Stoics, visibility, IPR and other “growth vitamins”. 9+ key career tips from techies

Stoics, visibility, IPR and other “growth vitamins”. 9+ key career tips from techies

Last week, we at Kaspersky Lab held an online meetup, during which speakers from various companies discussed the career of a technical writer both from the perspective of the employee himself (professional development, promotion, shifting to a related specialty) and from the perspective of managers – hirers (how to find an intern, how to correctly formulate requirements for a candidate, how to build an adaptation system and what to do if the team has increased dramatically).

Here in the post – a short squeeze of the ether in nine key theses, collected from the reports of all the speakers. If you are interested in listening to the full performances, as well as answers to the questions of the audience (and, most likely, you too), watch the recording of the meeting at this link or in the widget below. Moreover, part of theses about development, promotion and structural changes in the team will be applicable not only to the development of documentation, but also to other areas.

1. If you believe that you are qualified and responsible, you perform your work conscientiously and qualitatively, but your career growth is lagging – work on your “visibility”. In short, the people who could contribute to your promotion should know as many positive things about you as possible.

Do a simple self-audit:

  • Who in the company knows about you?
  • What do these people know about you?
  • How can they affect career development?

and proceed to the appropriate actions.

2. If you don’t know where to start the promotion conversation, document your accomplishments. In this way, you will not only have an invoice for the conversation and the “fighting spirit” will rise, but also an alternative development plan will be formed if suddenly the manager does not listen to you. See what you’ve done in your current role. You may have trained an intern, so you have the skills of a team leader or at least a senior. Or maybe you developed product requirements, that is, you have analytical skills.

3. No one can draw up your individual development plan (IPR) better than you. This does not mean that now you do not need one-on-ones with the boss, where you can always ask what you need to pump to get a new grade. However, it is unlikely that this person will feel that you have become interested in a related area and it is time to change the vector of development. If your manager is capable of such things, then you are not very lucky!

4. At the same time, when you are an intern, the IPR must be done by your supervisor. Ideally, first you are given tasks with a clear algorithm of actions, then with a greater and greater degree of uncertainty… And finally you are connected to cross-team projects, while theory should go together with practice, not before.

5. If the team is in a state of multiple growth (products have increased, and more employees are also needed) and you feel that you are losing contact with the team leader, tell him about it. Most likely, right now the team is undergoing a global restructuring of processes – from the onboarding system to the management system, and this can become a personal growth point for you, and in many directions at once.

6. For a number of roles, career and professional development vectors can completely coincide. Especially if this role in IT appeared recently, and there are few specialized specialists. You may not even know that you are actually a scarce expert in a specific area of ​​expertise, such as a UX writer or an API writer. Whether it’s good or bad, everyone decides for themselves, but the dynamics of the IT sphere are so high that you can’t argue with them.

7. If you do not know what exactly you are strong in and where you want to develop further, the ideal “vitamin for growth” is participation in general project activities. For example, the entire global Doc&Loc team decided to develop a new utility to speed up a specific workflow or create a common knowledge base. So you have the opportunity to try yourself as an analyst, developer, tester and even a project manager.

8. If you “shift” to technical writing from another field (especially not from IT), place accents in your resume according to the “STANDS” principle. Stoics are withbody ttechnical literacy, aboutorganizational skills, andfullness tocommunication skills, andresearch and analytical skills. Analyze your strengths and actively demonstrate them – because any manager will be happy to find a new employee who complements and strengthens the current team in one of the key skills.

9. And a key recommendation for beginners: do not be afraid of test tasks. Firstly, according to the statistics of one of the teams that participated in the meetup, a considerable percentage of candidates voluntarily refuse this stage. Secondly, tests are experience and an accumulated portfolio. And by the way, if you were given a test without a sufficient number of introductory questions (for example, the target audience is not specified), be sure to ask and clarify unclear points with the author of the task. Because asking and clarifying is the usual work of a technical writer 🙂

Join us: a Technical Writer position is open in the Kaspersky Lab team.

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