After many years of blogging, and consistent with my desire to move toward retirement, we have ended the Insights blog. Thanks to Doug Bedell for his years of blog support.

Progress Promptings From a Roller Coaster

Posted on August 31, 2015
Filed Under Business, Communication, Technology, The Writing Life | Leave a Comment

One of the truly liberating aspects of a talent like technical writing is the ability to function with minimal support and oversight. That’s the setting you’re likely to find at a start-up company, so don’t overlook the advantages of working for a beckoning startup.

Tom Johnson, of I’d Rather Be Writing, asks: “What qualities should technical writers have to work at startups?” He answers by listing: Technical aptitude, Independence and leadership, Content strategy skills, Versatility and Stability.

Stability? Aside from coming to work each day at an agreed time, what’s that mean in terms of successful technical writing?

images-1“To ride the roller coaster of a startup,” Tom explains, “you need to have stability in your career, knowing that if your job dries up you can find another, or that you have savings to cover a period of unemployment during the transition, or that you can handle any changes and continue with the company, perhaps in another role entirely (e.g., support or training manager).”

Actually, as we discovered at a trip to our local, continually-evolving amusement park recently, the roller coaster was among the milder of the thrill rides. You’ve got to be prepared for anything that fate or fortune throw at you these days.

Underlying ability, interest and fortitude still contribute the most to your ability to keep your seat when things get turbulent which, at some point, they most likely will. Close your eyes (for a moment), hold on, circulate, observe and write well. Keep your hands on the car, not up in the air, as the non-achievers tend to do.

Okay, they’re just doing that out of exuberance (or maybe in defiance of fear). But it’s not exuberance that keeps you safely employed at today’s workplaces, or on behalf of today’s clients. It’s ability, vision and diligence. – Doug Bedell


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