Advice for a lone newbie tech writer

Subject: Advice for a lone newbie tech writer
From: "Cardimon, Craig" <ccardimon -at- M-S-G -dot- com>
To: 'Karl Norman' <kylesimmons0164 -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 8 Sep 2014 14:33:38 +0000

Hi Kyle,

Keep plugging away.

Beat every deadline youâre given, if at all humanly possible.

If your company doesnât have a documentation archive or library, start one.

If you hear of a documentation task you know you can handle, volunteer for it.

Visit in person the VPs and department heads, with your bossâs approval, and offer to help solve their writing problems.

If your company doesnât have a style manual yet, volunteer to spearhead that project.

If marketing is open to your helping them, see if they need help writing anything.

If you see something thatâs badly written, re-write it and send it back to the person. This requires finesse and political skills. Donât attempt if youâre not comfortable doing this.

Make sure your boss SOLIDLY supports you. If for whatever reason your boss doesnât see the need for someone with your skills, start looking around. You may be among the first to be laid off if job cuts are made.

Do what your boss says when your boss says it. Your boss works for the company. You work for your boss. After all, your boss is the one who is in charge of your raises, bonuses, and projects. If she doesnât like you, your goose is cooked.

I was in your shoes about 8 years ago. No one knew who I was or what I did. They do now. It just takes awhile.


From: Karl Norman [mailto:kylesimmons0164 -at- gmail -dot- com]
Sent: Monday, September 08, 2014 10:22 AM
To: Cardimon, Craig
Cc: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: RE: Yet another title I found: "Content Designer"

Craig, I'm also the sole technical writer at my company. This is my first job (straight out of college). I get the feeling my company knows they need a tech writer, but they aren't too sure why. As a result, I get some surprised faces when I explain what I can do, but the leadership doesn't seem to have figured out how to leverage my skills. Any advice for a lone newbie?

Kyle Simmons

Technical Writer
Aloe Vera of America, Inc.

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RE: Yet another title I found: "Content Designer": From: Karl Norman

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