RE: Contract vs. Permanent Employment

Subject: RE: Contract vs. Permanent Employment
From: "Stitzel, Ken" <kstitzel -at- itc -dot- nrcs -dot- usda -dot- gov>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 23 Mar 2004 09:41:41 -0700

Michael Johnson wrote:

> Since nothing lasts forever, I am wondering what the current market is
like for a hardware writer like myself.

Beyond the obvious advice of saying "don't quit your job until you've got a
better offer," I'd say it depends very much on what market you're talking

Geographical? Can't say about Utah. My locale, the former hi-tech powerhouse
of the Front Range area in Colorado (our motto: "Gridlock With a View!"),
isn't great right now and hasn't been for several years. Not much sign that
is changing in this so-called "jobless recovery".

Hardware v. software? As a tech writer who prefers hardware writing, I have
found the market pretty limited. I don't like writing about software as
much, but that's where simply where the great majority of tech writing work
is. I love the hardware jobs when I can get them, but there is a much
smaller pool to draw from. My contract jobs have come from small companies
that couldn't afford a "permanent" writer on staff, and typically the
contracts have been short lived and far between. Software writing is duller
than the proverbial ditchwater (to paraphrase ), but it pays the bills.

Medical v. computer? Having experience with medical technology can certainly
give you an edge for some jobs, but again there is a much smaller pool of
potential employers.

Er, I'm going to take Andrew's advice and get the hell back to work! ;-)

Ken Stitzel
Rent-a-Fed tech writer
Synergetics, Inc. for ITC-NRCS-USDA
Fort Collins, CO


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