job negotiation for beginner

Subject: job negotiation for beginner
From: David Blyth <dblyth -at- QUALCOMM -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 18 Oct 1996 13:53:27 -0700

Su-Laine asks...

>I'd appreciate any and all advice.

Take this opportunity and run with it, so long as you get paid.

>Is this a workable situation, or should I concentrate on getting
>a more conventional entry into the field?

There is no conventional entry into the field. Or at least
a lot of us come from a wide diversity of backgrounds then
became Tech Writers through a backdoor.

>Should I insist they hire an experienced tech writer at the same
>time to keep me on track (if I had skilled mentoring and feedback,
>I wouldn't mind working for free)?

It'd be nice, but don't insist on it. The company may feel
comfortable with you and only you. They obviously want to keep
it small.

Here are some other ideas:

Focus on their sales literature at first, even if you don't
much like it. (You said sales is their first problem). Go
through their stuff and try to correct the simple problems.
Stay within your current skill level and make the writing clean,
if not fancy.

Anything you correct will leave them better off than they
are now.

> Everyone else is an engineer, and the boss says engineers cannot
>write, so they have a lot of stuff to document and rewrite. They're
>interested in me because I have a chemistry degree and promised to be
>inexpensive, as I need work experience.

This sounds like a small, fun and enlighted company. The pay may not
be great, but you should have a blast and big up some good experience.
Go with it!

David (The Man) Blyth
Technical Writer & Web Site Designer

The usual disclaimers apply - QUALCOMM isn't that crazy.

Blodo Poa Maximus

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