Re: career path in the third and fourth decades?

Subject: Re: career path in the third and fourth decades?
From: Martin Bosworth <martinhbosworth -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 22 Nov 2005 10:52:59 -0500

On 11/22/05, Monica Cellio <cellio -at- pobox -dot- com> wrote:
> Hello,
>
> It's my impression that even the best technical writers will hit a glass
> ceiling long before they complete a 40- or 45-year career, unless they
> adjust their careers away from technical writing. (If you know of places
> where that's not true -- where, say, a 30-year veteran can continue to
> advance in salary while remaining a technical writer -- please let me
> know.) I've got a pretty good idea of how the first 20-odd years of a
> tech-writing career can play out, but am interested in hearing from
> people who are farther along. What changes in direction did you make to
> stay marketable while using the skills you've acquired? I see a few
> possibilities.

Monica,

I'm at the very beginning of my career, so perhaps I'm not best
qualified to answer this. What I can say is that I love TW and would
like to be doing it well into my golden years (I'm 30 now :)), but I
know that it's wise to put many eggs in many baskets.

The avenue I'm pursuing is technology journalism. Tech writing has
been of tremendous help in focusing and strengthening my ability to
write clear and concise prose, which is what good reporting demands,
especially lately. :) Learning to write in the AP style really isn't
that different from writing a technical manual...there are specific
rules and guidelines you need to emphasize, and the key is to be
understood by as many readers as possible.

Plus, I love technology, so writing about its effects is just as
enjoyable as writing about the processes.

The best advice I have been given is to stay current. Keep abreast of
new technologies, new job fields, new requirements, and new demands.
The more you can combine years of experience with knowledge of the
newest gizmos and goodies, the more likely you are to stay high on the
employment charts. Maybe that's naive, but it works for me.

Martin
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career path in the third and fourth decades?: From: Monica Cellio

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