Re: Another spin-off: where to find writing jobs that are NOT IT related

Subject: Re: Another spin-off: where to find writing jobs that are NOT IT related
From: "Janet M. Swisher" <swisher -at- enthought -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 09 Jun 2005 10:54:22 -0500

Mitchell Maltenfort wrote:

> I'm a Ph. D. in Biomedical Enginering,

> Giving it some thought, I came up with a list of niches but realized I
> wasn't sure how to go networking for them, I'm writing to pick the
> collective brain of the TECHWR-L list on feasibility and possible
> contacts:
> * Research Administration / Proposal Writing?
> * Technical Writing for Medical Hardware?
> * Medical Writing for Neurology, Prosthetics or Sports Medicine?

It's my understanding that FDA approval for biomedical devices requires boatloads of documentation and reporting. However, I don't have any inside knowledge of the industry.

I would suggest looking around for biomedical industry trade groups -- not the "writer" groups you've mentioned, but the general industry-specific groups. Their member lists will give you an idea of what companies are in the field, and whether any of them are in your area. (Also look at the products you use as a researcher -- who makes them?) Use that information as a starting point for further networking. If possible, try to attend industry (not academic) trade shows, conferences, and meetings, and start talking to people. If you present yourself as looking for information, rather than looking for a job (it's too soon for that), most people are happy to look for ways to help you find what you need. That research should enable you to determine what kinds of writing jobs exist in the industry, whether in the categories you've mentioned, or in others you haven't thought of.

Another option to consider is science journalism, though it might take a while to build up a career to the point where you can quit your day job. Other members of this list who have a foot in the journalism world might be able to provide more advice about getting started. I know there are plenty of books available about getting published in magazines, which would apply to science magazines as well. I would suggest sticking to the domain you're most familiar with while building up a portfolio and relationships with editors. Then you might be able to branch out into reporting on other scientific domains.

Janet Swisher --- Senior Technical Writer
Enthought, Inc.


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