Re: What's A TW Got To DO To Get A Job Around Here?!

Subject: Re: What's A TW Got To DO To Get A Job Around Here?!
From: Charles E Vermette <cvermette -at- juno -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 24 Feb 2002 14:37:27 -0500

<<<But how come I all of a sudden have to be able to validate code to get
a job? Or write code? Or prepare Use Cases? Or (so help me!) answer the
telephone and distribute the mail? Or have specialized knowledge of
esoteric manufacturing methodologies? Or . . .well, you get my

This is a well known phenomenon to other types of writers (i.e.,
Marketing writers and copy writers.)

Some small companies can't afford or justify a full time writer, so they
look for a talented person who wants to build a portfolio and will do the
extra as "dues paying." I paid my dues in my first real writing job (for
a catalog firm, at the age of 36) with this type of position.

Then again, there are sweatshops who just don't think of writing as "real
work". I once interviewed at a major travel firm HQd in Boston. At one
point, the woman interviewing me snarled ,"We don't want someone who's
just going to sit in a corner and write. We want someone producing all
the time." (Aside: The position I was going for had been unfilled in 5
months. I got calls from other agencies on it for another two. About six
months AFTER that, I saw it advertised with a completely different
description with a focus ONLY on writing. God love the glory days of the
late 90s!)

In today's tech market, I think it's as simple as wanting to get an exact
match. For contractors, I've found that many managers are requesting
three or more people, getting reqs for one or two, and trying to find
people who have the skills to fill the positions they can't hire for.
It's good if you're a's also a damn good reason -
in good times and bad - to be expanding your skill sets on and off the
job. I once got a TW contract in '99 because I still remembered 80s
command line BASIC. You never know when some skill you picked up along
the way will come in handy.


Charles E. Vermette
85 Washington Park Drive, Norwell MA 02061
e-mail: cvermette -at- juno -dot- com

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