Re: Trouble finding work

Subject: Re: Trouble finding work
From: Al Geist <al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 18 Apr 2005 18:43:35 -0600

----- Original Message ----- From: <arroxaneullman -at- aol -dot- com>

As mentioned previously, there are usually two types of tech writers:
1- the engineer/programmer with a TW certification
2- the English/Journalism major with a back door into high-tech (e.g., a hobbiest techie).

I have a degree in journalism and I've worked as a business reporter, broadcast journalist and an award winning video producer. I also have over 37 years experience in the electronics/computer industry, including working as a Sr. Technical Writer and Publications be careful when you lump English/Journalism majors in to the category of "a hobbiest techie." Some of the best technical writers I've known come from the journalism profession. Some of the worst were converted programmers/engineers. However, this doesn't mean all journalists are great technical writers, or that all programmers/engineers are lousy technical writers. Furthermore, a TW certification tells me nothing about the writer's ability. I've hired a few that had wonderful resumes, gave great interviews and had TW certification, but they had to be let go early on because they didn't have a clue how to take a project from a blank sheet of paper (or blank monitor screen) to a finished product.

Depending upon your experience and education, you may want to consider a Master's in Tech Comm. You'd not only be ahead of those journalism "kids" who write computer games for fun, but you could more easily convince the HR folks to pay what you want.

Sounds like someone has a complex here. I don't know what company you work for or have worked for, but HR does not set the pay rate. Virtually every company I've been involved with has a window for a particular position. The manager can offer the prospective employee a figure from within that window, so it is the hiring authority (the potential boss) that needs to be convinced, not HR. You can blame everything on journalists who view techie writing as a hobby or HR people that need to be schmoozed, or you can improve your skill set and attitude so the hiring authority always places you at the top of the list. Personally, the latter makes for a much better person.


Al Geist, Geist Associates
From Concept to Completion
Technical Writing, Online Help Applications, Marketing Collateral, Web Design, Award Winning Video, Professional Photography
Office: 505-294-8855

Cell: 505-400-4128
E-mail: al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com <mailto:al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com>
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Re: Trouble finding work: From: Donna Marino
Re: Trouble finding work: From: Peter Neilson
Re: Trouble finding work: From: Bill Swallow
Re: Trouble finding work: From: arroxaneullman
Re: Trouble finding work: From: Gene Kim-Eng

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