FW: Out of Work Tech Writers

Subject: FW: Out of Work Tech Writers
From: "Heidi Von Markham" <hvonmark -at- onesecure -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 20 Jun 2002 11:32:40 -0700

I disagree about not taking a job for less money, and also about losing
self-esteem by working.

I was out of "real work" for over a year, yet I kept myself involved in tech
writing by taking internships, contracts, whatever I could do to bring home
a paycheck *and* help me continually improve my tech writing skills. As a
bonus, I kept my attitude up (good work = good feedback = good attitude) and
my contact list fresh.

For those of you whose unemployment checks cover rent, student loan bills,
gas, and food, great! Hold out as long as you can. For those of us that
literally cannot keep shelter over our heads without working (rent on a
studio here the bay area *still* costs over $1000/month), why not take a job
where you can do the work you love? There's no requirement for you to stay
if something better comes your way. I still send out resumes. I still go to
work everyday, too.

Idealism is fine if you have the savings to back it up. But after 12 months,
I could no longer afford to keep the market "clear" for writers who are
choosing not to work because of low pay offers.

Heidi, who took a 75% pay cut to keep working after the black death took
Silicon Valley dotcoms.

Goober wrote:

> How are the rest of the unemployed writers doing?

Living from contract to contract until companies wake up and realize they
can't decide to offer peanuts for the job just because there are more
candidates in the pool.

IMO, it's not worth taking a job at a considerably lower salary just to have
a job. Contracts do nicely until you can get a good job. Taking the low pay
when you know you can do better hurts your self-esteem and potentially hurts
the market for those of us who prefer to hold out until a good job with good
pay and bebefits comes along.

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