RE: Senior Tech Writer classification

Subject: RE: Senior Tech Writer classification
From: "Hemstreet, Deborah" <DHemstreet -at- kaydon -dot- com>
To: <beelia -at- pacbell -dot- net>, "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2008 08:40:40 -0400

Hi Bee,

Many people say titles don't matter, others think they mean everything.

I believe it's a combination of the two.

If you are content with your title, the people around you recognize what
you are doing, and the remuneration is acceptable - then no problem.

Usually, a change in title, I believe, is merited if:

- The people you work with perceive the title differently from you and
there is no way to re-educate them appropriately

- The job title is linke to remuneration and prevents you from moving

- There is a marked inconsistency between what your title is and what
you actually DO.

In one of my jobs, a change in title brought no pay raise, but huge
respect amongst my colleagues, and made it a lot easier for me to
accomplish certain tasks....

I hope this helps...


-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+dhemstreet=kaydon -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+dhemstreet=kaydon -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On
Behalf Of beelia
Sent: Saturday, August 16, 2008 10:10 PM
Subject: Senior Tech Writer classification

Hi all,

Like many of you, I've been classified as a Senior Tech Writer for a
long time - about 20 years now. Recently my startup was acquired by a
large company, and I thought maybe this might be a good time to find a
appropriate career track, since 100% of my job is online help. Although
made me a generous offer (which I accepted), I was worried that I might
nearing the top of my classification.

The HR director broke the Catbert mold and suggested I write up my job
description ,and they'd try to find another niche for me. He warned me
use Radford standards, which are notoriously broad and not particularly

I decided to poke around on the web to see if I could find other jobs
that require markup languages, Java, JavaScript, DITA, authoring tools,
along with an engineering education and experience in high tech
like networking and telecomm. Alas, I found that practically all of
skills are commonly listed under "Senior Technical Writer".

At that point, I realized that most of my future colleagues at that
are probably in the same boat, and perhaps I shouldn't be rocking it.
I got assurances from HR that there is room to move financially on the
track, and that they're totally OK with printing "Online Help Developer"
my business cards, I decided to drop the matter.

So now I'm curious - have many of you been stuck in this classification?
so, do you care?

In short, do job titles matter? Has public perception of secretaries or
stewardesses changed because they are now known as administrative
or flight attendants?

I'll be interested to hear your views.



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