Business communication considers information sharing from the perspective of value. Technical writing considers it from the perspective of technology. Switching to business communication from technical writing reminds me how I felt about crossing the street when I was very young. It puts me outside my comfort zone, but I feel pretty excited about it.
Technical writing used to seem like the perfect occupation for me. I love to write, and I love to figure things out. Tech writing satisfies both of those passions. I got to perform the magic trick of putting down words that meant something, and I got to indulge my love of problem solving. What could be better?
Technical writing was also a practical way to make a living, at least until the plunge in oil prices crashed the Alberta economy. No matter where I lived, I could always find a job. I’ve lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Portland, and Calgary, and I always found work—in software, microelectronics, and oil and gas. My livelihood was so reliable that I hardly ever questioned it.
But now I’m switching to business communication. It excites me in a way that tech writing never did. People interest me more than things. I like the challenge of finding the best way to communicate in our media-saturated world. I like the idea of using communication as a way to create value. To me, that’s much more interesting than microprocessors and shell commands.
So what’s next? I’ve become fascinated by the ways in which business communication extends beyond writing. I’ve been reading up on marketing, public relations, and digital media. I’ve been studying strategic communication planning and the digital sales funnel. These ideas put powerful tools within my reach. I can use these tools to create value and to make a living. I can also use them to pursue other goals that interest me, like developing an author platform for my family history or putting the brakes on climate change.
So I’m off on a new adventure. Like any journey, this one will have moments of success and excitement, as well as adversity and doubt. I’m going to use this blog to document the steps I take and the lessons I learn. It will be a way to show the world what I’ve learned about my new occupation.
Bloggers often conclude their posts with a call to action, which is a request for you to do something. I’m going to close this post with a simple one.
Wish me luck.
No, really, I mean it. Wish me luck. In the comments box below. And please share this post on social media.