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Your question reminds me of an incident back in my university days. I
took a English course in bibliography and methods of research as part
of my Arts degree. Now, my original training is in engineering, and
like many engineers up here in Canada, I had the customary iron ring
on the pinkie of my working hand. On the first day of the
bibliography course, the prof took one look at the iron ring and said,
"An engineer. What are YOU doing here?"
So perhaps the question is, is having your official job title on your
business card going to help you or hinder you as a technical writer,
particularly at functions like the STC conference?
I like the suggestion Susan Shields has in her follow-up to your
question, that is, put Aerospace Engineer / Technical Writer on your
The other option I see would be to have your official job title,
Aerospace Engineer, on the business cards you use for the bulk of your
business activities--business meetings, mixers, trade shows, etc. And
for the business cards you use for things like STC conferences and
other activities where you want to emphasize your writing background,
have business cards that say Technical Writer / Aerospace Engineer.
If the second batch is a small batch, you could do them up using those
Avery business cards that you can run through your laser printer (your
company might even have a template you could use, because many
companies will use Avery business cards for temp staff, or for new
staff while waiting for the standard business cards to arrive from the
By the way, I did get a really good mark in that bibliography course.
> I am one of those who IS attending the STC conference. I'm
> looking forward to learning more about the writing and tools
> side, since I know lots about the technical side. (Besides, I
> don't think there'd be much of a draw to sessions relevant to
> what I do, such as "How to reverse engineer and document legacy
> Fortran spaghetti code".)
> Anyway, here's my question. My official job title is aerospace
> engineer, even though I mostly write these days. Is it ethical
> and appropriate to put "technical writer" on my business cards,
> even if that isn't my official job title?
> -- Meg
email: johnf -at- ecn -dot- ab -dot- ca
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