Write Your Own Job Description

If you can write, you can find work even in a down economy where jobs are scarce. With a little creativity, you can write your own job description.

A couple years after I graduated college, I found myself in career purgatory, biding my time bussing tables at a local restaurant and wondering where in the world I would find a “real job.” But I also knew how to write, and I used my superpower to start a little side business called Cyrano’s Custom Calligraphy. “Entrepreneur” and “small business owner” sound a lot more impressive than “busboy,” don’t they?

The inspiration for this business came from Cyrano de Bergerac, a play about a brilliant poet and expert swordsman whose one fatal flaw is his grotesquely long nose! Cyrano loves the fair Roxanne from afar. Roxanne has eyes for Christian de Neuvillet, a handsome man whose soul is simple and whose words are clumsy. Knowing he does not have the poetic soul to capture Roxanne’s heart, Christian asks Cyrano to help him woo her. So Cyrano stands in the shadows beneath Roxanne’s window, pretending to be Christian and wooing her with poetry that springs from the love in his own heart.

Knowing that, like Cyrano, I could lend my words to those who struggle to express their feelings, I began peddling “Beautiful Words, Artfully Displayed, to Touch the Heart of Your Roxanne.” My customers typically wanted to give a unique and personalized gift to someone: their mother for Mother’s Day, their spouse for an anniversary, and so forth. I would simply ask them how they felt about that person, and then I would try to convey those feelings in a way that sounded both eloquent and sincere. Once I had gotten their approval of what I had written, I would print it using some attractive font or layout, then frame and matte it to create a nice gift the recipient could display somewhere. My customers would often tell me that I had written the very things they had always wanted to say but didn’t seem to know how to say.

Now, Cyrano’s was never much more than a fun side-business that generated a little extra income. Once I found a “real job” that began taking more of my time, I stopped doing it. Then again, I had also begun a new writing project which soon supplemented my income and which eventually turned into a “dream job.”

I’ll tell you about that in my next post.

[This is the third part of a lecture designed to inspire high school students to love writing. In my next post, I’ll give another example of how writing lets you “write your own job description.”]

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Posted on August 16, 2011, in Writing is a superpower. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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