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What do you enjoy most about technical writer work? What do you dislike the most? Is it challenging? Are there many opportunities to learn and advance?

What keeps you at your job?

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Ed Hanson in Denver, Colorado

81 months ago

What do I enjoy most? As technical writer, I get to help people do their jobs better by making their work instructions, manuals, policies, and procedures better and easier to use. I am always learning something new: applications, systems, new friends and colleagues.
What do I dislike most? People who don't bother to understand what tech writers do. Getting hired to document projects already completed. Getting hired to do a small project, but not enough funding to take care of what really needs to be done. Not getting the support I need to complete my work, in terms of information, equipment or software, and feedback.

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Kevin in Fort Knox, Kentucky

76 months ago

Amen to brother Ed's comments above.

I'd like to add that other professionals tend to view documentation as a "necessary evil" -- not an integral part of the product, but a way to legally protect the company or to provide caveat to the product's supposed abilities.

In my 11 years as a technical writer, I have unfortunately only felt esteemed a few times. Most of the time other professionals avoid me because I represent one of the facets of their work they want to ignore: documentation is a painful extraction of information.

This is just and true fair warning of you plan to be a tech writer.

Advancements depend on the company and the location. I used to make around 70k in Cincinnati and got much training in project management and writing seminars, STC, etc. Now I am in Louisville, KY (past four years) and only make 53k and have had no training or opportunities to advance except into management -- yikes.

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Dacoh

57 months ago

I am 10 years in and I like learning the tools of the trade the most. Unfortunately, I now work in an environment that has all but completely removed these challenges from my position. It can be a rather thankless job and if they take away what you enjoy most, it ends up being pretty unfulfilling. Honestly, in a better job market, I would just resign, but it's tough out there right now so I am hanging on until I get the pink slip.

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