Welcome to the first installment of Career Corner, a new monthly column which I hope will provide valuable insights, strategies and tips for continuing your career as a technical communicator. Whether you are currently working or looking for work, my goal will be to provide relevant, meaningful information to assist you in your search for your “dream job”.
This column will cover such topics as:
- identifying your strengths and weaknesses
- networking and researching
- resumes and cover letters
- traditional vs. non-traditional methods of finding work
- interviewing and negotiating
- staying motivated throughout your job hunt
Managing your job hunt is a complex process that requires a unique blend of skills, knowledge and perseverance. Most of all, it requires time – looking for a job is itself a job.
We all know these are challenging times, not just for our profession but for IT in general. We read about the massive layoffs, the continual restructuring, and often wonder – what on earth do I have to do to find work?
I myself have been laid off four times in the last fourteen years, including very recently. However, I have usually been able to find word fairly quickly, even though I was often not the most technically qualified person for the job.
My first position in IT was as a database manager and accounts receivable clerk for a small organization, even though I had absolutely no work experience in that area. My next position was in tech support at Symantec, even though I had no formal tech support experience. After that, I was hired elsewhere as a technical writer, even though I had never worked as one. How was I able to get all these jobs? By clearly demonstrating to the interviewer that I had transferable skills which would apply to the job in question, and, most importantly, that I had a genuine passion for the job.
Good technical communicators are still in demand. If you are clearly focused in your search, have a burning desire to do what you do, and are able to show this desire at the places you want to work, eventually, you will hit the jackpot.
I hope you will find this column useful and inspiring. Please send your questions, comments and career hunting tips to firstname.lastname@example.org. Note that all emails will be kept strictly confidential unless you say otherwise!