June 7, 2021

Professional Writer at Work: Interview with Gloria Ju, contracted Editor/Writer for XpertHR

Gloria Ju is a full-time, contracted Editor/Writer for XpertHR. XpertHR is a subscription-based website that focuses on employment law and other HR issues. Gloria Ju has been part of the XpertHR content team since the site launched in the US 10 years ago.

As a full-time contractor, Gloria does much of the same work as the on-staff editors. “My role has evolved over the years. Initially, I did whatever was needed to help get the XpertHR US website launched. Then, for a few years, I was tasked with keeping specific content areas updated (ask me about the Family and Medical Leave Act or the Americans with Disabilities Act!). At my request, I'm back to providing support where needed across the site. I think of myself as a jack of all trades and a master of... some.”

Gloria’s journey to writing wasn’t always apparent. “I graduated college without a clue as to what I wanted to be when I grew up. Having to take serious stock of my abilities and interests, I realized that writing has always been my strongest skill. I was fortunate to land an entry-level job in publishing, although it didn't involve writing originally. Eventually I was given small writing tasks, and I worked my way up the editorial ladder until I was named Editor in Chief.”

Gloria says that collaboration is very important due to the nature of her job. “I keep in constant communication with the editors whose content I'm working on. Although they trust my work and decision-making, I think being transparent on edits helps build and maintain that trust. There also needs to be collaboration with other editors whose content is impacted by the same legal developments that I’m covering. For the more complex tasks, we work closely with the production department. We also collaborate with law firms that are contracted to author content. Even though the benefits of freelancing include the ability to set my own schedule and work from home full time, I choose to work traditional office hours (i.e., Monday through Friday, nine to five) in order to facilitate timely collaboration with the various internal and external parties.”

Gloria’s advice to other writers: “Don't take edits or feedback personally. If you don't understand or agree on an edit, ask for more information and show you're looking to learn. But don’t be afraid to push back if needed. The key is to be respectful and have a conversation, not a fight. Being able to articulate your reasons for defending your editorial stance is important. A good employer, manager, or client wants someone who is flexible, but who can also help decide the best way forward.”

To stay up to date with Gloria's work, check out her LinkedIn.

Thank you to Gloria Ju for sharing her professional writing journey with us.

To learn more about the MS in Professional Writing program at NYU School of Professional Studies, visit sps.nyu.edu/mspw


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