Re: Joing STC and breaking into Technical Writing

Subject: Re: Joing STC and breaking into Technical Writing
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 07 Oct 2002 12:52:53 -0700

Lorraine Kiewiet wrote:

I found this job on the STC Web site in the Jobs Database.

The point is not that you won't ever find a job through the STC. The point is one that every career consultant makes over and over: you vastly improve your chances of finding a job by hunting out ones that you ferret out for yourself - ones that aren't advertised or known to dozens of other job seekers.

I've found work once or twice by applying to newspaper ads, another place that career consultants suggest aren't a good place to look for work. However, that doesn't mean that the advice isn't basically sound. For every contract that I've found through such conventional sources, I must have found two or three (or maybe even four) from unconventional ones.

The Jobs database is only available to STC members.

But how many of those jobs are unique to the STC database? Probably a minority.

2. I am not the least bit interested in empire building.

I don't think empire building is the issue so much as survival in a tough economic climate. You need to increase your odds of finding work as much as possible, and one major way to accomplish that is to look beyond the conentional job hunting methods.

>it really pays off to get together with other technical writers for a sanity check.

Nothing wrong with that if you like it. The only trouble is, it can be too comfortable. Because you can relax at a meeting or meet your peers, it's all too easy to choose an STC meeting over another one that might be more useful to you in your job hunt.

It's easy to forget that what's pleasurable isn't always what is best for you. As Socrates pointed out, it's pleasurable to scratch when you have an itch, but that doesn't mean that a good life would consist of nothing but scratching.

And when I've been a manager, again, networking has given me leads to people to interview for openings, or on contractors for short-term projects.

This is a good point. A situation that is not especially good for the job-hunter is often extremely useful for a hiring manager. In fact, when I was involved in the STC, many of the senior writers who held offices in the local chapter were hiring managers. Senior writers who were simply interested in making a living found meetings less useful.

Bruce Byfield bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com 604.421.7177

"Someday I must read this scholar Everyone . . . He seems to have written so much - all of it wrong."
- Tamora Pierce

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Re: Joing STC and breaking into Technical Writing: From: Lorraine Kiewiet

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