Re: What's A TW Got To DO To Get A Job Around Here?!

Subject: Re: What's A TW Got To DO To Get A Job Around Here?!
From: Brooks Family <brooks04 -at- rcn -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 24 Feb 2002 09:20:18 -0500

Dear Colleagues,

Many thanks to those of you who have replied with sympathy, good wishes,
and job search advice. I appreciate it! I was better at expressing the
depths of my frustration than I realized. As it happens, I received a
job offer for a lucrative contract position this weekend and I start
Monday. The element of frustration has been eased but my questions
remain, as I will be continuing my search for a permanent position. To
summarize:

I have noted what appears to be a trend (in my part of New Jersey at
least) for expanding the job description of technical writer to include
a disparate set of requirements. Testing, coding, report writing, and
"administrative" duties such as answering the telephone and distributing
the mail are examples. I fear I have been caught napping for and the
rules have changed. I'd like to know what my best bet is for remaining a
good job candidate. To that end, here are my questions:

Is this a local trend or a national one? Has it been coming on gradually
while I spent five years gainfully employed by a company that defines
technical writers as writers who prepare technical documentation in
cooperation with subject matter experts? Or is it a phenomenon of the
current economic climate? Most importantly, do I need to get some
additional training and, if so, in what disciplines? Are there trends
I've missed and, if so, what are they and where do I get more
information?

I am a good technical writer by the standards as I understood them to
exist the last time I was in the market for a new job. If the standards
have changed, I want to exceed the new standards. Any help you can offer
in understanding the changes would be appreciated.

Yours,

Beth Brooks
Technical Writer and Editor

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