This entry responds briefly to Avon J. Murphy's 2015 article "In Pursuit of a Rewarding Career."
Formatting a document like a CV can be frustrating, and even boring, but take a look at the difference a table can make.
I gave a talk yesterday about what life can look like after the English PhD. This entry contains that slide show.
When a team needs to get organized, it isn't the tool that will do the job.
MS 365 has a lot more benefits than drawbacks, but the drawbacks can certainly be roadblocks to learning.
Working from home has its perks when you have the choice. Here, I delineate some of the great things about working from home once a week or less.
It may not seem like the sexiest of tasks, but writing policy, process and procedure for a company can be crucial work.
Visuals matter, especially in procedural documentation.
Document design matters more than I ever learned in PhD school.
When it came to getting the job offer, the decision was both difficult, and not.
When I discovered that work as a technical writer was a viable option, I went at it with the fervor of an American.
Before I moved from PhDland to Tech Writer, I changed my mindset about what I was trained to do, and the questions I was asking.
Hello, and welcome!
My name is Valerie Robin, and you have reached my blog, TextPlus: a record of my brand new life as a technical communicator in corporate America.
At the moment that I am writing this introduction, I can't say for certain where this blog will lead. Three months ago, I had no idea I would leave academia to work in corporate America, move across town, and start collecting data so I could create a data visualization of my commute home from the office every day.
To get you oriented, here are 5 things you need to know:
1. In May 2016, I completed my PhD in Rhetoric and Composition. This means that I am qualified to talk on an expert level about really interesting topics such as how persuasion and argumentation work, how to best present an argument, and why good writing takes a lot of revision.
2. I specialized in digital media, visuals, online writing, and contemporary rhetorical theory. This means I can talk a long game about how the Internet is NOT destroying our brains, zapping our attention, or causing world catastrophe. And I can make some really interesting arguments about economics and capitalism that you never really wanted to hear in the first place.
3. I never expected to become a technical communicator (also commonly called technical writer) for any amount of time. I have no idea how long I will be a technical communicator. I am not trained to be a technical communicator (though that is quickly changing).
4. Technical communication (also called technical writing) is a sub-discipline of rhetoric and composition, and I use some of my fancy PhD training on the job. It's exciting.
5. I am surprised, shocked, and awed over the incredible amount I am learning in this new corporate ecosystem which is turning out to be just short of nothing like I expected before I arrived my first day on the job.
Join me, as I explore what I am learning - but don't come here seeking gossip. I will not talk about the company I work for directly, name names of people I work with, and I will make up completely fictional examples to explain theories or provide illustrations.
Instead, I will talk about work I have done, techniques I have tried (failures AND successes), research I have conducted and my thoughts, and practice visuals or illustrations (except branding) while learning new skills and tools.
Learn along with me as I teach, learn, and build my way from the Ivory Tower into Corporate America.