Re: Is the job market really *that* bad? (long)

Subject: Re: Is the job market really *that* bad? (long)
From: Elna Tymes <etymes -at- lts -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2001 16:11:23 -0700

Andrew Plato wrote:

> I'd also like to say that Mr. Davis is totally wrong (but he has a good
> first name). The market is okay right now - for people with skills. It
> sucks hard for people who have limited skills, bad attitudes, or
> outlandish salary/rate requirements.
> What is happening is that recruiting companies (like Synergistic) are
> losing business in droves. ...
> The recruiting market is abysmal. Its why I abandoned recruiting about a
> year ago. I could see the writing on the wall. Most companies have
> stopped working with agencies. They either work direct or with consulting
> firms that provide solutions and not just warm bodies to full chairs.

At the risk of incurring Andrew Plato's highly unfocused wrath, I'd like to
point out that he's about 180 degrees out of sync with the reality of the
Silicon Valley job market - for both permanent and contract writers. We're
been in the middle of it all along, not smugly focused on whatever passes for a
job market in the Portland, Oregon area plus contracts his firm can land by
heavy telemarketing.

Based *on our experience* and on our very frequent contacts with a large,
informal network of extremely qualified (15 more more years experience,
proficiency in virtually every popular tool, and a bunch of specialties like
database internals, the whole scope of security, Unix idiosyncrasies, network
design and/or integration issues, etc.) technical writers in Silicon Valley,
the employment situation for tech writers - and programmers - sucks, big time.
We cruise the job boards regularly, AND we do our own telemarketing, and the
situation Andrew Davis describes is about what we've found. There are a lot of
agencies posting ghost jobs as a means of harvesting resumes. What few real
opportunities exist require lots of specific talent, and a willingness to take
considerably less pay than was being offered as little as six months ago. And
there is almost no market whatsoever for contractors. For those who have the
skills normally attributed to a medium-level technical writer, there aren't a
whole lot of opportunities. For those entering the market, the situation is

The good news is that if you can wait it out, conventional wisdom has it that
the job situation should turn late this summer or in the fall. We're already
seeing itty bitty signs of what could be a change.

Elna Tymes
Los Trancos Systems


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Re: Is the job market really *that* bad? (long): From: Andrew Plato

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