Re: Hiring Publications Managers

Subject: Re: Hiring Publications Managers
From: Elna Tymes <Etymes -at- LTS -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 05 Feb 2002 07:39:42 -0800

Kelley wrote:

OK. We have to settle on some first-principles to begin with. What I've read is this: Self-identified (and that's what I was speaking to, their strong self-identification) contractors are people who, by their own admission, have _freely_ chosen to reject captive employment for the delights of contracting because they have the following characteristics or beliefs:

-=- prefer to job hop
-=- get bored at the same job
-=- intend to leave a company for greener pastures
-=- enjoy honing their particular skills on fast-paced projects because
it is intense and demanding and they always want that level of
work activity
-=- believe that opportunities for innovation will typically lie w/in
themselves at a new organization, rather then w/in themselves at
current org.
-=- believe that their lifestyle TENDS to discourage deadwoodhood (I
like that neologism!), whereas captive employment doesn't.
these are tendencies, not absolutes.

As Bruce Byfield previously said, full points for honesty. However:

1. Job hopping is a byproduct of contracting, not a major cause.
2. "Greener pastures" is a relative thing. In my years as a captive employee, I learned that raises *rarely* kept my salary on a par with the market. In fact, the longer I stayed at a company (regardless of other bene's like promotions, great projects, etc.) the more disparity there was between my salary and market salaries. As a single mom living in the most expensive part of the country, I simply couldn't afford that.
3. Enjoying fast-paced, demanding projects is true for me. I like being able to meet difficult challenges and learn things in the process.
4. As for environments where innovation is rewarded, I've observed over and over that it usually takes an outside influence to invoke change. Without these outside agents, organizations frequently get stuck in the comfort of 'we've always done it this way.' I prefer organizations that are open to the possibilities posed by new ideas.
5. As for "believ[ing] that their lifestyle TENDS to discourage deadwoodhood", I'll plead guilty to that one. Not only has it been my experience that contracting has allowed - even encouraged - me to learn new technologies, new languages, new applications, etc., and do so quickly, it has also been my experience that my peer captives have not learned as much and hence have diminished their value on the market.
6. And as a bonus, one point Kelley raised earlier is that contractors tend to want sabbaticals. My answer is that, very simply, I work to earn money that funds what I want out of life. What I've wanted out of life has included grad school for me, a stable home in a good school district, college degrees for my kids, the things normal people want. Only I've had to do it as a single mom. Long sabbaticals were simply out of the question. But contracting let me send my kids to summer camp for two weeks, spend Christmas week home with them, buy jeans for a kid who grew through four pant sizes in one year, and occasionally take them to the opera and ballet. Yes, contracting was (and is) a lifestyle decision. To me, a very sensible one.

Elna Tymes
Los Trancos Systems

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RE: Hiring Publications Managers: From: Secara, Maggie
RE: Hiring Publications Managers: From: Kelley

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