Write Like Your Dream Employer Is Watching You

Unsolicited career advice, a personal announcement, and the life motto that has rewarded me time after time.

Zulie Rane
5 min readMay 7, 2024
Selfie of author

I don’t want to bury the lede, so here goes: I just started a new job at Medium! You are reading my first official post as Product Marketer. Hi! 👋

What product am I marketing, and to whom? I am marketing the Medium product as a wonderful place to read, edit, and write. I am marketing it to readers, editors, and writers.

If you’ve read or watched my work before, this may sound familiar to you since I’ve been doing that since around 2019.

I want to share the story of how I got the job, since it was pretty unconventional: I emailed Tony, the CEO of Medium.

Screenshot taken by author

Now, before any Medium fans start emailing their resumes to Tony, you should know that this wasn’t all I did. In fact, I have been unintentionally following the oldest job advice in the book for the last five years: I’ve been doing the work.

How to Get a Job: Build a Portfolio

I’ve been spending a lot of time on Reddit recently, and I see variations of this kind of post come up all the time on the r/careerguidance subreddit:

Source: r/careerguidance

The answer always sucks to hear, but it’s no less true for that. If you’re struggling to find employment, one of the best ways to get a job is to do the work.

How do you do the work? There’s no single answer, but I can tell you what I did: I have a portfolio of work I undertook that made me the perfect person for this job.

  • I attended events and conferences, and contributed to them. (Hi, Medium Day and Pub Crawl!)
  • I kept in touch with contacts in my sphere. (I met Tony at a roundtable with Benjamin Sledge and Justin Cox long before he was CEO, and I submitted articles both to Better Marketing and Better Programming while he was running them!)
Screenshot taken by author, permission granted from Justin Cox
  • I wrote articles and filmed videos about relevant topics in my career area. For example, you might have read my article on the new changes to the Partner Program, or you might have seen my video on whether writing on Medium in 2024 is worth it.
  • I edited Better Marketing for the better part of a year.

I didn’t do any of this because I wanted to scheme my way into a job at Medium. I did it because I loved attending those events, keeping in touch with those folks, making that kind of content, and getting the chance to contribute to a community that had given me so much!

Write (or Whatever Thing You Do) Like Your Future Employer Is Watching

This brings me to my final point, which is to write (or whatever your career equivalent is) like your future employer is watching.

When I re-watch those Medium videos I made, or re-read those Medium articles, I am still proud of and happy with the work I did. I did not write clickbait. I did not try to cheaply capitalize on my audience. I made something with the aim of being helpful to others.

I have a track record of writing quality articles in good faith that trails back to 2019. By the time I got to the interview phase, I had already proved my experience with the product and the audience.

It’s not specific to being hired by the platform where I spend so much time, either — I got my first freelance writing clients by writing on Medium, fully on accident. I wrote things I cared about, my target audience found them, and one of them was looking for a writer in a similar niche.

Here’s the article that got me one of my favorite and longest-lasting freelance writing clients:

This brings me back full circle to why I love Medium, since it acts as a perfect place to practice in public — and broadcast your work to a wider audience. It worked well for me, and it can work for you, too.

  • Want consulting clients? Write kick-ass articles about consulting.
  • Looking for a programming job? Write tutorials for coding projects.
  • Job-hunting for a marketing job? Write posts discussing marketing trends.

You never know who’s watching — and who’s hiring. Medium gives you a wonderful platform to write like they’re watching.

And now we’re here, at the conclusion. If you read this far, thank you! Here’s a photo of my cat trying to squeeze into a box that’s way too small for him.

My model, my muse

I can’t tell you how excited I am to help you make the most of Medium, whether as a writer, editor, or reader.

With that, I’ll end with my final request: what do you struggle with on Medium? What can I help clarify or demystify? Let me know in the comments!

Happy writing,




Zulie Rane

Writer and cat mom. Opinions are my own. This is my just-for-fun profile! My official Medium profile is @Zulie_at_Medium.