A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

Careers>Advice

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1.
#20271

Achieving It All!  (link broken)   (PDF)

An observation can be made about success—everybody talks about it, but far too few do anything definite to ensure their own personal success. To be successful, you must know how to set and achieve goals, build a personal success plan, and develop self-motivation. Tapping into your unlimited potential allows you to progress, grow, and change. Powerful tools can be used to achieve your personal and professional goals. Understanding the role of visualization and how to formulate and use affirmations will help you become more successful!

Laurent, J. Suzanna. STC Proceedings (1998). Careers>Advice

2.
#10877

Advice about Technical Writing  (link broken)

Technical writing doesn't always mean 'computers.' Many companies hire technical writers to document policies and procedures for auditors. This means you would actually sit with someone and write down the steps they follow to do a function. Technical writers must be excellent communicators. Verbal and written skills must be of the highest caliber. A technical writer must be methodical, organized, and succinct.

Taylor, Vicki M. Suite101 (2001). Careers>Advice>Writing>Technical Writing

3.
#31111

Advice for the Novice Tech Writer: Be Like an Empty Cup

Technical writing is one of those jobs in which you're constantly learning. New tools, new techniques, new methodologies. No one knows it all. That's especially true for the new technical communicator. If you've graduated from a writing and rhetoric course or a technical writing course, you have a pretty good grounding in craft. But you're really only at the base of the mountain. There's still a lot to learn, and if you keep your eyes and ears and mind open then you can quickly pick up what you need to know.

DMN Communications (2008). Careers>Advice>Technical Writing

4.
#31106

Advice for the Novice Tech Writer: Hold on to Your Passion

Passion, though, is a funny thing. It's easy to become passionate about something. But the fire of that passion can also be easily dimmed or extinguished, often due to circumstances that are beyond your control. Throughout your career, you'll definitely find your passion waxing and waning. But holding on to that passion and nurturing it will make you a better technical communicator.

DMN Communications (2008). Careers>Advice>Technical Writing

5.
#31105

Advice for the Novice Tech Writer: Think Long-Term

So you've just started out as a technical communicator, or you've been on the job for a year or two. And you've decided that maybe, just maybe, technical communication is the career for you and you're in it for the long haul. Now what? Think about the future and how you want your career to develop.

DMN Communications (2008). Careers>Advice>Technical Writing>Blogs

6.
#13468

Age Discrimination in Technical Communication   (PDF)

Age discrimination in the workplace occurs any time one worker is treated differently from another due to age, or another worker's beliefs about age-related inabilities. Solving the problem of age discrimination in the workplace involves three things: understanding the problem and how it affects the way we work, educating ourselves and the rest of the general working public about age discrimination, and finding specific ways to address and overcome the issue.

Steele, Karen A. and Linda I. Bell. STC Proceedings (1993). Careers>Advice>Discrimination>Workplace

7.
#32781

Artists, Not Assholes

My key point in this column is that we need to support, defend, and promote our artisans, or artists, and we need to eliminate the assholes from our organizations. In practice, I see a lot of managers who do not support their artisans—their greatest performers—but hold onto and even reward their assholes. In the end, an organization that rewards the wrong people can destroy its effectiveness and drive the most talented people out.

Nieters, Jim. UXmatters (2008). Careers>Management>Advice

8.
#38018

Avoiding Burnout as a Technical Writer

One of the problems I’ve had to combat over the years has been boredom/burnout — that feeling you get either when you’ve been on the same project for too long or a you’re on new project that just feels like exactly what you’ve been working on for years. How do you breath life into work that you’ve done many, many times before?

Johnson, Tom H. I'd Rather Be Writing (2011). Careers>Advice>Technical Writing

9.
#37964

Career Advice for Technical Writers

Peggy Harvey (2010-2011 chapter membership manager and treasurer) recently learned some invaluable lessons on her quest for a new job opportunity. She shares her experiences in this interview.

Loring, Sheila. Carolina Communique (2011). Careers>Advice>Interviews

10.
#37988

Career Advice for Technical Writers

For future job seekers: Always be prepared. In today’s day and age a layoff can happen to anyone, no matter how secure you may think your job is. That doesn’t mean you should walk around with a cloud of doom over your head but it does mean you should be aware and somewhat prepared if it does. Keep your resume up-to-date and make note of milestones and accomplishments in your current job.

Loring, Sheila. Carolina Communique (2011). Careers>Advice>Technical Writing

11.
#37404

Career Alternatives to Management | Best Design Practices for Blogs

What are the different career paths for senior UX roles other than management? Please share some best design practices for blogs.

Six, Janet M. UXmatters (2010). Careers>User Experience>Advice

12.
#14953

Career Coach Offers Survival Skills for Challenging Times

Condon encourages people to search for networking opportunities. She suggests reading the technology section of The Oregonian on Mondays to find out about meetings of professional groups in addition to STC. She said she often attends events simply because the announced speaker sounds intriguing. She visits meetings of Rotary clubs, Lions, and environmental organizations. She finds out what groups her friends and neighbors belong to and asks if she can attend a meeting with them. When she goes, she doesn't attempt to meet everyone, she just tries to make two or three new contacts. She exchanges business cards, and then, the next day, she follows up with a handwritten note to one or two people saying what a pleasure it was to meet them.

Riley, Erin. STC Williamette Valley (2002). Careers>Advice

13.
#14947

Career Workshop: Participation Is Inspiration

Like most technical communicators in the current economic climate, I've been considering where I've been and where I'm going. On Saturday, January 12, I had the golden opportunity to do some of that in the company of some 50 like-minded participants and a number of inspirational and practical speakers. Not incidentally, I was reminded what a tremendous reservoir of volunteer spirit the Willamette Valley Chapter of the STC holds.

Cass, Richard. STC Williamette Valley (2002). Careers>Advice

14.
#10834

Choosing and Using a Technical Writer

Offers advice for anyone looking to hire a technical writer on choosing a writer and using a writer.

Weber, Jean Hollis. Business Consulting News (1997). Careers>Advice>Management

15.
#38123

Collaborative Post: Giving Guidance to a Masters Student about Technical Writing Careers

I received the following email from Anna, a literature PhD candidate who is considering changing career paths from teaching into technical writing.

Johnson, Tom H. I'd Rather Be Writing (2011). Careers>Advice>Graduate>Technical Writing

16.
#35938

Cracking Tough Nuts to Come Out on Top in Hard Times

Discusses strategies to help you strengthen your adaptive smarts. How you choose to implement these strategies is a highly personal process, given your own unique circumstance. The idea here is to provide some food for thought to help you develop your own particular brand of adaptive smarts.

Doulton, Melanie. Indus (2009). Careers>Advice

17.
#31706

Dealing With Professional Burnout

Professional burnout can strike anyone regardless of their profession - tech writer, corporate trainer, freelance writer, website marketing specialist, butcher, baker, candlestick maker - but it's not always easy to detect until the damage has been done. This article looks at the signs of professional burnout and dealing with them head on - alone and with the help of others. It also provides resources you can use to break out of your rut.

Potsus, Whitney Beth. Writing Assistance (2007). Careers>Advice

18.
#35328

Dear Viv: Switching Careers

I worked as a technical writer many years ago and then quit to take care of my kids. Now I'd like to get back into the field. How do I get my foot in the door when all employers require experience?

Carolina Communique (2009). Careers>Writing>Advice>Technical Writing

19.
#10835

Do You Have the Brain to be a Writer?

Parents, teachers, and guidance counsellors sometimes tell children who are anxious about what they're going to do with their life, that they can pursue virtually any career they put their mind to. With determination and lots of hard work, anyone can become a future Prime Minister or President. As reassuring as this sounds, recent findings in the field of brain research suggest that not all people (i.e., brains) are born equal.

Zvalo, Peter. Writer's Block (1996). Careers>Advice

20.
#24987

Document Hack (A Technical Writer's Journal): First Day

Rule number one for a contractor is to never panic about what happens your first day. First days are naturally chaotic, and often companies are not fully prepared for you. Because contractors are usually brought in to solve a particular problem, the people are anxious to get you started, but companies, especially large ones, are not geared for quick action.

Hewitt, John. Writer's Resource Center (2004). Careers>Advice>Writing>Technical Writing

21.
#36287

Doing Super-sets: Applying Workout Logic to Web Work

Dedicated gym-goers use some tried and tested methods to make their workouts more efficient and effective. As usual, what’s good for the goose is also good for the gander, and a lot of these same strategies can apply quite well to professional workflows, too. What is work, after all, besides a prolonged workout of your professional muscles?

Etherington, Darrell. Web Worker Daily (2010). Careers>Web Design>Advice>Workflow

22.
#34440

Don't Stop Learning!  (link broken)

This article examines the need for continuous learning and the challenges that working professionals must overcome to invest in learning. It also explores how experience makes us better learners, and analyzes the relative effectiveness of various learning techniques.

Dhanagopal, Kumar. Indus (2009). Careers>Advice

23.
#34771

Draw the Line: When and How to Stop Giving Away Professional Advice

People are unabashed about asking for web advice and help related to blogs, social media, networking and other web work because they don’t regard it as a specialized service the way they do with medical and legal expertise. I’m not saying giving away freebies is always a definite no-no, but I do think that as web workers we need to start reinforcing the value of our work by drawing a line between friendly advice and working for free. Here’s how I’m trying to create that demarcation.

Etherington, Darrell. Web Worker Daily (2009). Careers>Consulting>Advice

24.
#10838

Ethics in Scientific and Technical Communication

Discusses many ethical issues including: taking personal responsibility for one's actions, Behaviour toward colleagues, subordinates and others,Dealing with experimental subjects, interviewees, etc, Telling the 'truth', and choosing between advocacy and objectivity.

Weber, Jean Hollis. WISENET Journal (1998). Careers>Advice>Ethics

25.
#25317

Expand your Skills in 2004

A sure way to find new work opportunities is to expand the range of skills you offer your employer or clients.

Usborne, Nick. Excess Voice (2004). Careers>Advice>TC

 
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