Re: Radical Idea - a caution

Subject: Re: Radical Idea - a caution
From: "Eric J. Ray" <ejray -at- RAYCOMM -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 12 May 1997 15:29:28 -0600

>John Bell asked:
>So, hypothetically speaking, would you as a tech writer enjoy a job where
>you were doing technical writing, client training, and client
>technical support?

Dave said:
>I don't want to be in technical support or training. So maybe I'm biased.

I think this is a real consideration. While your proposal is great for
people who want to do all of the above and enjoy it, you may have
some unexpected issues. For example, I thoroughly enjoy teaching and
training, and tolerate tech support in limited quantities. I'm
also fairly good at each of the above. I took a _technical writing_
job because I wanted to do more writing and get better at writing
while spending less time teaching, training, and doing tech support.
(I made this quite clear when I interviewed.)

After I taught my first class for the company in question, I was forever pegged as
"a good trainer." I was doomed to NOT focusing on writing and to
eternal travel and training from then on. "Boss, I'd really like to get
back to doing more writing, as we'd agreed when I started." "Sure, whatever,
but we've got about 10 days of training in Houston, Tulsa, St. Louis,
and San Antonio in the next 11 calendar days. Call the travel department
and plan on leaving at 4pm."

For employees who can do all of the above (well), and enjoy doing
all of the above, and want to do all of the above, the position would
be great. Additionally, new or entry-level writers would be well-advised
to take such a position just for the experience. However, you'll find
much greater difficulties in getting employees who are suited to
all of the positions and don't intend to focus more in one area AND
have the experience and abilities to excel across the board. In my
experience, it's fairly unusual to find someone with the aptitude
and skills to do tech writing, tech support, and training.


Eric J. Ray ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com
TECHWR-L Listowner

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