Looking to start a new chapter?
If you’re a fan of English language and literature, finding a career that puts your passion for prose to good use could be the key to finding happiness at work.
To help you capitalise on your love of linguistics, here are some of the top jobs for English lovers:
Writing lines for advertising campaigns. How difficult does that sound?
Well, surprisingly difficult in fact. And it doesn’t just stop with advertising campaigns and marketing slogans. Well written words, or ‘copy’, are needed for everything from selling consumer products and services, through to constructing press releases or writing informative and insightful articles for recruitment websites (N.B. This is in no way a biased entry).
Creativity is a must, as is the ability to meet deadlines. Which can often be easier said than done, especially when you run out of inspiration in the middle of a…*
Will I need a degree? Most copywriters will have English-based degrees, although there are other routes into the profession, especially if you have a natural flair for writing.
Perfect for: People who consider themselves prolific writers.
Avoid if: You usually lose inspiration after the first two hundred and two words.
Behind every great writer, their’s a great editor…
Almost all types of media, whether it’s in print or digital, require some kind of editing. It’s an Editorial Assistant’s job to support senior editorial staff, proofing articles, setting up interviews, reviewing copy, reading and editing unsolicited article submissions, and performing a number of other key tasks to help them do their job efficiently.
Excellent attention to detail and proofreading skills are a must, as is the ability to work to strict deadlines.
Want to point out other peoples mistakes, and get paid for it? You should be an Editorial Assistant.
Will I need a degree? A degree in English or Creative Writing would be an advantage, but is not essential for those looking for entry-level positions.
Perfect for: People who are great at spotting mistakes.
Avoid if: You can’t find the deliberate typo within this section (and, possibly, within the rest of this article).
As a Journalist, it’s your job to break the news, as, when and even before it happens. You could choose to specialise in a certain area and write solely for one publication e.g. Sports Journalist, or write for several different sources simultaneously, across a range of different spectrums, and even work in a freelance capacity.
Outstanding story writing skills, an excellent grasp of grammar, creativity and the ability to meet deadlines are all essential traits to have. Integrity will also stand you in good stead (although it may or may not be essential).
Will I need a degree? A Journalism or Creative Writing degree would be advantageous, but in this industry, experience and an impressive portfolio of work and contacts are just as important as qualifications.
Perfect for: People who like to write.
Avoid if: You’d usually rather wait until the film comes out.
To be a Lawyer or a Barrister, you need two key characteristics. One: terrific English skills. And, two: an excellent tailor.
Of course, you’ll also need to know some basic Latin, be an excellent public speaker, have a degree and a whole host of other requirements. Those too. But with countless hours spent pouring over case files, and dealing with tricky legal legislation, the English skills are definitely right up there.
What’s more, some of the most iconic works of literature are set around complicated courtroom dramas. To Kill A Mockingbird, 12 Angry Men, The Trial, Crime & Punishment, Law For Dummies. The list, not to mention the loose interpretations, are endless.
And if the imaginative literary references aren’t enough to convince you, the position can also pay incredibly well. So, there’s that…
Will I need a degree? You’ll need a degree to become a Lawyer, although this doesn’t necessarily have to be in Law. An English degree, coupled with a law conversion course, would set you on the right path.
Perfect for: People who like to object to things.
Avoid if: You’re not really a fan of confrontation.
Do you like being surrounded by books, and
telling other people to be quiet are at your best when surrounded by a quiet working environment?
Librarians work in public libraries, schools, universities and larger archives or private collections, organising and categorising books for ease of use and assisting with research. Without them, there would be no essays, dissertations or research pieces, making them an essential part of academia.
To be successful in this position, good customer service and excellent organisational skills are musts. The ability to decimalise is an advantage (just ask Dewey), as is, you’ve guessed it, a love of the English language.
Sesquipedalophobics look away now…
Will I need a degree? Some librarians have a degree in Librarianship, but this is not a pre-requisite. One common career path is to start as a Library Assistant, and work your way up.
Perfect for: People who like to be surrounded by books.
Avoid if: You have no form of volume control.
Do you ever watch the latest blockbusters and think you could do better? Screenwriting might be the perfect job for you.
Screenwriters write scripts and screenplays, which can then be adapted for television, films, graphic novels, video games, and a whole host of other media. They usually write in a freelance capacity, working with an agent to help sell their scripts to the highest bidder.
If you’ve got a great imagination, and you think you’ve got a story to tell, this could be the right role for you. But bear in mind, you’ll also need to be good at dealing with rejection. Not all scripts can be the next Rocky VI.
Will I need a degree? No. No formal qualifications are necessary, however, good English language skills are essential. A keen interest in English literature will also be a distinct advantage.
Perfect for: People who want to see their words brought to life.
Avoid if: You’re not really a fan of adaptations.
Honourable mentions: English Teacher, Press Officer, Proof-reader, Researcher, Scriptwriter.
*This joke was fully intentional. Also, if it bothered you, you would probably make a good copywriter.
**reed.co.uk would like to point out that we have nothing against sesquipedalians. We just really wanted to use that word.
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