During a recent video chat with members of the Special Writers Unit, we brainstormed for about 10 minutes on all the potential and actual job titles we’ve all held over the years (or would like to). In addition to the funny and realistic, but not necessarily respect-inducing titles (table queen, PowerPoint princess, font fondler, etc,), we came up with a huge range of titles and major responsibilities (30 in just 10 minutes) that helped serve as the basis for this week’s technical communication poll.
So many technical communication conversations revolve around communicating our value to our employers, following substantive and satisfying career paths, and acquiring respect and recognition for what we do. Just as many conversations (take a look at our email discussion list or any LinkedIn group) revolve around the trials and tribulations of finding a new position (or finding qualified people for positions we have open). And today, many are also focused on how the various disciplines of communication are beginning to converge and what that means for the future of technical communication in particular.
Since a technical communication poll question with 30 possible responses would be a bit unwieldy, we decided to group them together–as it is you can pick up to 12 options. And you may be a specialist, analyst, coordinator or writer at various levels (including manager or higher), but don’t let the particular title prevent you from selecting it. If you have multiple resumes that you submit for contract or full-time positions in a range of disciplines, we’d be interesting in hearing about them. Which ones seem to attract the most attention? Which roles are you more likely to get offers for? Do any of them offer markedly different rates of pay? Do recruiters and interviewers “get” that you can perform across multiple functions and does that hurt or help your chances?
Perhaps nowhere is the impact of “when worlds collide” more apparent than when perusing the openings on major job boards, or when creating search agents to find that great new role. We’ve found that technical communication professionals with multi-disciplinary specialties have more choices, and more opportunities to forge a satisfying career in organizations. So perhaps it’s time to take a look at how we can marry multiple-skill sets with converging functions in the organization in ways that benefit the practitioners, the employers, and the customers.