TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Re: Career Path From:Eric Haddock <eric -at- ENGAGENET -dot- COM> Date:Fri, 31 Jan 1997 12:50:06 -0600
>Do you advance from years experience or number of project releases?
Actually it's by having our managers meet with untimely "accidents."
Though, I've heard that on one of the coasts it's more open and ritualized.
Seriously though--I think it's not the number of years or number of
projects that are as important as the combination of skills and experience
you have to bring to a job. If you're diversified and have a number of
skills and if you specialize in one area in particular that's fantastic.
You could get to that stage having done a large number of projects in a
short time or by having done one massive project over years. What's
important is what you've done and how good the result was.
This is why your portfolio is important. It should illustrate your
skills and experience. Always work on your portfolio by saving things
you've worked on--even samples that weren't published in the end. If you
did it--it counts. Somewhere down the line it could be just what you need
to show to someone.
>Are you suppose to excel in one writing tool, or have a working knowledge
types of tools?
Oh more than one absolutely! Technical writing is one of the few fields
where you can't be overqualified (just about). There are many good reasons
for knowing multiple software tools. You don't have to be a grand master in
them all, but if you can say more than "I've heard of it" you're doing