Re: Desperately seeking employment...

Subject: Re: Desperately seeking employment...
From: Mark Baker <mbaker -at- OMNIMARK -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 13 Jul 1999 17:12:14 -0400

Beth Davy wrote

>i consistently get the response that they "are
>looking for someone with more experience. specifically, 3-5 years more
>experience." <insert appropriate frustrated shreik>
>so, any suggestions on how to get said experience, or alternatively, are
>there any companies out there who will take a chance on fresh new talent

When I was going to university we were told there was a terrible shortage of
teachers. Teaching didn't sound terribly hard, and the pay was good, so lots
of people flocked to teacher's colleges and education departments. By the
time I got my BEd., the shortage was over and I think three people in my
class got teaching jobs that year, and one of those had to go to the Arctic
to find a position.

Technical communication has been promoted, for a few years now, as the way
for arts graduates to jump on the high tech gravy train and I would have to
guess that most of the entry level non-technical tech writing positions are
pretty much filled by now.

I bought an Apple II, many years ago, to write a Ph.D. thesis that never got
written. While not writing the thesis, I learned to program the Apple II.
Though I am not a professional programmer, that skill turned out to be the
key to my career. I now earn my living writing about a programming language.

The world is full of arts grads. What there will never be enough of --
because being one is hard -- is technical writers with real technical skill.
I suspect that what will get people into this profession in the future will
not be experience so much as differentiation. Find a way to differentiate
yourself -- and this means a hard technical skill of some sort -- and your
chances will improve.

Mark Baker
Senior Technical Communicator
OmniMark Technologies Corporation
1400 Blair Place
Gloucester, Ontario
Canada, K1J 9B8
Phone: 613-745-4242
Fax: 613-745-5560
Email mbaker -at- omnimark -dot- com

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