Re: New kid on the telecommuting block...

Subject: Re: New kid on the telecommuting block...
From: "Guru Kamath" <guru -at- bom5 -dot- vsnl -dot- net -dot- in>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 4 Apr 2000 10:24:53 +0530

Hello Joe,

a) Lists: I have been lucky enough to find telecommuting assignments from
actively participating in technical writing lists. In the first case, an
American writer noticed that I wrote in an American style and took me on. I
got another assignment from USA, when the President of the US company
complained to me that he had not got any response from the local technical
writing list of which I was the list owner. Recently, someone from Singapore
advertised on our Indian technical writers list for telecommuting technical

b) Searches for telecommuting assignments on the Web have been frustrating.
You hardly find any of them.

c) Message boards too are of no great help. You do see posts for Editors,
Translators, Marketing Consultants and a few Web or Technical Writing.

d) Job sites are also not a good source for telecommuting assignments. One
does feel the pinch to think that there are thousands of jobs out there --
but none for telecommuting.

e) Sites on telecommuting are of no great help in getting technical writing
telecommuting contracts.

f) Networking is again not a great idea for telecommuting assignments. When
I visted the STC Conference in Cincinnati, I met a couple of managers who
were willing to take on Indian technical writers. But for telecommuters
there was no specific interest. I have a few contacts in USA and they have
good contacts with Fortune 500 and other companies. These people are always
looking for ways to get the jobs and have them carried out in India. But so
far, we have met with no success.

But this may be a good route for you to try. If you have contacts or there
are agents in USA -- they could do the ground work for you. One of the
reasons for the lack of success for global telecommuting contracts from USA
is that there is a need for someone to be located in USA to do part of the
stuff, if necessary. Also, the initial building up of rapport is difficult
unless the company believes in telecommuting.

g) Global Telecommuting is still new. Thanks to my experience of 2 years in
global telecommuting -- nowadays I get a positive response. People say that
they are keeping my records on their files. In other words, I think I have
got my foot in the door. With my two years of global telecommuting -- I
think I have demonstrated competence in telecommuting and the viability of

h) Shortage of technical writers, the need for fast turnaround times,
overheads (space, facilities, payments, etc) will ensure that Global
Telecommuting is a valid choice. In a year's time, I am sure that global
telecommuting will be a valid option of work.

i) A good idea would be to start a Contract-Telecommuting list. Within 6
months to 1 year this will pick up critical mass and attract a large number
of global telecommuting contracts.

Guru (guru -at- bom5 -dot- vsnl -dot- net -dot- in)

(a telecommuting technical writer from India -- who is about to receive his
third assignment from USA! -- fourth if a translating assignment is

----- Original Message -----
From: Joe Figueiredo <fits -at- tref -dot- nl>

> I would love to expand into the USA (where I
> lived for 9 years and got my MSc in Computer Science at the University of
> Mass.) and Canada. However, I am having considerable problems contacting
> end-customers and agencies, and generally convincing people of the
> of distance working.

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