Summary: Transitioning From Military to Tech Writing

Subject: Summary: Transitioning From Military to Tech Writing
From: "Tracy Gies" <giesfamily -at- cox-internet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 6 May 2001 23:07:29 -0500

I got some really good feedback from this posting. Most everyone who
responded encouraged me to start writing now, to gain experience and begin
building a portfolio. Many said that my military experience will either be
directly transferable to tech writing, or will serve as a useful backdrop to
a new career in the field. Many respondents issued this word of caution:
*Do not* use un-translated military jargon in a tech writing resume. Sound
advice. About learning tools and programming languages, most seemed split
on the usefulness of learning these things now. I think, however, that as
long as I have the time and the opportunity, I will go ahead and at least
expose myself to these things. As for the MA in tech communications: Most
seemed to think that it would be unnecessary if can manage to gain
experience and build a portfolio. I will go ahead and do the MA. The Army
will pay for most of it. Realistically, I will have to gain experience and
build a portfolio before I get my first "real" tech writing gig anyway.
Furthermore, the degree, in my opinion (as well as that of many of those who
chose to respond), will show that I have some dedication to the profession.
I asked about jobs in West Texas--specifically in the software industry.
Many suggested that I look elsewhere for these jobs, others suggested that I
look into other industries (oil, medicine) if I would prefer to stay in West
Texas. Some responded that, due to the nature of tech writing, it often
doesn't matter where one lives in finding jobs as tech writer: Deliverables
can be electronically to the customer.

I got a lot of great feedback. Thanks, everyone. I feel like I have many

Tracy Gies <><


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