In an effort to expand our thought leadership, highlight Experts, and engage our Expert Community, we reached out to YourEncore Expert, Marcia Ellett, to help pilot a Q&A series as a part of our broader initiative to serve the Expert community. In this series, we will seek to find out what motivates our Experts and how their relationship with YourEncore has been beneficial to them and their career as they navigate the gig economy.
Marcia Ellett is an experienced writer with a background in publishing who has been partnered with Eli Lilly & Co. through YourEncore for eight years. You can learn more about her background and connect with her here.
Q: What brought you to YourEncore?
A: I left a full-time job in publishing and was freelancing as a writer and editor while looking for other opportunities. I heard about YourEncore first through my father, who retired early from the pharmaceutical industry and had worked on several projects with YourEncore, and then through a colleague of his, John Barnard, who co-founded YourEncore. Though my educational background (Master’s degree in writing) and professional experience (publishing) weren’t typical of the YourEncore experts with whom I was familiar, they both encouraged me to join the YourEncore network and keep an open mind. It took a number of months, but I was eventually offered the opportunity of a short-term contract at Lilly to help with communications support in the then Clinical Development Organization. I took a leap of faith and said yes.
Q: How has YourEncore helped you continue and manage your career?
A: YourEncore has been great about working with my supervisors at Lilly to hammer out changes and renew contracts when the need arises, as well as in touching base with me from time to time to provide contract and company updates and answer any questions I might have.
Q: How have you found the work through YourEncore to be meaningful or impactful to both your life, and to the clients you’ve serviced?
A: YourEncore has afforded me the privilege of working with some truly great people at Lilly. It has been the best team experience of my life and shown all of us, I think, the great power in dedication, mutual respect, creativity, and the awareness of being part of something greater than ourselves.
Q: You have a unique background that’s different from most of our Experts coming from more scientific/technical backgrounds. How do you think this has positioned you to provide unique perspectives and experience to the problems our clients are facing?
A: I realized very quickly that no matter what business a company focuses on, communication is the key. As a professional writer, communication is my business. Particularly in a company the size of Lilly, that puts me in a great position to help make sure vital information reaches all the groups who need to hear it in a way that is understandable to everyone.
Q: What advice would you give to experienced professionals like yourself looking to transition into a flexible consulting career?
A: Ask lots of questions and be patient. That first contract may not materialize overnight. And, as my father told me, keep an open mind. The skills you’ve collected in your tool bag over the years may be more versatile than you first thought. I cut my teeth on editing high-end technology books and then writing and editing articles for a woman’s magazine, both of which taught me to identify the target audience, what that audience needs to know, and what the call to action is. Whether I’m writing an email about a new initiative rolling out or crafting an article for an internal newsletter about advanced analytics, the basics remain the same.
Q: Lastly, how do you think working with YourEncore has helped to add ease to the process of looking for consulting gigs?
A: I started on a three-month contract, which has turned into eight years. It has been a great job and, consequently, I haven’t done too much looking for other consulting gigs recently. However, when my current contract eventually ends, I feel confident that YourEncore will be in my corner and on the lookout for new opportunities to put my writing and communication skills to good use.
A Note from our Marketing team: We want to express our sincere thanks to Marcia for her contribution to these questions. We look forward to hearing from more Experts in the future to feature within our Thought Leadership initiatives!
Are you interested in collaborating on Thought Leadership content with YourEncore? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.