Considering a Pivot from Occupational Therapy to a Non-Clinical Career as a Copywriter? Here’s my Story.
Occupational therapy is a wonderful career, but it comes with challenges too – productivity, documentation, physical demands, and burnout. Leading many clinicians to consider options for a career shift. That’s how it all began in my journey from occupational therapist to copywriter.
Don’t be fooled by shining object syndrome. It takes courage and hard work to carve out a new career outside of typical clinical practice. But don’t let that stop you! From the other side of the journey, I believe now more than ever: rehabilitation practitioners have so many amazing skills to use in new ways.
It all comes down to a little innovation and whole lot of determination. So, without further adieu – here’s my story of using my career in occupational therapy to build a business in copywriting.
It’s loaded with valuation information for YOU! Especially if you’re interested in learning more about copywriting yourself.
A Little Background Behind the Leap from OT to Copywriting
I felt completely crazy dreaming up a new business, especially after investing years into building a career in occupational therapy.
I loved OT (still do!) but was craving something different.
And my decision was actually very complex, even though my attraction to the possibility of copywriting felt “right” from the beginning.
Here were some of the pieces that impacted my decision:
- A Move: My family moved to Michigan. This meant getting a new license and finding a new job. I was propelled to action because I knew Michigan had a competitive job market with slim odds of getting a workable schedule for my family with young children.
- Discovered Under-used Skills: I found all sorts of skills and passion while helping a non-profit daycare write a grant and complete a program development project. It opened my eyes to how the skills of OT could be used outside of a clinic.
- Wanted More Freedom: I was feeling burnt out from juggling my vision for OT services with the demands of insurance and documentation.
A Google Search Introduced Me to the Idea of Copywriting
I didn’t know anything about copywriting. Until one day, l stumbled upon this blog on The Non-Clinical PT which discussed options for making money through writing. After discovering the idea of copywriting for the first time, I instantly connected to the concept for myself.
The wheels of change started turning.
The internet worked its magic, and I began seeing ads for Sarah Turner’s course, Write Your Way to Freedom. After several weeks of eagerly opening her email sequence and doing my own research, I was convinced copywriting was my path. Something I was meant to do.
Here’s what drew me to the Write Your Way to Freedom course:
- Focus on ethics (super important for OT marketing) and being the “good guys of marketing.”
- Coursework centered around setting up a business (I knew my degree didn’t provide me with much business knowledge).
- Lessons covered the essentials of copywriting in a practical and understandable way.
- Comprehensive online support for questions, encouragement, and editing.
- My inner voice said it was a right fit.
Even still, the price seemed like a huge investment for a crazy dream. I mean, OT is a secure and logical career. And I value security and logic.
But then, I was unexpectedly gifted with some money and felt the final piece fall into place. This was a chance worth taking, so I committed myself to embracing the challenge.
(Oh, and now that I’ve done the course, I can say the value far exceeds the price.) There is life-time access to constantly updated content plus paid editors to get your copy journey going in the right direction. The money seems like a lot, but it’s really minimal in the context of learning a completely new career.
Is Copywriting the Right Fit for You as an Occupational Therapist?
You might be wondering if copywriting is a good fit for you. I encourage you to really take the time to think about your strengths and goals. The answer is different for each person and their situation.
Here are some of my observations:
Copywriting is a good fit if…
- You can remain committed to do the work. This can be 1 hour a day over the course of several months (that is what I did while working and moving).
- You love researching and writing.
- You thrive working independently and have an inner boss-lady ready to burst forth (with some help from the course).
- You are open to feedback and learning.
- You crave more freedom compared to a full-time therapy schedule.
Overall, I see so many skills that make occupational therapists great copywriters. From creativity for writing to psychology for understanding how people think and make decisions. Plus, just the broad span of knowledge within the scope of OT makes it easy to research and understand a variety of topics. So, give yourself a lot of credit for a solid foundation to launch a copywriting business.
Some drawbacks to copywriting:
- Inconsistent income, especially as you grow your business.
- Lack of insurance and other benefits.
- Challenge of finding the right clients
- It can be hard to adapt a different identity outside of clinical work.
It’s important to recognize these downsides but none of them are insurmountable. Especially with some planning and the support available within the course.
It’s ultimately about looking at your own life and finding what combination of passion, skills, and practical considerations make sense.
Embracing the Journey and Ready to Help Others
After doing copywriting for four+ years, I’m convinced this pivot into copywriting is one of the best decisions I’ve ever, ever made.
I’m using my skills from the Write My Way to Freedom course to do something love and believe in. Plus, it’s been a blessing to take part in the helpful community of writers within the course who build each other up with wisdom and editing.
I’m also thankful for the community of OT entrepreneurs who are doing incredible things! Through connecting online, offering workshops and talking on podcasts, I’ve found people are are just as passionate about authentic marketing that moves the profession of OT out of obscurity and into the spotlight.
And please note, just because you have a medical background doesn’t mean you have to write in this area. There are literally unending possibilities for copywriting if medical topics aren’t your passion. Every industry needs copy so you could pursue a path writing about beauty, travel, fitness, or parenting. You’ll find the topics and clients who make you smile every time you turn on your computer.
Whether you want to write about OT or something else, I firmly believe there’s room for all.
Interested in learning more about the Write Your Way To Freedom Course? Click here!
Full disclosure, this is an affiliate link and I just want to state clearly – I really believe in this program. I’m happy to honestly answer any questions to help you discern whether this is the right step for you.
In fact, I believe in the Write Your Way to Freedom course so strongly, I’m happy to offer a bonus package to anyone who signs up using my link.
Your success matters. So, I’m offering coaching and editing so you can enter the program knowing you already have someone in your corner. Reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get details about my package of support.