I haven't written as much about my #WritersLife here on this blog as I thought I would when I first rebranded from Love, Justine to The Jawesome Life. I guess maybe I feel a little weird writing about writing. Plus, this blog isn't meant to be a "how to write" type of blog. However, when I was at my optometrist's office recently, he mentioned he had just hired a copywriter. First I thought, "damn it, I'm too late!" Then he expressed concern that his copywriter doesn't know optometry, so he was worried how the copy would turn out. Thus, I thought I'd share why he shouldn't worry about whether his copywriter is an expert on optometry, because this is a common issue in job hiring I find really annoying, overall.
Have you ever looked at a job description that sounded like a perfect fit for you...until it says "Experience in [specific industry] required/preferred?" And then thought, "That's BS. I can totally do this job and quickly learn the industry specific needs no prob."
When it comes to copywriting, copywriters don't need to know your industry well at all in order to be able to write good copy. They just need to know how to research, ask you the right questions, write empathetically to your audience, and of course write copy (not just nice sounding words on a page).
When you think about it, why would a writer have in depth knowledge of optometry, unless she went to optometry school but decided not to become an optometrist? Or per chance the writer once had a job in an optometrist's office? I once wrote web copy and a blue page on masternodes and block chains. Like, what?? But I did it, and my client was super happy. I didn't need to be or become an expert on those things, I just did some research, asked the right questions, and wrote according to the target audience.
Good copywriters are trained and skilled in writing persuasively and empathetically. Good copywriters do research. And lots of it! People fail to realize that writing isn't just the fingertips to keyboard part. So much happens before that even takes place.
In general I think people often overlook the fact that many skills are not job specific--they can crossover to many jobs. For example, "Project Manager" was never in my title, but boy did I manage a lot of projects. Not to mention, my biggest project management job...being a mom. It's ridiculous and offensive the way we've treated women who temporarily leave the workforce to devote their full attention to the hardest work of anyone's lives. But I digress.
Anyone can learn how to use certain programs, industry lingo, and a lot of different skills and knowledge required of any job; but not everyone can learn good work ethic, leadership, and empathy. Also, not everyone is easy or even enjoyable to work with. Even with writing, I believe everyone can learn to write, but it takes certain qualities to make a great writer. And just because someone is a great novelist, doesn't mean they'll make a great copywriter, or journalist, or screenwriter.
I'm not saying, a person doesn't need to have any of the applicable skills for a job in order to do a job well. Obviously some jobs require very specific skills. It's just that for some reason we humans have a tendency to be blinded by categories and particular orders that don't always serve us well. Instead, these restrictions often keep us from seeing the bigger picture and the real value people bring to the table.