If you were looking for work in New Zealand, you'd be in one of two situations:

- working in a tech writing team with a company or consultancy. In that case, 
the tool is pretty irrelevant. In our company, we take people who've never seen 
FM before and get them competent within a week or two. What matters to us is 
the ability to write clearly about complex technical material. If you've got 
the kind of mind that can cope with high-end internet switches, learning FM is 
a breeze!

- working by yourself in a small company. The problem there is that you don't 
have anyone to learn the tool from, so lack of tool knowledge can drive you 
batty. And the tool is most likely to be Word.

So in NZ, I'd advise someone to focus on the position and work - especially to 
look for something with variety and the potential to rise further - but also to 
try and come to grips with Word enough that you can competently produce a 
template-based book from it.

Cheers, Rebecca 

>>> "Andy Kelsall" <andy.kelsall at gmail.com> 12/05/06 03:39 >>>
Hello everyone,

           I would like some advice from anyone who has worked in the
technical writing field for more than 3 years. My question is this:

          If you knew someone who was looking to enter the technical writing
field at this time, would you advise them to seek out positions where they
would be using FrameMaker, or would you tell them not to worry so much on
which application would be used, but instead focus on the position and the
work itself?

          The reason I ask is that on various listservs I subscribe to, it
seems that most people are big FM advocates and are not too fond of Word.
I've spent the last month trying to learn the basics of FM, and I can see
why people choose FM over Word when it comes to serious technical writing.
Granted, there is a steep learning curve, but it *is* a lot more versatile
than Word.

          I'm moving away from a 17 year career as a technician and engineer
in the telecom field and I want to make sure my first step into technical
writing isn't a misstep. As a quick note, I have given the career change
quite a bit of thought, and went as far as completing a technical writing
program at Duke. Any and all advice is appreciated.


Thanks,

Andy
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