Gaining Work Experience (was: Just can't help myself)

Subject: Gaining Work Experience (was: Just can't help myself)
From: "Jones, Donna" <DJones -at- zebra -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 25 Apr 2005 09:14:21 -0500

> -----Bill Swallow wrote:-----
> A good question for the masses: Would you take that "Admin/Tech
> writer" job? If so, why? And, what would you aim to do in that role,
> given they're mainly looking for an admin?

When I was first starting out, I would have had my resume in so quickly for this job that it would have made the hiring manager's head spin. :-) I may not have had a lot of writing experience, but I could certainly handle ordering office supplies and doing some secretarial work. I would have been thrilled at the title and the potential for gaining tech writing experience, no matter how insignificant it may have seemed.

Back in the late 80s/early 90s, I had a degree but not much tech writing background, so I had to get my foot in a door somewhere and get some relevant experience. I worked for three different places as a typesetter (including a print shop where I ran a copier machine). It took almost two years of that until I landed a job as an editorial assistant where all I did was edit and typeset (using PageMaker) technical papers submitted by people in the foundry industry. The pay was terrible, and the office politics left something to be desired, but it got "editor" onto my resume. After three years there, I was able to find a job that carried the title "technical writer." The sky was the limit after that.

(who is thrilled with her current job)

Donna L. Jones
Technical Writer II
Zebra Technologies Corp.
Vernon Hills, IL
djones -at- zebra -dot- com

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