A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication (and technical writing).

Careers>Writing

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126.
#22440

Is Technical Writing a Viable Career Option?

Ever thought about what goes into creating the user manuals or instruction brochures of your music system, mobile phones or even the car maintenance guides? Most of us just manage to glance through the item, leave alone going into the technical details.

Jasrotia, Punita. IT People (2002). Careers>Writing>Technical Writing

127.
#18480

Is Technical Writing Right For You?

Times are tight, and as a writer, maybe you find yourself looking for a new way to use your love for words in a way that generates a more steady stream of income. You come across articles and ebooks on technical writing and wonder if it may be right for you. You already know technical writers penned every owner’s manual for all the gadgets and gizmos, appliances and machines in your every day life. Did you also know they prepare reference manuals, product specifications, assembly instructions, parts lists, help screens and website text? Add to that all the mountains of information they create for businesses – employee handbooks, policy manuals, training manuals, and other documents specific to that type of business. If your only ambition is to see yourself on the NY Times Bestseller List, obviously technical writing isn’t for you. On the other hand, if you have ever had to wade through a user guide that was so vague or so far over your head that you thought I could have written a better book than this, technical writing may be worth considering.

Sommer, Diane. About.com (2003). Careers>Writing>TC

128.
#25224

Is the Freelance Writing Life for You?

Freelancer writers tend to develop something of a superior attitude at times. Some of us feel that we are a cut above our brothers and sisters who work as employees.

Usborne, Nick. Excess Voice (2004). Careers>Freelance>Writing

129.
#22611
130.
#36088

Jobs Rated 2010: Ranking 200 Jobs From Best to Worst

How does Jobs Rated determine which professions rank better than others? Data on each job is broken down into five key categories: Physical Demands, Work Environment, Income, Stress and Hiring Outlook. Technical writing comes in at the #13 top career in the U.S., by these measures.

Strieber, Andrew. CareerCast (2010). Careers>Writing>Technical Writing

131.
#19570

The Juggling Act: A Manager's Artform

Handling multiple priorities, coordinating the efforts of various teams, and ensuring that different projects remain under control are essential to survival in a climate of resource limitation and fast-paced change. I could talk about tips on staying organized, how to deal with uncooperative or under-producing staff, fixing problem situations, handling irate clients, re-working schedules while maintaining key deliverables in the middle of a project, ensuring a team functions as it should—but these are really textbook concepts. There are a hundred courses that teach the latest techniques for handling these situations. Anyone can learn to be a good manager to some degree; the key is wanting to be one and putting yourself in the right frame of mind.

Holland, Anton. Writer's Block (1996). Careers>Management>Writing

132.
#32215

Launching into a Writing Project -- Tips for New Writers

One of the challenges of managing new writers is helping them discover and develop their writing process. Whether the new writers have just come out of school, or have recently 'fallen into' the field without the benefit of much training, they often experience the same problems in planning and composing -- which have their roots in how they learned to write.

Potsus, Whitney Beth. TechCom Manager (2005). Careers>Management>Writing

133.
#37859

“Learn and Adapt” Are Keys to Success

Throughout my technical writing career, one thing has remained constant in any position in which I have worked—always learn new skills and adapt to changes in technology.

Belford, Angel. Intercom (2011). Careers>Writing>Technical Writing

134.
#32821

Leaving Technical Writing

It's time to turn out the lights. I've had a great run as a technical writer and consultant but it's time to leave the profession. In some ways I've long outgrown technical writing because client needs as a consultant challenged me and pushed me to become more than just a technical writer.

Kelly, William T. Typepad.com (2008). Careers>Writing>Technical Writing

135.
#34698

Lessons for Technical Communicators from the Telecommunications Sector

It’s often useful to look at the economic and technological pressures in other industries, to see if the trends emerging there are relevant to the technical communications/publications sector. In recent Blogs, we’ve covered the issues emerging in education, but the telecommunications industry might also provide some useful insights.

Pratt, Ellis. Cherryleaf (2009). Careers>TC>Technical Writing

136.
#38735

Let Them Come

The field of technical communication isn't what it used to be. It used to be if you could prove you could write and were reasonably intelligent you could get a job as a technical writer with little prior experience. (I should know, that’s how I got my first job as a technical writer.) Today, positions are fewer and farther between and there’s a lot of competition when a good position comes up.

Harvey, Peggy. Carolina Communique (2013). Careers>Writing>Technical Writing

137.
#37300

Life as a Technical Author: A Case Study

Ginny became a technical author after teaching for some time. She now runs her own company and is also involved with the training of technical authors.

Prospects (2010). Careers>Writing>Technical Writing>United Kingdom

138.
#31728

The Life of a Lone Writer

'Lone writers' — those people who work as their employer’s only staff writers — are a different breed, with their own unique set of professional and personal challenges. At the same time a blessing and a curse, the lone writer life offers flexibility, variety, and autonomy, along with feelings of stress, isolation, and burnout.

Potsus, Whitney Beth. Writing Assistance (2006). Careers>TC>Technical Writing

139.
#38582

Light My Fire: How I Became a Technical Writer

My career in technical writing began one late night in my parents' family room with a bottle Jack Daniels, The Doors' first album—yes, an “album,” not a CD or MP3—and two college engineer friends who spoke and wrote limited English.

Thompson, Greg. Carolina Communique (2012). Careers>Writing>Technical Writing

140.
#22608

Listen, Observe, Speak

When you are a speaker, you communicate. When you are the audience, you communicate. As a member of the development team, the technical writer has to deal with hundreds of intelligent egos. There are the programmers who think only about solutions and technology (not about people and their emotions). A technical writer would definitely feel hurt, when developers talk down to him. Managers on the other hand are likely to have oodles of people skills and may not have technical skills. Therefore, they may talk nicely to you. Nevertheless, a technical writer may feel that managers do not appreciate his technical skills.

Kamath, Gurudutt R. IT People (2002). Careers>Writing>Technical Writing>Workplace

141.
#30306

Make Yourself More Than Just an "Entry-Level" Tech Writer

To make the most of limited opportunities, you have to distinguish yourself from the crowd of other technical writers who'll be vying for the same positions you're after. In other words, you have to go into that job market armed with more than just a bachelor's degree and some classroom writing samples. Following are some suggestions that can help you acquire some professional technical writing experience, broaden your skills and knowledge of the technical writing field, and get you over the entry-level hump.

Monahan, Jim. Boston Broadside (1991). Careers>Writing>Technical Writing

142.
#19896

Making a Big Business Out of Technical Writing   (PDF)

Leveraging on the success of my business, DocuStar, this paper describes some of the strategies I have used to grow my one-person freelance gig into a business employing over 65 employees on our own premises and servicing over 200 hi-tech companies per year. While the profit margin may not match that of the up-and-coming dotcoms, the needs of the market foretell a solid and ever-growing future within the technical documentation niche. With a strong commitment to hard work, an adventurous excitement for conquest and a paramount and obsessive commitment to quality and integrity, technical writing can certainly be grown into a big business venture.

Sher, Barbara J. STC Proceedings (2001). Careers>Management>Writing>Technical Writing

143.
#30076

Making a Big Business out of Technical Writing   (PDF)

Leveraging on the success of my business, DocuStar, this paper describes some of the strategies I have used to grow my one-person freelance gig into a business employing over 65 employees on our own premises and servicing over 200 hi-tech companies per year. While the profit margin may not match that of the up-and-coming dotcoms, the needs of the market foretell a solid and ever-growing future within the technical documentation niche. With a strong commitment to hard work, an adventurous excitement for conquest and a paramount and obsessive commitment to quality and integrity, technical writing can certainly be grown into a big business venture.

Sher, Barbara J. STC Proceedings (2001). Careers>Management>Writing>Technical Writing

144.
#37402

Making It as a Lone Writer

Lone writers have their work cut out for them. But the lack of processes and resources also gives them flexibility and freedom to work towards improving both, the documentation and their situation.

Weber, Kai. Kai's Tech Writing Blog (2010). Careers>Writing>Technical Writing

145.
#19559

Making the Grade: Managers' Tips for Performing Staff Evaluations

Evaluations should be used to take a look at the overall picture, to review where an employee has been in terms of professional development, and to get an idea of where he or she is headed. By doing that, you can provide your staff with valuable advice and guidance. They will be able to grow, both professionally and personally, and you will have a much more effective member of your team. Carrying out an evaluation properly is not easy. Here are a few tips on how to get the most out of the experience.

Holland, Anton. Writer's Block (1995). Careers>Management>Writing

146.
#31716

Making the Transition From Techcom to Marcom

At first glance, technical communication (techcom) and technical marketing communication (marcom) appear to be very different genres. Where traditional techcom strives to help people use products, marcom seeks to make people realize they need products.

Simard, Christy. Writing Assistance (2007). Careers>TC>Technical Writing>Marketing

147.
#31717

Making the Transition from Technical Writer to Manager

This article is a collage of ideas and experiences from some people who've made the leap from writer to manager. Although it's not a step-by-step guideline, it provides some compelling insight as to what individuals might expect as they transition into the management ranks. Even if you are an experienced manager, you might find these ideas helpful.

Capri, Steve. Writing Assistance (2007). Careers>Management>TC>Technical Writing

148.
#20094

Managing Career Enrichment for Technical Writers   (PDF)

This paper explores how technical publications managers can create a department that provides career enriching opportunities and direction for technical communicators. The paper describes in detail four major ways: by providing training opportunities, by providing diverse assignments, by allowing participation in management issues, and by providing customer contact. The paper describes the benefits of each enriching opportunity to the technical communicator and to the manager.

Krasner, Arlene J. STC Proceedings (1997). Careers>Management>Writing>Technical Writing

149.
#27977

Managing Conflicts within a Team of Writers

It is quite challenging for a manager to integrate a diverse group of intelligent and creative professionals into a single, cohesive unit. As much as you may try to avoid it, conflict among your employees is bound to rear its ugly head from time to time.

Prabhakar, Rahul. Blogspot (2006). Careers>Management>Writing>Technical Writing

150.
#28371

Managing Conflicts within a Team of Writers   (PDF)

As much as you may try to avoid it, conflict among your employees is bound to rear its ugly head from time to time. While you may not be able to resolve all conflicts, with the right approach, you can manage many of them.

Prabhakar, Rahul. Intercom (2006). Careers>Management>Writing>Technical Writing

 
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