Technical Writing: Beginning of a Journey?

So a few months ago I re-applied to Texas Tech’s program for technical communications. (I had applied three years ago but my application was quickly rejected *sad face*.)  The due date was about two weeks ago, and I still haven’t gotten a response (one way or another). I don’t know if this is a good or bad thing. In the meantime, I inactively sought out a job in technical writing. By inactively sought out, I mean that my friend new that I was interested in technical writing. That’s about as far as that went.

Well, my friend found out that his friend had just landed a job as an entry-level technical writer and he offered to put me in touch. I was like–sure, why not? I figured the most this guy could give me was advice. Take it or leave, right?

Anyway, I chatted with the guy a bit via Google Hangouts and he told me that he had next to no experience with technical writing (other than some coursework and a blog about technical writing). Despite this, he was able to find a job pretty quickly and it’s a fairly long term position (one year contract with possibility of hire). That said, he had been contacted by a recruiter who was desperate for someone to work short-term. Was I interested?

Keep in mind, at the time this conversation was going down, I was working not one, not two, but THREE(!) jobs. I was thinking to myself–I don’t even have coursework that relates to technical writing. However, as a former teacher, I have YEARS of editing experience. As an English major with a post-bach certificate in Writing, I have plenty of writing skills. I am also fairly savvy when it comes to technology (new software does not intimidate me). So, I figured I would give it a go.

He helped me fix up my resume and I contacted the recruiter who set me up with an interview within a few days. I got the job offer the next day and I started a week and a half after that! The contract was only for two months (all of November and December); I was hired to fill in for someone on medically leave. She is coming back in January, but they offered to extend my contract for an extra month…I gladly accepted.

I create and update operational instructional manuals for a welding company.

I create and update operational instructional manuals for a welding company.

It’s been a whirlwind of change! I still work once a week at one of my jobs and I’m still on the pay roll for another job (it’s a substitute position). I will have those two jobs to fall back on once my contract is over. I like this technical writing gig, so I am applying like crazy for another position.

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2 comments

  1. Anonymous · · Reply

    Sounds to me you at least got your foot in the door. We live in a competitive world where we no longer have the luxury of seeking one area of expertise, lay back and let the world come to us. Now a day we have to be a jack of all trades in order to land something. That said, I am glad you don’t mind taking short term contract jobs to see how things go. This is why I sought certifications instead of long term diploma. My advice seek your dream pray to the Lord and don’t lose faith it will come to you..Have a Blessful 2015…

  2. […] failed twice in applying for the technical writing program with Texas Tech (first time in 2011 and a second time in 2014).  Now, it was crunch time…I had two months to figure out what I wanted to major […]

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