Re: New Tech Writer

Subject: Re: New Tech Writer
From: Dick Margulis <margulis -at- fiam -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 18 Nov 2000 07:12:25 -0500


This is a topic that comes up frequently here, including a recent thread
on the subject, and you can find much valuable advice in the Techwr-l
archives (check the footer of this message for a pointer to that).

However, it's a topic that I've never had anything to say about, so I've
sat out.

But it just occurred to my foggy Saturday morning brain that "experience
required" is a koan, or maybe a shibboleth, or maybe a riddle.

When I was young (you don't even want to know how long ago), I faced the
same dilemma you do: how do you get experience if no one will hire you
without it?

Now I look at it from the other side. If I were hiring for an
entry-level position and included "experience" in the job
qualifications, I would not necessarily mean experience doing that job.
I would probably mean experience getting up in the morning and showing
up for a job ready to work.

So maybe one way to respond to the koan/shibboleth/riddle is to say to
yourself, "I have experience. I've made it through school with decent
grades for my writing. I've held jobs and done okay at them. That should
be enough." Then repeat it often enough enough that it becomes your
automatic reaction when you read a description for a junior- or
entry-level writing position. And when you find an opening that appeals
to you and that YOU feel qualified for, go get that job.

The market is so tight right now that if you have the confidence to
apply for a job, you're likely to get it.


Kim Washington wrote:
> I'm new to the Tech Writing field. Does anyone have any advice as far as
> how to get the experience one needs. I've called many non-profit
> organizations about possibly volunteering, but none in my area seem to have
> any opportunities for writers. Any other suggestions? Anything would be
> greatly appreciated!!!

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