Re[2]: Career Path

Subject: Re[2]: Career Path
From: Don Smith <dsmith -at- ACCESSBEYOND -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 3 Feb 1997 07:53:59 EST

Dave Whelan wrote, in part:

"This way you will become as good a writer as you can be, you will
acquire valuable and portable skills, and you will demonstrate
desirable traits that will get you noticed. Your writing career will
expose you to other interesting aspects of information engineering. In
due course you will get more than your fair share of opportunities.
You might even consider abandoning the traditional corporate career
path by starting your own small business as a freelance technical

Reading between the lines, I believe that Dave is saying what I
believe about the "upward mobility path" for technical writers. That
is to say, there really isn't any. In general, I do not believe that
"management" looks at the best technical writers (let alone other good
technical writers) as a possible management candidate, or transfer to
engineering, or "corporate",etc.. In other words, I truly believe that
technical writers, particularly *good* ones, are considered just that,
good technical writers. Valuable? Sure! But as technical writers. In
thirty years or so for various electronic company's, I can not
remember *one* person so *promoted", though two moved to Pubs Manager.
(I admit my memory is getting worse!)

This does not, of course, preclude tech writing as a good occupation.
I for one think it is a great one. But as a good upward path into
something else, it ain't!


Don Smith
Sr. Tech Writer

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