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Subject:RE: Just can't help myself From:"Radhika R Shankar" <rshankar -at- austin -dot- utexas -dot- edu> To:"TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> Date:Tue, 26 Apr 2005 14:57:19 -0500
Maybe a certification from a respected org would help TW transition into
the Professional category which is often missing.
From: bounce-techwr-l-211929 -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:bounce-techwr-l-211929 -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Kathleen
Sent: Sunday, April 24, 2005 11:46 AM
Subject: RE: Just can't help myself
Bill, your reply brings up lots of issues, most of which I'm going to
ignore for the sake of brevity.
I will say that there have been times when I would have jumped at the
chance to take that job, simply because it says "tech writer."
(Hopefully I won't be in that position again.) There are lots of admin
jobs that include TW-like components without acknowledging the skills
required, and many admin/exec assistant positions pay comparable to TW
posts. (Admins/execs do have a lot of skills to offer).
My take on people's negative response to these types of ads is that
"tech writers" feel their skills are highly developed and that they
deserve professional status. Considering the qualifications I've seen
tossed around in list postings, and the quality of writing exhibited by
members, I'd say "we" should get as much respect, professionally
speaking, as MBAs. Given the contributions we make to companies, our
status isn't the product of poor quality work or lack of contribution to
the bottom line, I suspect the problems are primarily visibility and
marketing. Those of us who are "translators" might also have few
opportunities to impress people with our higher level qualities. In that
regard, I'd recommend Sherry Michaels article (see the latest issue of
Intercom) as a way for people to think about our roles and be more
proactive about our positions.
Bill Swallow wrote:
> This is a horrible ad. It reflects ignorance about what we do. It
> me, however, that it reflects the minority of ads and a few people who
> really have no idea of what we do who are in hiring and "ad placing"
But the ad specifically calls for an admin who also has good tech
writing skills. We don't know the motive the company has for the
position, so why is it inherently ignorant to what we do?
> Why? The abyss of ignorance about what we do runs so deeply, I could
> spent years trying to move this woman from "gum snapping" to
> professionalism, and might not have succeeded. I had to admit there
> simply not a business fit.
So I have to ask... Who is clarifying our roles to prevent the
ignorance? I'd like to think we ALL are by doing an excellent job,
finding ways to feed the companies' bottom lines while helping people
use the products and providing "bleeding edge" documentation
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?
It's a serious question. I have my answer, but I'd like to hear from the
> My two cents on an ad like that? Recognize there is not a business
> move on.
Right. If it doesn't look good to you, just ignore it and look for a
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