“I always struggled tremendously with reading, grammar, and writing,” Wisnewski shares. “I just didn’t apply myself. I actually did so poorly in high school English that I had to take a remedial course when I started college.”
After graduating college, he spent a brief time training to sell insurance before deciding he wanted to be a pastor. He resigned from the insurance industry, relocated to take an unpaid internship with a church, and then he started grad school for religious studies.
It was during his masters program that he really developed a passion for writing. But even this didn’t make him consider a career in content. Instead, while still going to school part-time, he took a call center position for a communications company until something he was more interested in came along. He ended up being there for nearly three years. It was a tough time for him emotionally, as he was tired of spending time at a job he didn’t love. But with a wife and four kids at the time, he couldn’t leave—he had to help pay the bills.
In an effort to help, a friend told him about a job opening at a church that seemed right up Wisnewski’s alley. But when he looked at the job description, it didn’t really interest him.
“Another opening did catch my eye, though,” he shares, “A staff writing position. I realized this was exactly the type of work I wanted to do.” Going with his gut, he applied. And since he’d been writing on the side, he got the job.
Since then, Wisnewski has held a few different content jobs, such as marketing manager and account manager at a few different publishing companies. In early 2018, he launched his own content marketing agency, and, most recently, he landed his current gig at Tithe.ly, an online and mobile-giving company for churches and ministries.
“When I saw this opportunity—the chance to pursue the type of work I love at a company whose mission aligns with my values—I knew it was a match made in heaven,” he shares.
To hear more about Wisnewski’s journey into content, keep reading.
What Was Your Biggest Fear About Transitioning Into the Content Field? How’d You Overcome It?
My biggest fear was writing. To this day, I still struggle with a lack of confidence. When I feel my insecurities welling up inside of me, I remind myself of all that I’ve written in the past—even in the past week—to give me the encouragement I need.
What Are Your Main Responsibilities in Your Current Job?
In collaboration with the COO, my main responsibilities are to provide content marketing strategies, write and edit posts, promote our content, and track our analytics. I’m probably writing about 7,000 to 10,000 words each week.
And this isn’t a bad thing, because my favorite part about my job is doing the deep work—setting aside a block of time to write, write, write.
Any Advice for People Who Want to Switch Careers?
Read like your career depends upon it. Being humble, hungry, and a lifelong learner is the best way to stay sharp in your career and to be in a position to pursue a new opportunity.
What’s Your Favorite Thing You’ve Read Recently?
Trying to pick one book I’ve recently read as my favorite is like choosing between my kids—it’s impossible!
Recently, I enjoyed The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in Its Proper Place by Andy Crouch. Even though this book is geared toward families, anyone can benefit from Crouch’s insight (and practical advice) into creating healthy rhythms with the tech we use.
And What’s Your Advice for Those Who Want to Get Into the Content Field?
Write for yourself and write for other outlets. I’ve seen so many people break their way into the content field simply by writing. It’s the easiest way to make a name for yourself, build a reputation, and vet yourself professionally.
Before joining Tithe.ly full-time, I freelanced for them for several months. I never thought about joining them full-time. But when the position I now fill became available, my experience and knowledge about the company placed me a step above the rest.
Photo of Jesse Wisnewski courtesy of Jesse Wisnewski.
Abby is a writer, career coach, and health educator living in Portland, Maine. When she’s not trying to make the world a happier and healthier place, you can find her cuddling with her cats, hunting down the city's best coffee and grilled cheese, or dipping her toes in the Atlantic. Say hi on Twitter .More from this Author