Re: FWD: Losing my profession?

Subject: Re: FWD: Losing my profession?
From: David <bhutata -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 31 May 2001 11:58:21 -0700 (PDT)

> Having some time off, albeit reluctantly, has given
me an opportunity to
> reflect on how I reached this point and what I want
to do now. During
> the boom, my phone was constantly ringing, and I was
able more-or-less
> to move around at will. I entered a cycle of
completely disposable,
> easily replaceable jobs. As I look back over the
past five years, I
> realize that I have been let go four times, mostly
due to contracts
> ending or projects being shifted internally.

I feel like my timing for entering the tech writing
profession kinda sucks. While I was in college, the
university had a rough time hiring really good tech
writing professors because the job market was so hot.
I was lucky to have one good professor on staff while
I was an undergraduate, but he left before I started
my master's degree, and the rest of the tech writing
faculty is, at best, average. Other factors prevent me
from moving to finish my graduate work elsewhere.

Now the market is softening, and I imagine my school
will have a slightly easier time finding decent
faculty. Of course, I'm done with the core courses for
my degree, so that will be of benefit to future
students. I'm also a newbie professional tech writer,
working in the only position that was available in my
area after a few months of searching. I earn a salary
almost right at the rock bottom of the most recent
salary survey on Winwriters. I'm sure I could earn
more if I moved, but first I need to find a way to
save enough money at my present job to be able to

I find Andrew's response to this thread interesting.
While Anon views him or herself as the type of person
that Andrew rails against, one who burns out, and is
not all that interested in the technical end of
things. When Andrew responded, he sounded like he is,
while not really burned out, at least well past the
honeymoon stage. He'd really rather be doing something
else, but obviously there's enough left in his job to
make it worth his while.

I'm glad I didn't have to face Andrew's attitude about
only wanting to hire writers with at least 2 years
experience, or I'd be up a creek. I've also gone to
apply for jobs that require less experience, but they
specifically exclude any internships or unpaid work.

In case you're wondering, I can see more than doom and
gloom. I do have a position in my field. I do earn
enough for my family to scrape by without losing
ground, at least until I have to start repaying
student loans. And I'm working with a fairly decent
group of people.

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