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Discovering my passion for words at a career crossroads

It all started with a discussion over lunch. We were leaving class after a thorough discussion on the need for Environmental Regulations in my country. Somehow, the lack of vigilant regulations and the consequences of their absence had put both of us in a bad mood.


To change the subject matter, I asked my friend how he felt about his new position. He seemed happy because it offered him opportunities to improve his communication skills, and as expected, the discussion shifted to my job.


I have been working in this high-paying role for a year, and though the position aligned with my core expertise and education, it had many elements that were disrupting my life. Everyone thought leaving it would be a bad idea since women don’t get a chance to earn this well within six years of graduation, and for this reason, my friend suggested that I try freelancing. That's how his father was earning a good sum: through freelance writing.



I will be very honest, the idea didn’t seem appealing that day, but here I am writing this article. What happened?


I decided to give myself a break. My therapist also thought it was the only way for me to gain back control of my life.


Honing my writing brand

It was not a break from everything, as that year, I honed my writing skills by enrolling in copywriting, email marketing and branding courses, which made me write on Linkedin to build a personal brand like any other service provider and how I met Nadine.


Even though I was working with a few clients, I was never satisfied with being a writer. I don’t think I have lofty goals. But I try every means possible to achieve what I set out to achieve, which has been to work with an international organisation as an Environmental Engineer.


Also, writing isn’t a side hustle for me, as I am not a fan of the word, I have a knack for writing, the more confused I became. Should someone with an engineering background who can articulate ideas well and has been paid to write for software and digital marketing firms pursue writing for a living? I didn’t know the answer back then.


However, after a month-long soul-searching and taking a break from writing, I am in a position to tell you how you can be a writer, even while pursuing other fields of expertise.



1. Writing on Medium


Long-form articles and web pages have been my most favoured form of writing. When hunting or working for clients grew difficult, I found Medium to be a fine place to hone my craft while connecting with people interested in what I write.


It has quickly become my favourite application, and I am spending more time learning and improving there than any place else.



LinkedIn has been my source of acquiring information in moments when I felt confused about whether to keep writing or leave it. I have come across some incredible people on this platform and, dare I say, bonded well with a few creators.


I am all for keeping social and personal lives separate because it is never a sustainable long-term plan. But some valuable connections on LinkedIn have the power to influence your trajectory. I know mine has.


Especially when you are exploring different interests, the diverse communities there are the best places to be and why I am sticking with this application. Also, I will find my future colleagues there. *fingers crossed*



3. X/Twitter platform


Though I mostly use the application for sharing my articles and have not used it for networking purposes, it works well for many creators.


Many full-time creators will suggest distributing your content between LinkedIn and Twitter. I don’t do it as most of my posts are tailored to LinkedIn and will need some polishing before I can post it on X, but it is a good experiment as it will force you to be more creative.


I assume many people are building a following to capitalize on it later, but even if you don’t wish to anytime in the future, all the above apps will be great tools to fulfil your writing aspirations.


And if you are interested in following Samra Junaid on Medium and learning from her journey, join her here.

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3 Comments


Nadine Heir
Nadine Heir
Dec 19, 2023

Do you think you'll do more networking on social media in 2024, or why do you prefer not to, for now?

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I'm excited to see that, because me too!

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