How Do You Justify Attending a Work Conference?

When I was part of the government/contractor industrial complex, I spent a surprising amount of time writing up justifications for individuals seeking approval to attend a business conference related to work. Why is this so difficult? Not sure, but perhaps the tips below will help you as you’re writing your own (or your boss’s) legitimate justification to attend an event that just happens to be in Orlando, Las Vegas, Vail, Honolulu, et cetera. Continue reading

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Some Basics About Business Correspondence

I’ve written about complaint letters and how to respond to them, and those posts are useful for business writing, but they cover only a very specific type of business situation. In addition to writing or handling complaints, organizations will write formal letters (or, more frequently, emails) to make or respond to requests, provide an introduction to a proposal, to make a sales pitch, confirm business arrangements, provide updates on the organization’s status, and other activities that keep the business moving along smoothly. What follows are some guidelines for technical writers asked to write a letter on behalf of their organization or organizational executive. Continue reading

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Continuous Improvement for the Writer

I was rambling on in my personal blog about self-improvement, and after some thought I realized that I could find a way to tie that blog to tech writing. Businesses talk a lot about “continuous improvement,” but it’s often difficult for the tech writer to crystallize what that means for him or her. I’ll take a shot here. Continue reading

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Why Didn’t I Get the Job I Wanted?

It happens more often than we would like to admit it: we do our  best to look good to a potential employer and then, for some reason–not always disclosed to us–the work does not go to us. Was it something I said? the reflective technical communicator might ask, or am I just not good enough? Before you go beating yourself up over things you don’t know or can’t control, I’d like to offer a few suggestions for why you did not get a job that looked like a “perfect” fit for you. Continue reading

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Should I Join STC?

I’ve never really discussed membership in the Society for Technical Communication (STC) because of my own mixed feelings about STC or organizations like it. I have been a member, off and on, am not one currently, but might be one again in the future. What follows are my own very subjective observations and experiences about organizational membership. In the end, any decisions and experiences will be yours, so don’t take my word for it, go find out for yourself. Continue reading

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How and Why to Write a Travel Report

If you’re self-employed, you are unlikely to write up a trip report. If you’re working for someone else and they send you somewhere on business travel, you might find yourself completing such a report. The basic point of a trip report is to summarize what you did with your time so that your employer can determine that they are getting value from that trip. Continue reading

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Taking Care of the Home Front

This topic came up because I’ll be on travel this week, visiting family. I’ll keep it short, but the bottom line is: make sure you maintain good relationships with the people in your home or outside of your career.  Continue reading

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