TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
That's exactly how I started. I was selling recording equipment. I moved to Nashville to be a musician, but I wanted to eat in the meantime and went to a company that made big-time studio stuff. I knew the equipment, and how to use it, so it just fell together.
Some of my freelance stuff is directly related to hobbies and interests.
In fact, now in the weather field, it's a bit on the boring side because I'm not really interested in it. I'd much rather be back in the audio world.
From: techwr-l-bounces+mschmidt=weathercentral -dot- tv -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+mschmidt=weathercentral -dot- tv -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Mary Elizabeth
Sent: Tuesday, August 08, 2006 3:55 PM
To: 'Vincent Marianiello'; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: RE: Breaking into the tech writing job market
Keep in mind that there are other tech writing jobs that are not related to
software or technical products. I work for a company that creates CPR and
first aid training materials, and I (having had almost no technical writing
experience at the time) only got the job because I am also a massage
therapist and so have studied some anatomy and physiology. There's a job
opening in Vancouver, WA right now for a tech writer for a dental education
So if you have a hobby or some other kind of expertise, think about
broadening your search to include companies (usually educational in nature)
where both interests overlap. You might find that you have a unique niche
that you didn't even know existed.
Mary Elizabeth Smith
MEDIC FIRST AID International, Inc.
800-800-7099 ext 354
P.O. Box 21738
1450 Westec Drive
Eugene, OR 97402
Visit our online store at medicfirstaid.com.
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From: techwr-l-bounces+msmith=medicfirstaid -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+msmith=medicfirstaid -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On
Behalf Of Vincent Marianiello
Sent: Tuesday, August 08, 2006 12:57 PM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Breaking into the tech writing job market
I'm new to the list and have a question (somewhat related to a previous
discussion about certification) for all you tech writing veterans:
How does one get that first tech writing job without the experience?
I have a Masters in English, but apparently that doesn't mean much to
potential employers. It seems that there's no such thing as an entry level
tech writing job (all the job listings I've seen demand 5+ years of
experience) so how in the world would someone, fresh out of college, embark
on a tech writing career?
I'm sure this may appear as a rather dumb question but, being new to the
scene, I haven't a clue. The headhunters I've talked to make it sound like
one needs a science degree to be a technical writer; firms want engineers
who write, not writers who write about engineering. I've read in other
places that a good way is to do pro bono work for non-profits. Any other
advice, suggestions, ideas?