Re: What job did you have before you became a technical communicator?

Subject: Re: What job did you have before you became a technical communicator?
From: Solveig Haugland <solveig -at- techwriterstuff -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 22 Nov 2003 12:38:36 -0700


I had a not so thriving post-college career as an underemployed phone
order taker
for public radio, and also scored national math and English tests. (Some
hideous results for 8th grade math, btw.) A friend told me about a job
for some "technical writing" thing for a company I really wanted to work
for. I
just applied for an entry level job and got it.

My coworkers at other jobs had actual careers before they got into TW.
Names changed to protect
- John was writing up news summaries and articles for the Bush Sr
He'd gotten a degree in English and Chinese and wanted to do something
international. He fell into a small contract TW web job; a friend of his
some content written. And from there he went to a job for an accounting
- Mary had been a journalist for 10 years and had gone as far as she
wanted to.
She got a master's in TW and switched over after that.
- Sam was in a moderately successful band but wanted something more
solid, so
heard about techwriting and just fast talked his way into an entry level
techwriting job.
- Pete was a medical tech for years and just decided to switch to
another field
with a better ratio of work to money. He got hired by a friend for his
first TW
job; i.e. he didn't have the experience but the friend who hired him
knew he had
the essentials of what it takes.
- Mark was in the "awl bidniz" but that tanked so he switched to
painting houses.
He was here in Denver and painted JoAnn Hackos's house. She hired him
for a
while, then he moved on to other TW jobs.

Except for Mary, everyone else fell into it accidentally, and the friend
is a big theme.

solveig -at- techwriterstuff -dot- com

"I'm the Editor Your Momma Warned You About."
Products expressing the agony and ecstacy of being a techwriter.

Scott Abel wrote:

> Okay, the last post in my series of probing questions... I'm writing an
> article about technical communication and wanted to toss this question out
> for a few responses.
> If you had another career before you became a technical communicator, what
> was it and why did you decide to pursue technical communication?
> Thanks in advance for your help.
> Scott Abel
> Content Management Strategist
> 14001 Mimosa Court
> Noblesville, IN 46060 USA
> 317-774-8623 voice
> 801-697-0203 fax
> abelsp -at- netdirect -dot- net

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