Newbie in Houston?

Subject: Newbie in Houston?
From: "Geoff Hart" <geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca>
To: TECHWR-L -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Thu, 4 Nov 1999 15:59:33 -0500

"April" <<....might be jobless in the near future. So, I've been
looking for another job, but I seem to receive inquiries only from
recruiters. As much as I'd like to work with a recruiter, these leads
have turned up nothing so far.>>

Could it be that you've told them all you're going back to school in
the spring? Most companies won't want to go through the fuss of
hiring you if you're not going to stick around. Even if you were only
thinking "night courses", that part of the message may not have
gotten through clearly.

<<Also, I'm interested in knowing what I need to be marketable in
this field. I only have a 2-year degree, so I'm starting back to
school in the spring. What major(s) would you recommend?>>

Depends what your degree is in, and how hung up local companies
are on getting people with degrees. If the degree isn't in technical
communication, you may have more trouble finding work; if it is,
going back to school may be less important than having a good
track record and marketable skills. Speaking of which:

<<Lastly, I'm thinking of buying and teaching myself a page layout
program because the positions I seek inevitably require experience
with either Pagemaker or Framemaker. Which one would you
recommend and is learning one synonymous with learning the
other? >>

Much though I love PageMaker, it's Frame (or Word) that rules the
documentation roost. If you can only learn one, make it Frame.
(That's assuming you already know Word; if you don't, then take
some time to get good at it too. Knowing at least one of the two
packages seems to be pretty much a prerequisite for working in
tech. comm. these days.) Although basic layout skills tend to
transfer well between programs, PM and Frame are sufficiently
different that learning one won't give you what you need to work
immediately in the other; in particular, Frame uses a different
metaphor, has a steeper learning curve, and requires more
discipline to use properly (PM tends to be more free-form).

--Geoff Hart @8^{)} geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca (Pointe-Claire, Quebec)
"If you can't explain it to an 8-year-old, you don't understand it"--Albert Einstein

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