Re: Newbies

Subject: Re: Newbies
From: Bill Swallow <bill_swallow -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 13 Nov 2000 06:29:03 -0800 (PST)

> With regard to a recent thread, I find it difficult
> to believe that anyone
> would hire someone with no experience.

You know, you have one eventful weekend and you lose
all context. *g*

Anyhoo... Someone *HAS* to hire newbies, else in a few
decades the number of tech writers would be
approaching zero fast.

Thoughts on hiring newbies:

Only hire a newbie if you can afford to. Newbies are
expensive - perhaps just as expensive as veteran
writers. Why? They need training, coaching, and
guidance. But, a newbie *should* graduate from true
newbiedom within a few months.

Many newbies have a strong work ethic. They want to
succeed and shed the newbie pledge badge. They want to
contribute, learn, and achieve. Nurture this, as first
impressions last a lifetime. If you help them do good
work and reward them positively, then they have
incentive to continue to do good work. If you come
down on them for every mistake they make, you could
have a bitter little writer on your hands. I'm sure
most of us have worked with bitter little writers
before, and if'n you haven't, it ain't much fun.

Hire newbies with the base skills you're looking for,
and make sure you develop a path for them that helps
them grow these skills. If you need a Web writer or
Help Author, hire a newbie who is into HTML - perhaps
the newbie has an impressive portfolio of Web pages.
Always place them where their strengths lie. This way
they can hit the ground running without as much
tripping. You and the newbie will be happy you did.

Bill Swallow
Technical Writer
bswallow -at- poweradz -dot- com

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