Re: Mid-level TW blues

Subject: Re: Mid-level TW blues
From: Linda Castellani <linda -at- GRIC -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 17 Sep 1998 15:30:31 -0700

At 02:04 PM 9/17/98 -0700, Matt Danda wrote:
>I've been struck by a case of mid-level tech writing blues, and I am
>wondering if any other writers feel the same--or at least are asking
>the same questions about their career direction.
Why do you feel that management is the next step for you?

When I was at approximately the same level as you, I also thought that management was the next place to go, and ended up hiring and supervising three writers. A lot of the negatives that I experienced were a function of the company I worked for, but a lot had to do with issues surrounding supervising people. Managing projects wasn't a problem as much as the supervisory issues. So, I'm curious about what about management appeals to you. Because, of course, your mileage may vary.

As far as a career path for tech writers, I've seen them go into marketing, sales, and programming as an alternative to a tech writing management position. One in particular went into marketing, became marketing director, and then through a fluke became acting general manager of the entire company just before it was acquired by a much bigger company. That is definitely the exception, though, in my experience. From what I've seen, tech writers don't generally seem to be considered good material for advancement to other areas of the company.

You bring up a lot of good and important issues and I am very interested in hearing how people respond, because after 15 years, I think I'm having the blues myself.

Obligatory quote:

"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."
- Philip K. Dick

Linda Castellani
Technical Writer
GRIC Communications, Inc.
1421 McCarthy Blvd.
Milpitas, CA 95035

408.955.1968 - fax

linda -at- gric -dot- com

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