Technical editing might not be for everybody, but it’s definitely a good fit for Molly Gamborg. The lifelong Los Angeles area resident and newest full-time Dragonfly wasn’t long out of college before she found the nuances of technical editing suited both her skill set and her personality.
Born to edit
Gamborg found her first job in editing a year after graduating from Biola University. “I had my English undergrad degree, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it. I tried substitute teaching — nope, that’s not for me,” she recalled. Then, while taking a credentialing class at California State University, Fullerton, she saw a posting for a copyediting job at the now defunct Artesian Press. Once hired, she spent two years fact-checking and working with the authors, designers, and printers of young adult novels. She even co-authored Treasure in the Keys, a short mystery/adventure novel for reluctant readers.
Things got technical after that, when Gamborg took a job as an assistant editor for the IEEE Computer Society, where she tackled the challenges related to oceans of acronyms and scientific terminology. There, she edited technical articles for print and online magazines, created and edited web content, and undertook project management of articles and departments. She found it suited her.
“I always liked grammar — I was that nerdy kid,” she said in explaining her penchant for editing. As for the technical part of the equation, “I like putting things in order, applying rules,” she admitted.
After IEEE, Gamborg worked in the financial industry as a copy editor for Capital Group Companies, and then in healthcare for Zynx Health Device Network, where she edited clinical content, medical literature reviews, and user guides for web applications. Never one to shy away from editing tasks with life and death ramifications, she also cross-checked dosage guidelines and other data to be uploaded into infusion pumps.
From full-time freelancer to full-time Dragonfly
From there, she kicked her freelance game into high gear, including seven years as freelance managing editor of IEEE Micro, a peer-reviewed scientific journal published by the IEEE Computer Society.
If you think Gamborg looks custom-made for work at Dragonfly with experience in the engineering/finance/health triumvirate, you’re probably right. When she saw the Dragonfly posting on ACES job bank, she knew it would suit her, feeding her nerdy soul while allowing her to work remotely from the home she shares with her husband and their science-minded almost 6-year-old daughter, Ingrid.
In her spare time, she likes to cook (not bake — “I’m a sad person and I don’t eat a lot of sugar”), read, and volunteer with the local Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) chapter. She also enjoys traveling to Texas and Arizona to visit family.
As she settles in to life as a Dragonfly, Gamborg is eager to put her expertise to good use for clients. Without exception she will correct her biggest editing pet peeve — using “less” when “fewer” is correct — and apply her most valuable lesson learned. “The best advice I ever got was: At some point you have to let it go,” she said. “I would do post-mortems and look at the finished material, and there’s always something I would have done differently. But you have to fight the tendency to change things that aren’t really wrong.”
This post was written by Kathryn Flynn, Senior Editor at Dragonfly Editorial.