great advice to the original poster. And thank you, Katherine, for reinforcing how important the positivity and attitude issues are.

Dave
"One of the most powerful networking practices is to provide immediate value to a new connection. This means the moment you identify a way to help someone, take action." - Lewis Howes
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