Re: Award winning writer seeks help breaking into technical

Subject: Re: Award winning writer seeks help breaking into technical
From: Melissa Hunter-Kilmer <mhunterk -at- BNA -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 21 Aug 1997 10:01:56 EST

George Williams (williamg -at- MTS -dot- NET) wrote:

> Please pardon this one time post. I value your informative
messages and humbly request your assistance.

No pardon is needed. This is exactly the kind of post that this list
is all about.

> I am an experienced award winning writer with excellent
computer/software skills and certificates and I am
trying to break into technical writing.

<big snip of George's skills and experience>

> My motivation : My wife is a top emergency/trauma nurse here in
Canada and has been offered numerous jobs throughout the U.S. My
writing and computer skills are worth more in the U.S. then
they are here. I have a knack for computers and computer
systems. I enjoy working as a writer and learning new

You asked for advice, and you're going to get a lot of it! I'm
posting to the list because it's entirely possible that there are
other newbies who could learn from this. Also, posting to the list
ensures that others will read this and comment on it if necessary, so
you might get the benefit of several points of view.

IMO, you should first figure out if you want to stay a contractor or
go permanent. There are advantages to both.

Then figure out where you both want to work -- I'm assuming you want
to live together, though some of us do take contracts away from our

After that, you should find the employment agencies in that location
that place tech writers. You could ask the list for advice on that.

Then call the agencies up, fax them your resume, etc. Your experience
looks great and so does your can-do orientation. Attitude is key, as
you already know.

You might want to check out some help-wanted ads from the target
location, too. It helps to see what's available. And the STC has a
salary survey that can give you a ballpark figure on what you could
expect to get paid -- although it seems rather low to me.

Many of us have made the move from reporting to tech writing,
including me. You can do it! Let us know how it turns out!

Melissa Hunter-Kilmer
mhunterk -at- bna -dot- com
(standard disclaimer)

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