RE: Grim numbers, just grim--but not yet feeling all that grim

Subject: RE: Grim numbers, just grim--but not yet feeling all that grim
From: "Wilcox, Rose (ZB5646)" <Rose -dot- Wilcox -at- pinnaclewest -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 13:05:29 -0700

My gut feeling is pretty good, too. However, I am employed full-time
on-site. The contract is going fairly well and it is for a utility company,
so it's fairly recession-proof. Although as a writer one is never really
recession-proof. I worked through the last recession, but I took a
temporary dip in pay. I figure if for some reason I lost my contract, I'd
live on my retirement funds until I got my next job. As far as my sense of
how the economy is doing, I think the worst is over, but it will remain flat
for some time. Probably around a year, with ups and downs as we struggle to
get into full recovery mode. I think a lot of changes will take place as
many industries and companies change to adjust to the so-called "New
Economy" (which has already gotten old to me in a very short time!)
So it behooves us all to be flexible. I believe most technical writers will
find work within a three-month period or less in most states. I believe a
segment of technical writers will be more lucky and a segment will remain
unemployed for longer periods. I think a firm upturn will take place early
next year. The year will be full of false fits and starts, some more long
term consequences for various industries, and continuing but not worsening
unemployment. Salaries will be a bit down, but not as down as one would
By early next year, most if not all industries will have found their
footing, and we will see a slow but steady upturn.
The thing that makes this recession different is that it seems better to be
a permanent employee rather than a contractor. Does anyone really know why?
It seems like funds have dried up for temporary projects, and employers are
valuing those with more perceived loyalty versus those with a wider range of
experience or specific skills. Exactly how the current situation with the
dot-com bust and the 9-11 attacks contributed to this I'm not sure. Is it
the feeling of insecurity? Is it that the market is flooded because of the
dot-com bust?
I think if I were out of work, I would pursue all the traditional forms of
job search, including networking, but more assiduously than I have had to
since 1995. I am also currently doing as much on-the-job training as
possible, as well as research and learning in my spare time. From looking
at the ads, it seems like not only are salaries flattened or lowered, but
also the employers want more for their money. So the more I know, the more
marketable I am. Always true, but never truer than now.

Rose A. Wilcox
Project Office / Power Trading
Communication Specialist / Technical Writer
CHQ Phone: 602-250-3453
502 Phone: 602-250-1564
Pager: 602-420-4623
Rose -dot- Wilcox -at- PinnacleWest -dot- com

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