re: Wanted: Newbie Advice

Subject: re: Wanted: Newbie Advice
From: Greg Holmes <holmegm -at- attbi -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 25 Sep 2002 06:33:54 -0400

manuka -at- nerdherd -dot- net wrote:

>I've been doing documentation as a secondary duty to my jobs over the
>last several years, and I'm looking to get into doing tech writing as a
>primary job responsibility.
>Any suggestions, thoughts, comments, warnings, etc?

If your current employer doesn't pigeonhole positions too much ("you're a Doohicky Adjuster II; you can't do that!") my first advice would be: just do it! Wherever documentation or communication is *needed*, and the need is not being met (or is being met poorly), then write some, or propose writing some. A smart organization will let people add value; sometimes just by doing valuble things you can establish a new role for yourself.

Now if your current employer has an existing documentation team, which is already meeting these needs, you could get to know this team and try to join it.

Depending on what your primary responsibilities have been, you may also be well positioned to jump into the job market. As you've heard on this list, the technical side of the equation has become more important, so the fact that your primary experience was not writing may actually be a plus. And though this article is written for interviewing programmers:
you might try to be the person that this interviewer is looking for: someone who is smart and gets things done.

Good luck!

Greg Holmes

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