Re: Trouble finding work

Subject: Re: Trouble finding work
From: Bill Swallow <techcommdood -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 18 Apr 2005 10:46:51 -0400


> At some company they cannot pay the secretary the raise that
> she's certainly due. So instead they "promote" her to Tech
> Writer at her old pay and duties, and give her the assignment
> to look over the spelling and grammar in a document, but not
> the authority to change the meaning of anything. She does
> this for one or two docs, and then quits for a job as a sec
> to a VP in some other company.
> HR senses a need to replace this person. They ask the flesh
> peddlars for a replacement: Tech Writer, 10 years experience,
> must know Notes and Microsoft Office, skilled at handling
> large docs, knowledge of biopharmaceuticals and Linnux,
> schedules and attends meetings, acurretely records notes at
> same, types 60 wpm, pay $20 per hour.

I saw this more 5 years ago than I see it today. I'm finding that many
companies are seeing the value of a good technical writer (undoubtedly
from the fallout that the above situation pecipitated).

> The work at $35 or more is out there. I wish I knew better how to
> go about finding it.

Networking. it's how you find any decent paying contract. And even $35
is low. I never set my sights below $50.

> Would someone a bit less cynical or paranoid than I please tell
> me if I'm way off the mark or maybe just only slightly? Oh, and
> tell us all How To Find Real Work?!?

Networking. Even right here. Right now. And everything you've ever
posted previously. And everything you ever will post. We're a network
of peers, and we can keep our collective eyes open. Use the techwr-l
site for coordination and as a "base camp" for this particular
network. Other lists have similar tools to assist you with your job
hunting.

My suggestion is to put yourself out there. Attend local seminars and
business gatherings. Attend local STC meetings. Go to regional and
national conferences if you can swing it. Participate heavily in your
local "[Xtool] Users" groups. Use down time to learn new skills and
refine existing skills. Answer people's questions. And most of all,
work to position yourself as a helpful authority on some topic or
other, and foster learning and growth in others. People will look up
to you for guidance, and your expert peers will extend to you the
respect you've earned through your efforts, and perhaps some good
private leads on some excellent opportunities.

It doesn't happen overnight, but tomorrow is always too late to start.

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Follow-Ups:

References:
Re: Trouble finding work: From: Donna Marino
Re: Trouble finding work: From: Peter Neilson

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