Coming from the Other Side

Subject: Coming from the Other Side
From: Chuck Blessing <cjb -at- IGLOU -dot- IGLOU -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 10 Jan 1995 03:24:25 GMT

* In a message to ALL on 01-09-95, Beverly Parks said the following:

b> I envy you for having made the move from the "other side." I am
> presently a computer specialist (programmer/analyst) with a tech
> writer/copy editor inside me screaming to get out! Because I
> work for the Army, it is not easy to just "make the switch."

b> As it is, I finagle all the assignments I can where I am
> responsible for documentation. For instance, when the development
> team I'm on now was forming, they needed somebody to "do
> documentation" so I quickly volunteered. Primarily I'm
> responsible for the software users guides. I've also participated
> on several special committees where I usually volunteer to take
> care of the documentation QA in addition to my regular
> contribution. These actions have fostered an excellent reputation
> for me in my organization to the point of people in other divisions
> asking me to review stuff for them.

b> Tell me, how did you do it?

Well, pretty much the same way you are describing. I first began receiving
compliments on my writing from a manager I had three years ago. I wrote a
rebuttal to some proposal another manager was trying to force on him. I
took her proposal apart piece by piece....He appreciated that.

Since then I've done a number of things to put it in people's minds that I
am serious about writing: I, as you have, volunteer to write documents or
memos or even minutes of meetings whenever possible, I am taking night
courses in writing at the local university (and my manager is made aware of
this), and I've volunteered to give short presentations on improving the
writing of our software developers.

Once people begin to think of you as being a writing specialist, and it
seems that people are noticing, then your name should come up in the minds
of the powers-that-be when there's an opportunity.

I can't really comment on the pay scale differences, but if it's really
something you want to do, then over time the money will somehow not become
an issue anymore.

Good Luck!
~ SPEED 2.0f #1592 ~


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