Promotion and Advice

Subject: Promotion and Advice
From: Eileen Bator <Eileen_Bator -at- COMPUSERVE -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 14 Oct 1997 21:50:58 -0400

Jennifer, Sorry this may be delayed; I subscribe to the Digest list.

Congratulations on the promotion! Hope you like it. I have been a manager
for 20
years, ever since I got out of grad school. I was a working manager for
all but the
last 5 years. I am now freelancing as a Tech Writer since I missed the
hands-on
work, and I couldn't see doing the same management work for the next 20
years!

So, here is my two cents on your questions:

1. I get to pick my own title. I'm thinking "Publications
Coordinator/Technical Writer". Any other suggestions?

Go with "Manager" in your title. Drop the "Technical Writer", as you will
probably
find that you will be writing very little in the near future. My previous
titles have been
"Manager, Technical Writing", "Manager, Technical Publications", "Manager,
Technical Services". Many corporations have managerial ladders, going up:
Work Group Leader
Supervisor
Coordinator
Assistant Manager
Project Manager
Manager
Director
VP
If you can call yourself a Manager, your credentials will look much better
to some
companies for that reason.

2. I'm planning to go order JoAnne Hackos' "Managing your Documentation
Projects" at my local bookstore this afternoon; any other suggestions on
must-reads that would help me prepare for this new frontier?

JoAnne's book is fabulous. If you can ever take her seminar, do. She
gives
you Excel templates for your project planning (you may be able to get them
from her Web site). It's easier to learn the basics in her seminar, since
the
book is long and very detailed. It's the bible - there's no substitute in
my mind.

I think the Pryor seminar recommended to you earlier (moving from a
technical
to a managerial role) is terrific. I still go back to many of the
concepts. Also, take
a 1-3 day seminar on dealing with difficult people, anger, etc. I take one
of
those every few years - always learn something new.

3. Any advice on handling the switch to a supervisory position, especially
in terms of my relations w/ my graphics co-workers? My goal is to work w/
them, not "above" them, to help make the whole doc creation process run
more smoothly.

I found that our Graphics Dept. loved to work with us because we were also
a
creative group of people, and we were much more understanding of their
needs and feelings of ownership. We collaborated on screens and print
ideas
many times, and we were careful to always "suggest" rather than to demand
a change. I miss working with them now - they were a breath of fresh air
from the technical side of the house.

Let us know how it's going!

Eileen

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