Making a career of tech writing

Subject: Making a career of tech writing
From: "Jody McIntyre" <McIntJA -at- dhfs -dot- state -dot- wi -dot- us>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 11 Oct 2000 08:11:18 -0500

Successful writing involves thinking outside the box (eeek, a cliche!). So you want to be a technical writer. What examples of writing do you have that can be used to make your case? Amazingly, I got the job I have now (which, by the way, I love) due to articles I had written for a hockey magazine, of all things. I argued that I knew nothing about the sport initially, fell in love with it, learned about it, and wrote about it. I also had a broad base of technical skills to add to the package, such as HTML, Adobe Photoshop, and Front Page. I was also humble, but demonstrated a great eagerness to learn in the interview.

After my job interview, I sent a hand written card thanking the person who interviewed me. She's now my boss (and a good one, too).

What we often don't talk about is what happens after we "break in" to the field. I found it a bit stressful, and was very hard on myself. Just realize that all jobs require a learning curve, and don't be afraid to ask questions. Networking is a good reason to join a group such as SCTC. Nice to talk with others who have been there. See it as an opportunity to learn, not just an opportunity to find a way to a better job. First things first (egad, another cliche!).

Anyway, those are my thoughts.

Jody McIntyre
Technical Communications Specialist
Rm. B244
Mon. & Tues., 7:30-4:00, Wed. 7:30-11:30

"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth the writing."

--Benjamin Franklin

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