RE: Down time

Subject: RE: Down time
From: "Kathy Underwood" <Kathy -dot- Underwood -at- sas -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 2004 09:04:03 -0400

Three months would make me nervous. I've been in the tech writing/editing biz since the 1970s. I've found that some companies will continue to underutilize staff for long periods of time without seeming to care. The problem comes when the company falls on hard times and looks around for staff to cut. If you and your cohorts regularly have significant downtime, you're prime candidates for being laid off.

The other problem with significant and recurring downtime is that it brings into question your company's business management practices.

You're probably doing or have thought of the following. But just to be explicit, I would recommend that you:

* Look around the company to identify groups/departments/documents/projects that could benefit from tech writing/editing assistance.
* Enhance/update technical skill sets
* Revise any existing style docs, writing/editing protocols, production protocols, etc.
* If you're not already doing so, begin keeping meticulous weekly records of time spent on various projects.
* Catch up on the technical journals.
* Get more active in professional associations such as STC.
* Polish your portfolio within an inch of its life

Above all, I recommend ALWAYS HAVING YOUR RESUME UP-TO-DATE and IN CIRCULATION. This is a lesson I learned from a highly placed executive director in a Fortune 500 IT company. He revealed to me that most upper-level executives are perpetually on the prowl for the next opportunity. This is true even of executives who've been in the same company for many years. This keeps you in dialogue with other companies, and it also helps you hone your self-presentation skills. And sometimes it can help you negotiate a bigger salary at your present job.

-----Original Message-----
From: bounce-techwr-l-178785 -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:bounce-techwr-l-178785 -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Leigh Price
Sent: Wednesday, October 06, 2004 3:40 PM
Subject: Re: Down time

>...we finished a point release in mid-July and have been are still
>waiting for rollouts to begin for the next release. Is two months of
>down time unusual?

Oops. I meant three months. Is three months of down time unusual?

Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin'...



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