Re: Out of Work Tech Writers

Subject: Re: Out of Work Tech Writers
From: Dick Margulis <margulis -at- fiam -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 19 Jun 2002 17:35:26 -0400

Suzanne Chiles wrote:

So, I'm in my 4th month of unemployment and am having lots of feelings about
it. Some days I feel like something good is right around the corner; other
days I feel like I'll never find another tech writing job again.

How are the rest of the unemployed writers doing?


I acknowledge that you are looking for sympathy and support, not advice; and therefore you may not want to read further. If that be the case, please just stop now instead of getting all huffy because what I'm about to say hurts your feelings. Okay?

First, I am not currently unemployed. I've collected my share--maybe more than my share--of UI benefits, though; so I feel qualified to speak to the issue.

Are there jobs around you that pay more than the benefits you are collecting? (Remember, your benefits are taxable income; you're going to have to pay the taxes that would have been withheld from a regular paycheck.) If so, why are you in your fourth month of unemployment? You're correct that you may never find another tech writing job. (It's doubtful but possible.) But so what? Does that mean you will never work again? I hope not!

Look around.

Are there jobs in retail? You can learn a lot about getting along with managers and customers when you work in retail.

Is your neighborhood Kinko's hiring? You can learn a lot about print production at Kinko's. What about a composition house, a bindery, or a commercial printing company?

Fast food? You can learn a lot about maintaining a positive attitude toward tedious, menial work in a fast food joint.

Factory work? Think how much more effective your technical documents can be once you've been on the receiving end.

In short, as I've said here before, you are not a technical writer. You are a person who wants to do technical writing for a living. Concentrate more on the person part and less on the tech writing part. Do something else for a while. You might like it. In any case, it's going to be more satisfying than beating your head against closed doors.


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Out of Work Tech Writers: From: Suzanne Chiles

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