Re: Re: Looking for new jobs/dealing with agencies (Long)

Subject: Re: Re: Looking for new jobs/dealing with agencies (Long)
From: "Nickell Traduction" <nickelltrad -at- autoroute -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 14 Feb 2000 22:09:10 -0500

I am new to technical writing (about two years' experience) and to TECHWR-L,
but have been a technical translator for ten years now. In the past six
years, I have not really had to look for work, and often have been working a
job and a half strictly on translation contracts that have come to me either
through current client recommendations or through networking with other
translators, technical writers, transcriptionists, editors, programmers,
etc. I have a background in computer science (a rare commodity for
translators, even though many translators do do computer translation and
some even become quite good just out of their own interest and research).
Some translators prefer not to touch the technical stuff, so they send it my
way. Others are technical translators, but either have too much work on
their hands or have a huge job with tight deadlines and need some help. If
technical writing works anything like technical translation, I'd say
networking is very important. It is true that I've gotten some good jobs by
just being in the right place at the right time -- basically mentioning what
I do to someone and it turns out that their company needs someone, or a
friend of a friend needs someone.

And it has worked the other way too. I know there's a discussion going on
about whether a technical writer can be a graphic artist too. I don't know
about other people, but I do not think the same way as a graphic artists,
nor could I ever claim to. I have taken courses in graphic design and
enjoyed them, and, if in a pinch, could do my own, but I feel more
comfortable focusing on technical writing, translation and editing. So when
a regular client has asked me if I know anyone who..., I try to help them
out by giving them a name or two. I generally only do this with regular
clients though, because I want to be sure I'm passing on a job to someone
for which they'll have no problems getting paid, etc.

Traci Williams
-----Original Message-----
From: Murrell, Thomas <TMurrell -at- alldata -dot- net>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Monday, February 14, 2000 9:59 AM
Subject: RE: Re: Looking for new jobs/dealing with agencies (Long)

|> From: anonfwd -at- raycomm -dot- com[SMTP:anonfwd -at- raycomm -dot- com]
|[Major SNIP]
|> Also, I think my experience highlights the importance of networking.
|> Talking to agencies is usually much better than "cold calling" but
|> sometimes no more effective. It depends. Consider all avenues. I work
|> full-time and I have children. Evenings are for homework. I found it very
|> tough to look for a job while working; to make the calls, to follow up,
|> take my precious vacation hours to interview. That meant I was a long
|> looking. In the end, it was networking that got me in the door. The party
|> I was at (a Christmas party for another writing group of which I'm a
|> member) was one of a bare handful of social events I've attended in the
|> last year or so... I just lucked out. If I'd networked more, I most
|> would have lucked out sooner.
|This post made for excellent reading on a number of levels. My thanks to
|Andrew Plato for pointing out the agency side of things as well.
|What really caught my eye was the poster's realization of the importance of
|networking. Probably most of us are not extroverts; many of us are, I'm
|sure, but most of us are more introverted. Networking, meeting and
|establishing some sort of relationship with actual people, is not what
|most comfortable doing. I know this is true for me. However, I believe
|that fully 80% of the jobs out there, even in a wide open market, are not
|openly advertised and not readily accessible via postings on the web or
|postings on lists such as TECHWR-L or even through agencies.
|Most jobs are available through networking. Somebody knows somebody who
|knows someone who needs a writer. No matter how good our resumes are or
|what associations we belong to or what job sites we check religiously or
|even what agencies we work through, we still need our network of contacts.
|That network is worth the time it takes to keep it alive and flourishing.
|My thanks to Anonymous for reminding me of that truth.
|Tom Murrell
|Sponsored by Weisner Associates Inc., Online Information Services
|Training & consulting for RoboHELP, Dreamweaver, HTML, and HTML-Based Help.
|More info at or mailto:training -at- weisner -dot- com -dot-
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