Re: I want to be a tech writer

Subject: Re: I want to be a tech writer
From: "Westra, Kayla L." <13718westr -at- KCPBLDG01 -dot- BV -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 14 Jul 1995 07:45:00 CDT

Gwen says...

>The people who get paid the best are the ones who can demonstrate to
>clients or employers that they can solve problems effectively and
>produce quality work within the client's schedules.

Is that important to you? If you're
>looking primarily for big paychecks, scrub the techwriting and go to
>med school. Even that's not a sure thing, though.

>I think a degree in geography is perfectly
>appropriate for technical writing in just about any field, so long as
>you are a good writer, you're quick to pick up the subject matter, and
>you're good at commmunicating it to your audience.

>I have a B.F.A. in creative writing, and it qualifies me to get job
i>nterviews, nothing more. The quality of your work, and the level of
>interest you offer to a prospective employer, is far more important than
>any college credentials you might obtain.

Thanks for bringing up many good points, Gwen. I found that being an
English Education major (with teaching experience) helped me get an
interview, and my writing examples, work history, and references certainly
didn't hurt. I'm not a computer guru, by any means, but I am able to learn
things quickly, so I was given the task of writing/editing computer user's
manuals. I've also done a great deal of editing about power plants. You'd
be surprised what you can learn about a subject once you're exposed to it.
(More MW, argh, argh, argh!!!) Oh, and I teach a class on Technical
Writing to engineers and support staff, which I volunteered to develop.

I've never found a project yet that I _couldn't_ do. That's something I
point out to employers who say "but you don't have X years experience doing
this or that!"

Good to be back...and good luck to Steve.

Kayla Westra
Black & Veatch
westrakl -at- bv -dot- com


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