Re: Low Pay vs. No Pay

Subject: Re: Low Pay vs. No Pay
From: "Web Slinger" <webslingr -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 25 Jun 2002 23:54:28 +0000

As someone who is about to be laid off for the second time in a year, I've been following this thread with great interest. Peter wrote:

It's a fine line, we walk. Most of us on this list have a need to eat
and the safety nets may not be as secure as we all hope they would be. I
have seen ads in the NY area at $10 to $12 per hour for Tech Writers
with at least five years experience. I sincerely question how much value
a company places on someone who would work at that level of pay. I also
question how much value a person who works at that rate places on
themselves. I would rather flip burgers for a smidgen above minimum
wage, then sell my extraordinary professional skills for less than what
they are worth.

I completely agree with your statements, Peter. I've seen ads for
Technical Writer/Administrative Assistants - no joke, paying
somewhere around that same hourly wage. It's funny that companies
want to lump those two jobs together. I'm a good Technical Writer,
but would make a lousy Admin!

Where I'm currently contracting (for three more days, anyway) they
feel that at $25/hour (NO benefits) I am incredibly overpaid. Granted, I do *some* grunt work that is probably not worth $25 an hour, but I've
also implemented and configured our department's document management
system, and done all of the user training on the system. If they
had to purchase these services on the open market, I'm guessing they'd
pay more than $25/hour.

Friday is my last day, and while I'm fearful of being unemployed, I plan to take the time to really focus my job search and volunteer for either the STC, IABC, or some other career-related organization. I'm also going to finally get my Web site up and running to keep my Web design skills fresh.

If by September, I *still* don't have a decent-paying tech writing position, I may be forced to take a "survival" job. But in the
meantime I'm gonna bust my butt to try and keep that from


P.S.: If anyone is interested in trading Top Ramen recipes, contact me
off-list. :-)

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