From Agency Writer to In-House Writer: Finding My Professional Power
My writing career began many years ago, back in the days when Facebook was relatively new (yeah, it was THAT long ago) and the whole evolution of digital had just begun. I came into the field quite by accident—I didn’t even know that writing was something you could do as a career. I’d always loved writing and was an avid reader—not the most original backstory.
Without much guidance available, I chose to become a high school teacher, thinking that it was the only field in which I could make a living from my love of the English language. My roommate at the time worked for a small ad agency and when she let me know that they were looking for a copywriter, I jumped at the chance to try it out. I literally had no idea what a copywriter was, but that was something I quickly remedied with a lot of help from Google.
And (I’m sure you’re not surprised to hear this), I got the job.
01. Thanks for the long story… do you have a point?
I spent the next 10+ years in ad agencies working on everything from TV and radio ads, direct mail and guerrilla marketing to digital. My skills and experience grew thanks to the talented people I worked with and I had the opportunity to craft copy for lots of high profile brands in various industries—banking, automotive, alcohol (my favorite by far) and many more.
During that time, the one thing I felt was missing was a sense of true ownership. Because I was working on so many different brands at any given time, I had to constantly and consistently change voice, tone, structure and thinking at least 25 times a day to fit what my clients needed. It’s the epitome of context switching—and it goes without saying that though I felt at the time I was giving them my best, there was always something a little lacking.
02. Why I made the switch to in-house
When I got to Wix, the dynamic of what I had been doing throughout my career shifted. Suddenly, I wasn’t putting my soul into words for clients; I was doing it for the brand that I was a part of. Where I had always felt I was only a wordsmith—a part of the whole—at Wix I became an interwoven thread in the fabric of the company.
As a writer, working in-house gave me a sense of control over the voice of the brand. It added to my professional power and boosted my writing skills in a new way. As someone who had a personal investment in the brand, I was given the responsibility of using words to represent Wix in the best possible way.
03. Professional power—WTF is that?
The term “professional power” is one I use to describe the sense of ownership that comes with being responsible, accountable and in charge of all facets of your role. My own experience taught me how much this empowerment mattered, but it was not until I became a writer at Wix that I finally saw it in action.
At Wix, professional power within our guild comes from the immediate empowerment of every writer as soon as they join the company. And this is exactly what I got.
In all of our writing teams—UX, knowledge base, marketing and more—each writer is expected not just to put words onto a page or to edit someone else’s work. They’re given the responsibility of taking full ownership of text at every stage of the creative process. Why? Because we understand the power of being constantly plugged into the brand. We know that being plugged in makes it easier to present your best professional perspective on every brief you’re given.
And with the sense of ownership, comes real professional power.
Na'ama Oren, Superverbalist