You’ve just being fired. The Technical Writing dept is closed. What do you do? This is a fact of life for many people today. Indeed, there is now a real fear that US technical writers will continue to lose their jobs to offshore companies, e.g. India & Poland. And it’s true; it’s the shape of things to come, I’m afraid. But rather than moan about it, let’s look at what you can do to re-invent yourself and find new, lucrative opportunities.
Yes, I’m that terrible person who interviews technical writers and asks those awkward questions. Here are some of the things I’m looking for when I interview people. First, companies expect that graduates will have the same (more or less) writing skills – that’s a given. So, what they’re looking for are other qualities.
Why did you become a technical writer? Some move into technical writing by accident (me!) while for others it was part of their career path. I spoke to some technical writers about this recently. Here’s what I learned.
Let’s say you’re setting up a new Tech Docs Dept. You need to create new guidelines, style guides and naming conventions. Should you call the user ‘documents’ User Guides or User Manuals? Which one is right? I was asked this question by a colleague in India who is setting up a Technical Publishing Dept in […]
What to know how to type faster and get those documents out the door quicker? Most people don’t know what the AutoCorrect feature in Word really does. Most people think it’s there to correct the odd typo and clean up your document AFTER you have written it. That’s true but… I use to correct the document […]
The University of Limerick, Ireland offers an excellent online course for those who want to study technical writing at home. This university has a pretty amazing campus, specializes in the Arts and provides a conveyor belt of freshly-minted technical writers to Microsoft, Google and IBM in Ireland. It’s one of the few universities in Europe […]
Technical Writing attracts women. They’re very good at it and make great team leads. Maybe I’ve been very lucky but I believe women are far better as technical writers than men. Here are five areas where I think they have the edge of the guys. 1. Communication When in entered technical writing, I assumed my […]
Ben says: “The goal of a project is to make the user successful at what he wants to accomplish. Go ahead, read that previous sentence a few times. It’s one that would do well to sink in.” Is this true?
Do you have a degree in technical writing or technical communications? Was it worth the money? If you had a second chance, would you have chosen this or opted for another career path? One of my younger cousins has started her degree in university in Limerick, Ireland. Not the place most of us think of […]