I am often asked how I ended up becoming a copywriter.
There’s a story.
It involves fate and a practical goal: paying off a student loan.
In fact, I had no idea what a copywriter was until I became one.
I finished my MBA straight after business school and found myself with what I thought was an enormous amount of student loan debt ($40,000). I really didn’t want to begin my work life chained to that debt – and possibly incurring even more right away in order to get set up with all the things that adults need: a nice car and apartment, furniture, and so on.
What I really wanted to do was travel. But how on earth could I do that when I owed so much money?
I was working as the career placement officer for my graduate school, so I had some great tools at my disposal. I found the job that paid the most and also allowed me to escape the country – teaching English in Japan.
If I could have chosen a place to visit, I would have preferred France, Italy, or another European country. But the pay just wasn’t there. So Japan it was.
I went reluctantly into that gig thinking I would be in exile for a few years. Then I could come back debt-free and ready to start a career.
But it was nothing like I thought it would be.
It worked out better than I could ever have imagined, enriching me as a person, lining me up for a great career, and changing the direction of my life forever.
I paid off my student loan debt after two years. I got paid every month, and I would march straight to the post office to send a money order to my bank back in Canada.
But when the time was up, I wasn’t ready to leave Japan. So I moved to Tokyo, answered an ad in the newspaper, and found a great job at a large telecommunications company as a copywriter.
I didn’t even know what a copywriter was, but somehow the stars aligned.
To think, it’s all thanks to my student loan debt.
I became a student of the world who appreciates other cultures. I got to travel around Asia. I married my husband in India. And we are growing our young family together in Florida.
When I arrived in Florida in 2002, I spring boarded my copywriting background into work at ad agencies, then an SEO company and as a digital marketer.
And none of this would have happened if I weren’t looking for the fastest way to get that loan to zero.
What motivates you every day? Do you have a story to share on how you got into copywriting or your line of work? Drop it in the comments below!