Re: FWD: Losing my profession?

Subject: Re: FWD: Losing my profession?
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- progeny -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 31 May 2001 12:37:00 -0700

David wrote:

> I feel like my timing for entering the tech writing
> profession kinda sucks.

One of the advantages of experience is perspective. So, in my arrogance,
let me spout some:

Yes, everything is less rosy in the high-tech world compared to fourteen
months ago. However, the job market is still reasonably good - I'd say
it was about the same or slightly worse than in 1996, when I started
writing full-time. Or, to put it another way: for every six or seven
jobs last year, there's one or two this year. Although there's a
decline, that still translates into a lot of jobs. Dig around and see
what the prospects are in other fields, and tech-writing looks like
reasonably steady work, with a fair degree of choice.

> 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.

More old f - I mean fogey - comments: you probably did face Andrew's
attitude; you just didn't know it. Virtually every employee prefers to
hire an experienced employee. In a pinch, employees will settle for
less, but a couple of years' experience is usually assumed to produce a
knowledgable writer.

In practice, with a couple of jobs or a couple of years' experience,
your chances of being hired skyrocket. A good position with a well-known
company helps too; my stint with IBM kicked down all the doors that had
been locked against me for my first ten months trying to find work as a

Bruce Byfield 604.421.7177 bbyfield -at- progeny -dot- com

"All the federales say
They could have had him any day,
They only let him slip away
Out of kindness, I suppose."
- Townes Van Zandt, "Poncho and Lefty"


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