request for info on possible tech writing career

Subject: request for info on possible tech writing career
From: "F. Blaine Dickson" <bdickson -at- AWINC -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 1997 10:10:36 -0800

Thank you to those who already responded to my private requests. I would
appreciate other opinions on a tech writing career.

My name is Blaine, and I am an unemployed golf professional in Kelowna BC,
Canada (sounds like something I would say at an AA meeting :-) ). I
contacted this list because I thought I could receive some competent
information about becoming a technical writer.

I am in the midst of changing careers. I have been a golf profesional for
the past two years, but only 7 months of employment per year at slave wages
has convinced me that I need something more stable in my life to pursue my
financial goals as well as pay off some student loan debt. :-) I am a
graduate of the University of Victoria (1989) with a BA in psychology. I
spent 5 years with our provincial government's Ministry of Social Services,
working in their financial services dept., but I left that job because I
found it unfulfilling. I became a golf professional because I desired an
occupation that was fun while also providing me with an opportunity to be
employed in something I enjoyed doing. Nonetheless, it has not worked out
that way, so I am looking for work in another field of endeavor.

I have used a few career search programs to find out what would be suitable
to my interests and my individual strengths. I am a critical thinker,
analytically oriented, and I like research and things scientific. I
consider myself to be a good writer with excellent communication skills and
an ability for being able to explain things in a manner that less technical
people can understand. Lastly, I am computer literate in DOS and Windows,
but computer savvy in the Macintosh world. Based on these criteria, almost
every career search in which I have participated has produced Technical
Writing as a potential career. I do not have a degree in English or
Journalism, but I am a competent writer who is an excellent communicator,
and technically oriented and experienced. My technical writing experience
has included research reports and some informal job description manuals.

Well, to make a long story short, I am seeking advice from you about the
technical writing industry. Who would I apply to for jobs based on my
limited experience? Do you think I have what it takes to be a technical
writer? What are the salaries like? What could I do to help myself obtain
employment? What do you look for when hiring? What do you look for on a
resume when hiring?

Any help you could give me would be greatly appreciated. I look forward to
hearing from any of you. TIA.

F. Blaine Dickson, B.A.
CPGA ELITE Golf Professional
Kelowna BC Canada

"Do or do not. There is no try." - Yoda


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