At the start of 2017 I made the decision to leave the security of my medical writing job at a large global company to become a freelance medical writer. Although I was nervous about being able to find work, I knew I had to give it a go. Having the support of a few people who believed I could make a success of freelancing made the jump so much easier.
Learning from the Best
I was so lucky to work with some very clever people at my previous job who were also very patient teachers. In the high-pressure world of writing clinical trial documents, timelines are tight and attention to detail essential. With these pressures I gained valuable time management skills. I left my job feeling confident with the knowledge I had and the advice I could offer potential clients and colleagues.
Taking the Plunge
Once I had made the decision to start the new chapter in my life I quickly got moving. Initially I completed a ‘How to become a Freelance Medical Writer’ course (run by the very inspiring Michelle Guillemard, founder of healthwriterhub.com). Creation of my website soon followed with some help from a freelance local web designer. Once I was set up with a business plan, website and IT equipment it was time to find work.
It was harder than I thought it would be to find work and took me a couple of months to get my first client. LinkedIn became my new favourite social media platform, requesting to connect with strangers in my industry who I thought may need medical writing assistance, a tactic known as ‘door knocking’ I later discovered. LinkedIn provided me with amazing opportunities to connect with new people and find my first clients.
People always like to offer advice and I always listen. However, there are a few words of advice that I have followed in my journey: Don’t sweat the small stuff, don’t pretend to know more than you do, stick to what you are good at and train yourself in what you want to be good at.
Written by Mary Cardone, Director of Delve Medical Writing