Creating a Roadmap to Launching a Career as a Successful Grant Writer
If you are a freelance writer, there is a good chance that you are always on the lookout for consistent and well-paying writing gigs. One of the most steady subsets of freelance writing is in the grant industry. Grant writing can be an extremely lucrative venture once you gain the experience needed to be a success in this industry.
Here are six of the best ways to launch a career in grant writing.
Start with a Bachelor's Degree
Most potential employers will not consider you for a serious writing gig without a bachelor's degree. Successful grant writers possess excellent communication skills. You will find the most success in pursuing a program that focuses on developing writing and editing skills. Courses that focus on public relations and marketing are also extremely helpful when looking to pursue this career path.
Enroll in Dedicated Grant Writing Courses
In addition to acquiring basic journalism skills, you need to also be adept at writing specifically for grants. This is best achieved by taking a dedicated grant writing course. Many community colleges offer this type of class, making it an easy option to add to your busy life. A grant writing class will delve into proposal writing while also teaching you how to find sources of grant funding for different kinds of projects. Some classes will even award a professional development certificate upon completion. After completing this type of class, you should feel confident that you can immediately apply what you learned in a professional setting.
Go After Grant Writing Experience
Once you have the educational background in place, it is time to go after getting the actual writing experience. The best way to do this is to volunteer your services. If you can score an internship working in the grant writing field while you are completing your education, you will be one step ahead of your peers in securing a full-time gig. You may need to work for a few different industries to gain the experience that you need to market yourself as a professional grant writer.
Do Not Forget to Gain Industry Experience
If there is a particular industry that you are passionate about, you should do what you can to gain experience in that field. For example, if you want to write grants for the healthcare industry, it is a good idea to pursue opportunities that will teach you more about the medical field in general. You cannot expect to write grants for healthcare non-profits if you are not familiar with the ins and outs of this industry. The more familiar that you are with a specific industry, the better suited that you will be to tailor your grants to that audience.
Network, Network, Network
Like many professions, the power of networking cannot be denied. Joining a professional association can provide many job leads. This is also a good avenue to pursue if you want to find a mentor to help you along in your career trajectory. Attending an industry conference is another popular way to network and put yourself out there. Do not limit yourself to grant writing networking opportunities. Joining your local networking groups will also connect you with others in the community on a wider scale, potentially providing leads for grant writing jobs.
Volunteer Your Time
One of the best ways to network and gain experience is to delve into volunteering. It is no secret that many of the organizations that rely on grant writers to obtain funds also rely on volunteers. Volunteering your time is important even if you are not directly involved in the grant writing. Tasks such as event planning, marketing, data entry, and more will get your foot in the door in the organizations that you are passionate about serving. Once you establish a name for yourself, you can open the door for grant writing opportunities.
While it will take work to become a respected professional in the field of grant writing, this is an attainable career option for individuals with strong communication skills and a passion for helping others. Not only does the field of grant writing enjoy strong job security, but it also typically boasts a flexible work schedule and a robust pay structure.
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