RE: Inventing a new job title

Subject: RE: Inventing a new job title
From: "Bissell, Johanna" <Johanna -dot- Bissell -at- ASAMRA -dot- HOFFMAN -dot- ARMY -dot- MIL>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 25 May 2001 17:20:09 -0400

You might not want to include "base" -- just leave it at "Knowledge
Engineer". You don't want anyone thinking you are base in any way.
Essential, necessary, but never base.

What's important is not the words, though. Your goal is to show a
progression that will lead to management and possibly director positions.
Start there. Do the technical writers make up their own department or are
they "attached" to departments who need them? If they are only attached, you
should look into joining into one department and then setting up a hierarchy
within that new department. However, from what you've written, I suspect you
are already a department. Establish a hierarchy within the department. When
you find a title (I suspect you need a new one more b/c technical writer has
become stereotyped (no pun intended) in your company), attach clear levels
of progression using either a numeric progression or simple terms such as
Junior, Mid-level, Senior. There should be a Manager and Assistant Manager
of Knowledge Engineering. When these positions are displayed on the company
org chart, make sure your Manager is not under the Manager of some other
department, but rather is under a Director or whatever the next appropriate
level of progression should be. If it's not, the Manager should start the
process for re-organizing and getting under that person.

The other step is to incorporate progression into your job descriptions. It
may take some arm twisting with HR, but if it's presented as a
department-wide overhaul of job titles and descriptions and you go to them
with all the work done, they will be more likely to accept it as is. All it
takes is a couple of lines at the end of the description that say that the
Junior Knowledge Engineer position is in preparation to eventually proceed
to Mid-Level Knowledge Engineer (or KE level 2 is in preparation for KE
level 3).

Hannah Bissell
SI-ECC - Technical Writer

"...because life is too short to waste it whining."

-----Original Message-----
From: Gilger.John [mailto:JGilger -at- acresgaming -dot- com]
Sent: Friday, May 25, 2001 1:35 PM

"Knowledge Base Engineer" has a nice, pompous ring to it that ought to
satisfy your "managers".

John Gilger
Senior Technical Writer
Acres Gaming, Inc.

-----Original Message-----
From: Walters, Christian (CCI-Atlanta)
[mailto:Christian -dot- Walters -at- cox -dot- com]
Sent: Friday, May 25, 2001 09:25 AM

Hi all. [insert usual apologies if this topic was done recently]

Here at my company, we're under some pressure to create job titles other
than "technical writer." The thinking behind it is that "technical
writer" puts a glass ceiling above your head. I have a co-worker who's
been in the same position for years, but everyone else who started at
the same time are now managers and directors and what-not.


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