Tag Archives: stereotypes

What’s your type? A guide for the modern professional

Once upon a time, if someone wanted to know you better, they asked for your sign. Libra. Sagittarius. Whatever.

Later, Myers-Briggs types had their day in the sun. You proudly told everyone you were an INTJ. Or an ESFP. (I told people I’m an ESPN: I watch a lot of sports.)

Today, you can use technical documentation types to let others know what makes you tick.

You don’t even have to be a technical writer to play.

You’re a policies and procedures manual if your ducks are always in a row. People might say you’re rigid. But there’s never a situation in which you don’t know exactly what to do.

You’re a chatbot if you accost everyone you meet with “Hi! Thanks for using the sidewalk today!” Your real name is Philomena, but you tell people it’s Amy.

You’re a sales brochure if you’re the flashiest, most flamboyant person at the party. If someone’s looking for depth, however, they’ll have to look elsewhere. Continue reading

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Technical communication or marketing? Yes.

“I like writing about technical subjects,” a friend told me. “But I hope I never have to write another 800-page user guide.” He went on to say that his current technical writing job had given him the chance to write customer success stories and profiles of subject-matter experts, and he said he’d enjoyed doing that.

“So,” he asked, “what should I do next? Technical writing or marketing writing?”

Yes, I said.

technical-communicationYes, you can be both a technical writer and a marketing writer. Yes, at the same time.

It’s sad that that comes as a surprise to so many in our field — and that it seems totally foreign to most of the companies that employ us.

The chasm

A quick search of job postings turned up 10 openings for marketing writers, and more than 50 openings for technical writers, for every opening for a technical marketing writer.

Worse yet are the stereotypes.
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