Re: Can this career be saved?

Subject: Re: Can this career be saved?
From: Pro TechWriter <pro -dot- techwriter -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 2011 20:35:52 -0500

Good advice, Bee!

I have only needed Framemaker skills twice in the last 12 years or so. And
not much before that. However, RoboHelp and MadCap Flare have been very
important, and I learned XMetal with DITA on my last job. They didn't expect
me to know it, however they did expect me to be proficient in creating
online help in "some tool" so that I could demonstrate that I understood how
to architect online help.

A class in RoboHelp or Flare (or other online help tool) would be helpful,
for sure.

If you want to take the classes to feel more secure about updating your
skills and to meet people, it certainly wouldn't hurt. If taking classes
will bankrupt your family or cause financial hardship, it might be better to
instead do some volunteer tech writing to get recent experience. I know some
folks who work on open source or WC3 standards for free. You could
investigate doing something like that to build some current samples.
Contracting is also a good idea, if you feel you could work on some
short-term assignments. That's a great opportunity to learn some new tools
while you are working. All you need is someone to give you a shot at it.

Best of luck!

PT


On Mon, Jun 6, 2011 at 4:11 PM, beelia <beelia -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:

> Becca,
>
> A lot depends on your location. Take a look at Dice.com and see what tools
> are cited in the job reqs in your area. Here in Silicon Valley, XMetaL and
> tools like Flare and RoboHelp are becoming very important. FrameMaker
> is still a tech writing standard, but its market share is diminishing.
>
> That may not be true in other areas in the country. Check the job market
> before you invest time in learning new tools.
>
> HTH.
>
> Bee
>
> On Mon, Jun 6, 2011 at 12:26 PM, Peter Neilson <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net
> >wrote:
>
> > On 06/06/2011 03:12 PM, Gene Kim-Eng wrote:
> >
> >> Well, it certainly can't hurt. But I still think that most non-pubs
> >> hiring managers will be more concerned about erosion of skills and
> >> knowledge in subject matter than in writing. Most of them already
> >> think that anyone can write. :)
> >>
> >
> > "Yes, you were good at using skills you acquired on the fly to write
> about
> > something you never heard of before. But this is Modern Times, not way
> back
> > when. Nobody can write about OUR stuff unless they already know it.
> That's
> > what our tech guys tell me. I think they said we're using Ajax and an
> ISP.
> > We'd have them write but they're too busy. And we only started up ten
> > months ago, so if you were writing ten years ago, you'll probably want
> too
> > much money."
> >
> > Doing writing for pay is better than a course with other non-writing
> > people.
> >
> > ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> >
> > Create and publish documentation through multiple channels with
> > Doc-To-Help.
> > Choose your authoring formats and get any output you may need. Try
> > Doc-To-Help, now with MS SharePoint integration, free for 30-days.
> > http://www.doctohelp.com
> >
> > ---
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> >
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> >
> >
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>
> Create and publish documentation through multiple channels with
> Doc-To-Help.
> Choose your authoring formats and get any output you may need. Try
> Doc-To-Help, now with MS SharePoint integration, free for 30-days.
> http://www.doctohelp.com
>
> ---
> You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as pro -dot- techwriter -at- gmail -dot- com -dot-
>
> To unsubscribe send a blank email to
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>
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Create and publish documentation through multiple channels with Doc-To-Help.
Choose your authoring formats and get any output you may need. Try
Doc-To-Help, now with MS SharePoint integration, free for 30-days.
http://www.doctohelp.com

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Follow-Ups:

References:
Can this career be saved?: From: Becca
Re: Can this career be saved?: From: Gene Kim-Eng
RE: Can this career be saved?: From: Cardimon, Craig
Re: Can this career be saved?: From: Gene Kim-Eng
Re: Can this career be saved?: From: Peter Neilson
Re: Can this career be saved?: From: beelia

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