From Warehouse to Wordsmith: How COVID Led to My New Career
Forced into unpaid leave by the pandemic lockdown, Sean Farrelly turned the panic-inducing situation into an opportunity. He switched to a job he can do from home. This is how he did it.
How the Pandemic Helped Me Find a New Career in Copywriting
My name is Sean Farrelly, and I’ve recently found a new career as a copywriter from the U.K. My journey these last 8 months has been a weird time for me. You see, I wasn’t always a copywriter. In fact, until this year, my jobs have been mainly retail—specifically in warehouse roles.
My journey to copywriting started earlier this year, in March. I was on my week’s holiday which was unusual for me because I always save my holidays for emergencies only. But they twisted my arm and I took a week off.
On the second day of my holiday, I got an email from management saying, “Our only option at the moment is to enforce a period of unpaid leave with immediate effect for the next 4 weeks,” and that there was no guarantee that I would have a job at the end of that period.
The lockdown forced me to find a new career.
Now up to this point, I was only hearing some things about COVID-19 on the news but didn’t think much about it. This was before the national lockdown in the UK took effect; before everything happened. So I was, to say the least, shocked about this coming out of nowhere. What was I going to do? That was the question going through my mind for quite some time.
“What was I going to do? That was the question going through my mind for quite some time”
For the next two weeks, my wife and I were panicking, trying to sort out how we were going to pay rent that month and pay all the bills on top of that. After the panic subsided, I had a moment of clarity.
I had to do something. I couldn’t rely on my job because I wasn’t sure if they were going to keep me on. So I started searching for a new career amidst the chaos of being in lockdown. While searching for ways to start a new career quickly, I kept coming back to digital marketing.
How I Got Started in Digital Marketing
Determine a skill you can learn from home.
With digital marketing, I could learn a skill that would be very beneficial and could help me get a job that I could do from home, which was very important to me. My wife and I are both in the vulnerable category—which means we needed to self isolate and stay inside.
Find free ways to learn.
Because money was an issue, I started searching for free ways to learn digital marketing, specifically courses that would provide certification. So I started with Google and did their Fundamentals of Digital Marketing. I then went on and did the Google Ads and the Google Analytics courses.
Apply what you learn to gain experience.
One day while searching for more free online courses to take, I came across Acadium. When I found Acadium it was a lightbulb moment. This is what I needed because it’s all well and good learning new skills, but if you don’t apply those skills in real life and get feedback, it’s pointless.
“If you don’t apply those skills in real life and get feedback, it’s pointless.”
After signing up, the online courses I had previously completed paid off because I was getting a lot of messages from people who were interested in working with me.
Within 7 days of having my profile accepted into Acadium’s marketplace, I agreed to an apprenticeship with an amazing entrepreneur: Michelle Nguyen, a very successful mind and business coach. We connected right from the get-go because of my background in personal development and what she does for a living.
Finding Mentors Who Invested in My Growth
During the three-month apprenticeship with her, I did a myriad of tasks, which led to me finding what I wanted to do as a new career: copywriting. Michelle was very helpful and gave me access to a lot of paid tools and courses that I wasn’t able to access before my apprenticeship.
We continued to work together after the apprenticeship was over, which I loved. I was able to continue honing my craft in copywriting and begin getting paid for the work I was doing. The apprenticeship helped me find my first client.
When I finished my apprenticeship, I carried on learning as much as possible about copywriting. I also kept my eye out for another apprenticeship because there is no limit to how many you can do. But this time, I wanted one that was centred around copywriting.
“I wanted an apprenticeship that was centred around copywriting.”
Leaving Retail to Pursue a New Career in Copywriting
At the end of July 2020, I had been made redundant from my retail job. So, I put all my focus on learning and networking. For about a month, I focused on my craft, honing my skills and getting better.
Then, out of the blue, in the first week of September, I received an email from one of the co-founders of Acadium, Davide Panzeri.
“I was looking at our list of apprentices who have successfully completed apprenticeships and found your profile very interesting, so I wanted to reach out with a very unique opportunity,” he said.
He offered me a position to be an Ambassador for Acadium. There was no way I wasn’t taking this opportunity by the horns.
Building My Professional Network as an Acadium Ambassador
I’m currently finishing up my first month as an Acadium Ambassador and I am loving every second of it. The people at Acadium are amazing and have such a great community. As much as they are helping me out, I wanted to give back as much as I could because I would not be where I am now without Acadium’s platform.
“I would not be where I am now without Acadium.”
My future goals are to continue working with Acadium and complete more apprenticeships with them, seeking out opportunities that allow me to continue to pursue my love for copywriting.
To anyone reading this: If you are stuck and in a position, like I was, whether it’s your job on the line, if you’ve already lost your job, or you just need something that can be done from home, please consider Acadium because I can guarantee it won’t be a waste of your time.
My name is Sean and I’m a copywriter from the UK. I’m passionate about fitness and personal development. My passion for personal development led to creating a podcast dedicated to the knowledge I’ve learned. These 10-minute podcasts share the tips/tricks and hacks that have helped me over the last 6 years.
I’m an avid learner always looking for more knowledge to consume. The most important thing to me is my family. Everything that I’m trying to do is to make their lives better. My ultimate goal is to be a copywriter full time. Also, make it so my wife can be a stay-at-home mum as well as home-school my daughter.
Ryan Carruthers is the Content Marketing Manager at Together Software, a company that builds software to help enterprise companies run effective mentorship programs within their organizations. Ryan was an Acadium apprentice and leveraged his apprenticeship experience to get a job at Together.
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