I remember one company where I worked – a very large multinational that has a meatball for its logo – where they considered hiring all us contractors on as staff members. We were asked if we were interested. We mostly all said yes, we had nice interviews, and then – then…………
………well, they decided not to hire any of us. Why? “You’re not engineers – there’d be nowhere for you to advance in this company.”
Our profession needs to sit down with HR people and give them the straight goods on the multiple skills, talents and capacities of technical communicators. Most of us are what author Barbara Sher calls “scanners” – people who refuse to do just one thing.
Paths for advancement? Just let us at them – we’ll figure the rest out for ourselves, Mr. or Ms. HR…
Ray Gallon is president and co-founder of The Transformation Society (www.transformationsociety.net), a research, training and consulting company focusing on building learning organisations that can manage complexity and the digital transformation. He has over 40 years as a communicator, first as an award-winning radio producer and journalist, then in the technical content industries. His management experience includes a stint as program manager of WNYC-FM, New York City’s public radio station.
Ray is a self-described "humanist nerd," and has always been interested in the meeting point between technology and culture, and has used his broad experience to advantage with companies such as IBM, General Electric Health Care, Alcatel, 3M, and the OECD, as well as in smaller companies and startup enterprises.
Ray recently helped co-found the Information 4.0 Consortium (www.information4zero.org) and serves as its current president.
Ray is a university lecturer and a keynote speaker at events throughout the world. He has contributed articles and chapters to many books and periodicals and is the editor of the recently published “Language of Technical Communication” (XML Press).
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