Re: How is the job market in your area?

Subject: Re: How is the job market in your area?
From: Nora von Gerichten <wlg -at- pacificcoast -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2002 04:01:30 -0800

I am in Vancouver and am negotiating a contract with a local company based roughly on what I charge US clients. First time for that and a major step up. The economy is quite bad here and I have been hurting for the past many months. I am doing cartwheels over the offer with very handsome remuneration that includes a percentage of funding I directly bring in as well as writing and consulting fees.

My accountant claims the only reason I have continued to grow as a Vancouver company in the last 2 years is because I have gone global. I work freely on both sides of the Cdn-US boarder, in SE Asia, Haiti, Cuba, and Brazil over the last 7 years plus a little in Africa and Europe. 90% of my money is contracts with the communications via phone, e-mail, various collaborative systems, and now video conferencing. I still do not have the video conferencing happening, I must go to a place to do that. Still US$22/hr room rental is cheaper than hopping on a plane yet maintains visual contact for clients who must touch flesh. Keeping my clients costs as low as possible is an objective for everyone.

I hedge my bets on projects and try to keep 4-6 active. That has been very hard over the last 18 months so I am volunteering (with honorariums) for a govt organization to help Aboriginals obtain sustainability. The extra work and effort has paid off. I think the govt people suck, but the projects and their people are wonderful. This has led me to some very excellent projects in BC and good introductions across Canada and abroad.

I have moved around somewhat restlessly in telecommunications, telemedicine, aerospace, and subsea. I like the deregulation, strategic development, knowledge capital stuff. I like pushing boundaries and crossing disciplines.

18 months ago I was working almost exclusively with dark fibre projects, projects laying it on freeway embarkments, laser beams for last mile connections, tearing out hospital walls, all with an eye to viability and sustainability. Lots of fun. Dark fibre died a slow and painful death. 11 September killed it all together.

My slump is correcting itself mostly because of this group over the past 3 weeks. Realizing that I could call myself a tech writer was a major improvement. I can be so dense sometimes. The idea of a portfolio was revolutionary. I am still struggling to upgrade my software skills. But it is not because of my software skills that I am getting this new contract. I am getting the contract because of my past performance in writing, strategic development, and securing funding; contacts; abilities to move across disciplines and cultures; and most of all, creativity or the ability to think outside the box.


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How is the job market in your area?: From: bgoett

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