Challenge Yourself

The most successful technical writers don't get complacent once they have built up a solid client base. Instead, they constantly challenge themselves to seek out even better gigs and clients. Here are three ways you can challenge yourself that will allow you to improve your craft and attract additional clients.

Say yes: You're an absolute expert at writing annual reports. You know how they should be formatted, exactly what they should include, and how to use tables and graphics to present essential information. So what should you do if you've finished a company's annual report and they ask you to prepare a policies and procedures manual? Well, if you want to improve your craft and your career, say yes! Good technical writers are willing to take on different types of projects and try new things. It might involve a little extra research and work, but if you're up for the challenge you'll have another type of technical writing to put on your resume, not to mention another valuable writing sample.

Keep trying to move up: It's taken a few years, but you can finally pay your bills on time every month. You've even managed to tuck some money away. Even though you may be comfortable with your current rate of pay, you should always be on the lookout for companies that may be willing to pay even more. Challenge yourself to replace a lower-paying client with a higher-paying one every month, two months, or other period of time that seems reasonable. Clients who pay more will allow you to earn a higher salary or work fewer hours, which are both highly desirable options.

Try to learn something new regularly: Technical writers aren't just English language experts...they're techno-savvy individuals who stay on top of current trends. To make yourself even more desirable to potential clients, try to learn something new on a regular basis. Educate yourself about the newest manufacturing processes used by the pharmaceutical industry, for example, or familiarize yourself with the latest word processing program on the market. Then, look for ways to capitalize on your efforts by seeking out companies that may need somebody with this specialized knowledge.

Last Updated: 05/05/2014