Post by Noel Atzmiller

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I spent some time this week, preparing my topics for the up-coming meeting at the University of Houston-Downtown campus in April. At this meeting, I plan to discuss some documents on which Technical Communicators might work at an oilfield services company.

While I collected the document samples, I quickly thought of twelve “abilities” that would be very beneficial for Technical Communicators to have if they worked in the oil industry. Of course, many of these abilities would also be beneficial in other industries.

Here they are.

  • Ability to quickly absorb new concepts and terminology
  • Ability to research the topic/service/project on your own
  • Ability to manage several projects simultaneously
  • Ability to write about a topic/service/project while you are still learning the details or while it is still in development
  • Ability to do all you can on your own, but to ask for help when you need it
  • Ability to ask the subject matter expert (SME) questions and listen actively
  • Ability to adapt your information gathering to each SME’s communication style: email, face-to-face, phone
  • Ability to work with SMEs who might not appreciate your contribution
  • Ability to do your best and not expect perfection from yourself
  • Ability to be a consistent team player and to be assertive enough to obtain the information you need
  • Ability to say “no” to non-essential requests when the extra workload would put your core deliverables at risk
  • Ability to accept the possibility you will make mistakes and the ability to learn from them

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