Re: Career-changer portfolio questions (plus one additional question)

Subject: Re: Career-changer portfolio questions (plus one additional question)
From: ethanreese -at- hotmail -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 15 Feb 2005 16:41:57 -0700

> > I am a career-changer that is looking to get into technical
> > writing.
> Why? I'm not being a smartass. I'm really asking. Why?

In researching fields that caught my interest while drawing on my existing
skills, I came across technical writing almost by accident. Based on the
research I've done about the field, and conversing with tech writers in my
area at STC chapter meetings, I feel that tech writing draws on the way I
naturally work and my interests. In assessing the things I enjoy doing
with a career counsellor, one of the things that keeps recurring is the
interest in making information readily available to people who may need
it, but come from different backgrounds - ranging from very knowledgeable
to the "layman" that may not know much about a topic, but needs to - and
fast. I enjoy the challenge of researching and compiling information and
then arranging it into a logical fashion so that the information is
communicated in an effective manner to the recipient via whatever media is
being used.

> > 2) User documentation I would write for a freeware program I use to
> > calculate the volume of fuel/oil in underground storage tanks (it
> > currently has no user documentation)
> I'd suggest that before you decide to "be a technical writer", you
> need to write that document and get it reviewed by people who don'yt
> have a stake in making you happy...having it reviewed by your
> boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse doesn't count. After all, not everyone
> who wants to, can (though you'd never know by some stuff we've seen).

That's the plan. I've attended several local STC meetings and made a
number of contacts. I hope to have them review it and make suggestions.
After all, a first draft of a document wouldn't be worth much in a
portfolio as opposed to one that has been subject to professional review.


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