Three technical editors meet; one is a chemist, one is a specialist in German studies, and the third has a degree as a history teacher. No, this is not the start to a joke. It is quite common for future technical editors to take a detour on their path to technical documentation. After completing an apprenticeship or degree, the question is often: “And what next?” The most obvious job is not always the right one.
But why does it work so well when career changers get into technical documentation?
The work of a technical editor is incredibly varied. That means there are ideal points of contact for career changers from a variety of specialisations. An engineer, for example, can call on their experience in order to communicate at eye-level with developers or product managers. A pedagogue finds it easy to develop concepts for preparing manuals for specific target audiences in terms of didactics. And a specialist in German studies finds it easy to write.
Of course there are certain requirements they must all meet if they want to be able to do the job. Among them are a passion for technology and a willingness to learn about new fields and software. A good feel for language is also helpful in finding the right words for every target audience. Anyone who is also a talented communicator and wants to take a look outside of their own back yard will find an ideal environment at kothes. That is because kothes is aware of the valuable skills applicants from other fields have to offer, and knows that the newcomers will benefit the business, but above all, kothes’ customers.
Interdisciplinary teams are able to examine a topic from various perspectives and thereby find creative solutions for customers from very different industries. And such a wild mix is fun as well: people learn from each other, complement each other and support each other – and in the end they convince customers with a great result, whether it is an innovative operating manual for a mechanical engineering business or a comprehensive training concept for a maker of animal snacks.
Technical editors can also look forward to exciting challenges beyond traditional printed informational products. Until recently, businesses created operating manuals because of their legal obligations, but they are becoming increasingly aware that technical documentation is much more than just a manual in a pouch on the machine. And so technical editors at kothes have the opportunity to get creative with augmented reality applications and other smart solutions in order to provide users with optimal assistance during set-up, operation or maintenance and thereby shape the future of technical documentation.