Re: Job prospects in Canada, US, the planet?

Subject: Re: Job prospects in Canada, US, the planet?
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 11 Dec 2004 19:17:30 -0800

lyndsey -dot- amott -at- docsymmetry -dot- com wrote:

I've been asked to give a talk at the local college here in Winnipeg on my experiences as a TW. The students of the two-year Tech Comm program are particularly concerned about their job prospects when they leave the program. I've been asked to talk about job prospects in Montreal, where I lived for about ten years before I moved here 16 months ago. Well, when I left Montreal, I'd been out of work for 18 months, so I think it might be a good idea to talk about job prospects in other places so that I don't discourage all these eager students. Right now, I'd say that the prospects are pretty grim the world over except India, but that they are beginning to improve despite John Posada's recent news. The students are willing to move in order to find work, so I would like to hear from you: what is your impression of the current and future TW job market in your city?

I used to answer these queries in detail. Belately, I am starting to suspect that the trouble with such queries is the fact that, as Louis Pasteur notes, "Change favors the prepared mind."

In other words, what job prospects look like depends very much on how efficient your job search techniques are. If you can do a variety of different things and not just technical writing, then a bad market affects you less. Ditto if you network outside of technical writing circles, keep track of new companies and what the old ones are doing, develop good relations with two or three trustworthy headhunters, and do informational interviews.

I do all these things, and, for me, the job market in Vancouver, Canada is better this last year than it has been since 2001. Yet every time I've mentioned the fact, other people have said that it isn't very god for them - if not downright terrible - or only average. I now suspect that the state of the market only partly dependent on the availability of jobs. A large part of it seems to be your ability to hunt down work.

This might be an important fact to stress to your audience.

Bruce Byfield



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Job prospects in Canada, US, the planet?: From: lyndsey . amott

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