Re: Career changer vs. entry level

Subject: Re: Career changer vs. entry level
From: "Tony G. Rocco" <trocco -at- NAVIS -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 29 Oct 1997 09:49:21 -0800

Yes, I have experienced the same phenomenon, Pat. I found it very difficult
to get into the tech writing biz even though I was working as a computer
journalist and had many years of writing and editing experience under my
belt.

Not only is it the case that employers want you to know exactly this and
that software app, and won't credit you with the ability to learn it on the
fly, but they also apply the same attitude to other aspects of the job. As
if ten years of journalistic experience can't be applied to writing
procedures or editing a software manual.

The irony of tech writing, and it's dirtly little secret, IMHO, is how a
field consisting largely of career changers and transplants from other
fields, makes it so darn difficult to break into. I hope that the emergence
of college curricula and degree programs in technical writing do something
to make the field more easily accessible to qualified people.

- tgr

At 9:16 PM -0500 10/28/97, Patgmason wrote:


>It's rare when I feel I have more direct expertise to offer than you wonderful
> professional technical writers, but this is one of those times. A presumably
> employed and experienced David Castro doubts that the hiring process is
> unfriendly to career changers. I agree it's not impossible to break in, but
> where I am, in a small market, I am not getting responses to various versions
> of very good resumes. I've checked out the reasons why, and have found
>unless
> I have the direct '2 years direct experience at this exact job', I'm getting
> tossed out of the piles before interviews are held. I simply don't fit the
> pigeonhole of qualifications someone has set up, therefore I don't get a
> chance to show good work or attitude or ability.
>
>Of course there are ways one can eventually get a foot in the door and of
> course I have no business whining. I'm just getting weary of those not
>in the
> trenches saying there's no problem. There is a problem, as all those who've
> testified to the 'you must know THIS software' syndrome can agree on.
>
>Pat Mason
>who is typing for a living and considering taking up truck driving if things
> stay this weird
>
>Posts: mailto:techwr-l -at- listserv -dot- okstate -dot- edu
>Commands: mailto:listserv -at- listserv -dot- okstate -dot- edu (e.g. SIGNOFF TECHWR-L)
>Archives: http://listserv.okstate.edu/archives/techwr-l.html,
>Subjects: JOB:, QUESTION:, SUMMARY:, ANNOUNCE:, or none of these.

Posts: mailto:techwr-l -at- listserv -dot- okstate -dot- edu
Commands: mailto:listserv -at- listserv -dot- okstate -dot- edu (e.g. SIGNOFF TECHWR-L)
Archives: http://listserv.okstate.edu/archives/techwr-l.html,
http://www.documentation.com/, or http://www.dejanews.com/
Subjects: JOB:, QUESTION:, SUMMARY:, ANNOUNCE:, or none of these.



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