Are you looking for a new challenge? Do you want to find a rewarding and satisfying career? Technical writing is a flourishing industry, and with the right training, you can find a role that suits you perfectly.
What is technical writing?
To put it simply, technical writing is the use of specialized language and terminology to communicate with people who are tech-savvy. You’ll usually find technical writers working in product development, quality assurance, project management, or similar industries. Since technology is always evolving, the roles and responsibilities can vary from company to company, but as a whole, technical writing is a fast-paced and dynamic field.
There are a number of different careers you can choose from in technical writing. You may end up doing freelance work for a technology company, product reviews, or handling government contracts. You might even end up working for yourself, specializing in product development or quality assurance. It really is a diverse field.
Find Your Passion
When you start your career in technical writing, it’s important to find your niche. Some writers love delving into the nitty-gritty of software and hardware, while others prefer staying away from the tech-stuff and prefer to analyze processes and procedures. It is important to find what you’re passionate about, as this will determine the kind of content you produce and the direction you take your career. The most important thing is to find a field you enjoy, and above all, one that offers you a sense of purpose.
Get A Teaching Start
Do you have a good command of the English language and enjoy teaching others? If so, why not consider becoming a technical writer educator? You can find job postings for TAs, instructing students on what is meant by a particular phrase or how to format a technical document correctly. It is a great way to start your career, and the fact that you’re helping others fills you with a sense of pride.
If you have a genuine love for teaching and would like to see yourself as a role model for students, consider a career in technical writing. It’s a wonderful accomplishment when you can see the fruits of your labor, whether in the form of a diploma or a certificate, on the wall. Just make sure you put in the required amount of teaching hours to obtain the certification you need to progress in your career.
Diversify Your Career
If you’re looking for a career in technical writing, it’s important to consider the types of jobs available. Since this is a broad and all-encompassing industry, you are sure to find something that suits you perfectly. Diversifying your career is a great way to ensure you find something that keeps you happy and satisfied. Some of the most in-demand jobs in technical writing are:
- Product reviews
- Content strategy
- Technical SEO writing
- Press releases
- And The List Continues…
Every job is relevant and valuable, so be sure to develop a variety of skills while gaining experience in your chosen field. The above-listed positions don’t require a formal education, but you should possess a good knowledge of the English language. Be sure to learn a new language if necessary, as it will make you stand out amongst the competition.
Build Up Your Network
If you’re looking for a career in technical writing, begin by building up your network. Just like any other industry, networking is extremely important in order to get ahead. One way to do this is by joining professional societies, like the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) or the American Advertising Federation (AAF). Both of these societies hold extensive listings of jobs, as well as provide a wealth of knowledge and resources. Joining a professional society is a great way to get noticed, and perhaps even land a full-time job.
Another great way to network is by attending conferences and trade shows. The American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) hosts numerous conferences and trade shows throughout the year, and even more are planned for the future. Some of the events they hold are:
- Big Ideas (New York City, NY)
- Social Media Week (New York City, NY)
- Direct Marketing Summit (Orange County, CA)
- National Advertising Festival (Minneapolis, MN)
The American Advertising Federation (AAF) also has a number of conferences and trade shows arranged throughout the year. One of the biggest and most in-demand events they hold is:
- Advertising Awards Ceremony (New York City, NY)
- International Advertising Festival (Los Angeles, CA)
- Chicago Advertising Festival (Chicago, IL)
- Tulsa Arts Festival (Tulsa, OK)
- And The List Continues…
Conferences are a fantastic way to connect with industry experts and gain invaluable knowledge that can help you land a job. Just remember to add value to the conversation and takeaways you have from the conference; this will not only make you stand out amongst the competition, but give you the opportunity to grow as a professional.
Know When To Quit
Since this is a broad and all-encompassing industry, it’s important to narrow down the choices to something more manageable. You don’t want to pursue a career in tech writing and end up unable to find a job because of a lack of experienced candidates. It’s also important to realize when enough is enough; if you’re constantly learning, but never seem to land a job, you might end up burning out. It can be highly demanding to look for a job in a field that you’re passionate about, but also be certain that you’re not taking on too much. If you find yourself in this situation, it might be time to consider switching careers or taking a break.
As you can see, there are various ways you can go about finding a career in technical writing. If you’re looking for a challenging and rewarding career, consider the above-listed positions. These industries and jobs are in high demand, and with the right training, you can find a role that suits you perfectly.