Re: Anonymous: Burnout, advancement and career changing

Subject: Re: Anonymous: Burnout, advancement and career changing
From: NuVision Communications <nuvisioncomm -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: Techwr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2012 19:57:00 -0500

I transitioned into technical writing in 1995 from the communications
realm, where I wrote and edited magazines and newsletters as part of a
communications organization. I then transitioned back to marketing
communications and now I'm back as a technical writer/communicator!! It's
been awhile since I've posted here!

When I started out as a technical writer, I began as a consultant in the
technology industry. Some organizations were looking for candidates with
both technical writing and communications skills, so sometimes I would
serve in both capacities and sometimes I would be solely a technical
writer. It came to a point where I made the decision to focus solely on
communications, specializing in technology of course. I had been a little
bored documenting software, and I thought marcomm would be more creative
and fun, and you can actually measure reactions to your work. Luckily, I
had made the effort to keep portfolio pieces that helped me make the
switch; some of the work was from off-hours freelancing. When I made the
switch, I can't say that I totally gave up technical writing, because I was
still writing release notes and policies and procedures in addition to the
more dynamic stuff: Web content, direct marketing, brochures, press
releases... And of course the content focused on technology. But the bulk
of my documentation work was gone.

So why am I back? Communications wasn't all that I wanted it to be. Whether
you're a technical communicator or a marketing communications writer,
you're still the first ones to go when there's downsizing. Next, because
communications is a much more visible role in a company, there seems to be
MORE politics involved: tiring. I have to wonder whether politics and
stress in every company is a greater challenge because of the economy and
jobs situation. Anyway, I'm more comfortable in the tech world and I prefer
to learn the nuts and bolts of products and communicate what it means for
the audience, and I like working with engineers and I can still be
creative. Maybe I just had to find myself.

I do feel like it was easier to make the switch in careers 10-15 years ago
because the employment market was much better and the tech industry was
booming.

If you'd like to make the switch, the best advice I can give is to get some
documented experience -- even if you have to intern or freelance in your
downtime.

I hope this helps.



On Wed, Jan 18, 2012 at 4:26 PM, INKtopia Admin <admin -at- inktopia -dot- net> wrote:

> Admin Note: the following is being posted anonymously. Please direct all
> responses to the list, as replies will not be forwarded.
>
>
> I've been a tech writer for 15 years. I'm burned out, not so much from the
> work, but from the constant battle for respect. While I usually obtain it,
> it takes a lot to get it. When I finally do get it, before long I'm off to
> a new position. (I work in contracting.). I didn't have this problem in
> grad school nor do I have it elsewhere. There are other issues too, such as
> the lack of advancement opportunities and lack of challenging and
> meaningful work.
>
> I am interested in hearing from people who made a career change, but might
> still be on this list. How did you identify your new field, how did you
> market yourself? I have many skills, a brand new digital media degree,
> but am having a hard time separating myself from the writing role since
> I've done it for so long. I'm interested also in those who left and then
> returned to the field. Why did you come back?
>
> If you have questions, please direct them to the list. I might not be able
> to answer quickly, but I will respond within a few hours. Appreciate your
> comments and feedback.
>
> Anon
>
> --
>
>
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--
Debbie
nuvisioncomm -at- gmail -dot- com
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

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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Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our online magazine at http://techwhirl.com

Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our public email archives @ http://techwr-l.com/archives


References:
Anonymous: Burnout, advancement and career changing: From: INKtopia Admin

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