Career in Technical Writing?

It doesn’t sound like a glamorous career to me but it’s a good, solid career.

Tom Johnson writes the blog I’d Rather Be Writing and has a great post titled Perspectives on a Career in Technical Writing: Responses from 16 Tech Comm Professionals.

Some of the questions he asks include (these questions are GREAT questions for preparing for an informational interview (hint hint!)):

  • What is your job title?
  • Where do you work?
  • What preparation did you have for your current job?
  • What preparation do you wish you would have had? (great question!)
  • What is your favorite task at work? Why?
  • What is your least favorite task at work? Why?
  • What skills do you consider essential to your position?
  • What skills do you think are important for every technical communicator?
  • Do you use visuals in your work?
  • If so, how are these visuals generated?
  • About what percentage of your time on the job is spent on writing (as opposed to researching, training, etc.)?
  • Approximately how much of your time is spent collaborating with others?
  • In what ways do you work with others (technicians, designers, developers, editors, users, technical illustrators, etc.)?
  • What are your major sources of complaint and satisfaction on the job?

There are a lot of thoughts and it is a long read but it’s really interesting to peak into the minds of professional technical writers and see what it’s like in their world.

I wouldn’t say that this is perfect occupation, though.  Read Tom’s other post, I miss working with my hands, to see some of the downside (which can be fixed with some hobbies or outside work, of course).

Tom has a way of making the technical writing business/job look really fun and exciting.

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