RE: A dark take on Tech you agree?

Subject: RE: A dark take on Tech you agree?
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: "CL T" <straylightsghost -at- gmail -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 4 Nov 2008 16:21:23 -0500


Only the very first company for which I was a TW (in the 1980s) had an
actual department for publications. At every job since then, I've been
a lone TW. Even the current employer, who has (perhaps as many as) six
TWs has them scattered around the world, each supporting her/his own
product lines in a little silo where we individually report to somebody

So, any upward path would not involve technical writing. If I was better
at cat herding, and liked it enough to make a full-time job of it, I'd
get into project management. But as noted, the normal "path" is about
1-1/2 rungs deep. I'm at the top of my pay scale. There's nothing more
senior within the TW classification at my company (as with any previous
company) that doesn't involve managing other writers - and the company
structure precludes that.

I could consider going into business for myself, but I really don't
enjoy searching for the next job twenty percent of my time (though, like
public speaking, I'd get better at it with practice). Still, that would
be the path toward hiring or sub-contracting others and eventually
writing myself into a business-owner position (supplying
documentation-related services), where I did the planning and playing
golf (I don't play golf...) and others did the day-to-day business
tasks. I'd rather rely on real-estate investment (yes, even in today's
market) to create my financial independence.

TW is what I've done for years, and I'm good at it, but it's what I do
until the RE replaces my income. TW is not a career, at least not for
me. It's a job. It's been a series of jobs. If I have to have another
TW job before I achieve that independence, it will likely pay less in
salary-and-bennies than does my current employment... which is a good
argument for staying here as long as they find me valuable, and where I
have lots of specific knowledge (product, industry, and
company-specific) to leverage.


- Kevin

> -----Original Message-----
> From:
techwr-l-bounces+kevin -dot- mclauchlan=safenet-inc -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+kevin -dot- mclauchlan=safenet-inc -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-
>] On Behalf Of CL T
> Sent: Tuesday, November 04, 2008 11:47 AM
> To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Subject: A dark take on Tech you agree?
> The opinion of one Tech Writer and their advice to aspiring TW's. Do
> agree with this dark take on our career?
> -Collin Turner
> Tech Writer, Screencaster, Writer

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A dark take on Tech you agree?: From: CL T

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