I got my first promotion at work, from Technical Writer II to Technical Writer III. I value this not only as an acknowledgement of my skill growth, but because my boss uses promotions very sparingly. They only go to people he considers both technically competent and personally a good role model for others to follow. I really appreciate the vote of confidence, but also feel there’s more to live up to. I need to rise to the occasion.

I’ve known my boss was pushing for this for quite a while; he had to do some politicking to get it through because of budget issues, but fortunately for me he’s good at that kind of maneuvering.

Now he has succeeded and I go up a level, effective October 1. Besides a nice bump in pay, I also get to take on additional responsibilities around the technology side of the Help Center – something I’m very weak in right now. My technical expertise has all been in the sciences, not in software.

For example, my coworker, who’s been a III since I was hired, is in the process of rolling out an entirely new internal Help Center for a corporate style guide. I wouldn’t have the first idea how to start. CSS, HTML, search engines – these things I know little about.

I know; how can I be a technical writer and be so ignorant? The short answer is that it’s not knowledge I’ve needed so far, first doing medical writing and then financial writing. Now I may need it, so I’ll see what I can learn.

I have also started getting interested in learning about API documentation, an area with a great deal of career potential and interesting learning opportunities. That kind of transition, however, would require several years of additional education at the least, since the writer has to be able to code and use developer tools.

We shall see what the future holds.

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