RE: Losing my profession?

Subject: RE: Losing my profession?
From: "Michael Collier" <mcollier -at- arlut -dot- utexas -dot- edu>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 31 May 2001 08:47:51 -0500

I've bounced around quite a bit in my twelve years in this profession and
have been discouraged by its instability at various times. Even where I am
now, people are scrambling for their jobs as funding has been unexpectedly
cut. UT has no problem sending us all packing if the sponsored research
dollars stop flowing.

Here is what has helped me:

- use the downtime to get away from it all. Once, I spent a couple of months
collecting my unemployment checks at an ashram. If none of your interviews
are "clicking," it's probably time to let go of striving for a while, and
return to the search when you are renewed.

- sense of humor. It's probably difficult to laugh right now but something
needs to balance those dark moods.

- as others have pointed out, there are probably things you like about this
profession. List them, and the things you would like to learn more about, if
any, and focus on them as goals for your next TW gig (should you decide to
stay in the profession).

- the search for stability/security is a cause of suffering, and is an
illusion anyway.

Your post is the beginning of profound inquiry for you. You'll probably have
questions and experiences similar to what you wrote about in your post,
whether you work as a tech writer, programmer, creative writer, or nothing.
Go to the library and get J. Krishnamurti's _On Right Livelihood_. While
there, also pick up his _The First and Last Freedom_ with the excellent
foreword by Aldous Huxley. These are philosophical, not religious works.
They are written in the form of dialogue about fundamental questions. They
won't solve your problems more than anything else in this thread, but they
will help you step back and take a view from a larger perspective.

Good luck,
Michael Collier, Technical Writer Office: N546
Information Systems Laboratory
Applied Research Laboratories: The University of Texas at Austin
Voice: 512-835-3408 e-mail: mcollier -at- arlut -dot- utexas -dot- edu


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