If you want to get new challenges, upgrade your skills and learn something new, there is no need to change your job, you can just change the technical writing industry. Fortunately, there are numerous industries that need tech writers. In this article, I shortly provide some industries and plan that will help you change your industry.
Technical Writing Industries
Here are some industries where technical writers are desired:
- Science and Healthcare
- Aerospace Industry
Of course, different industries require different knowledge and skills, but you shouldn’t be afraid of this fact because you already have the necessary skills — writing clearly, communication skills and the ability to work with different tools. However, you should have a plan how you will switch industries. You’ll find some helpful points below.
How to Change Technical Writing Industries
Here is a primary draft of a plan:
- Research. First of all, you should google your desired industry — what skills you should possess, check out job descriptions and the like, Researching the industry will help you decide whether it will be a good decision or not, what you should learn and what you should include in your portfolio.
- Communicate with professionals. A good idea is to create accounts on different forums, for example, Reddit, LinkedIn, Slack and so on. More platforms you can find here: Technical Writing Communities. There, you can ask experienced professionals to give you answers to your questions and advice. They will gladly help you.
- Build a technical writing portfolio. Of course, you have all the necessary skills, as I mentioned above, but a specific industry requires specific skills. For example, a medical technical writer. It goes without saying that having a degree in medicine or natural sciences would be a great advantage for employment in this sphere, but it is not a requirement. Despite this, you should have medical knowledge since medical technical writers typically produce pharmaceutical and regulatory documents, medical education materials, white papers, articles, abstracts for journal articles, or conference presentations and the like. Some medical writers work closely with doctors and other health care professionals as part of a team, but most work as self-employed independent contractors paid by the hour or word.
- Study. Now, when you’ve decided what industry you want to choose, it’s high time to read relevant books/articles/blogs, take courses, it’s also a good idea to visit a meetup where professionals share their experience.
- Get prepared to interview questions. A potential employee will ask you about your portfolio, degree, certification, previous work and the like. The full list you can find here: Technical Writer Interview Questions.
Switching between industries can be challenging but, at the same time, it can be useful to upgrade your skills and knowledge. So, if you really want to do this, just follow my described plan.