TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Don't take this the wrong way, Keith, but that logic is flawed. To
accept a poverty wage just because you need work makes it difficult
for the entire industry to remain competitive. Employers will ask why
bother hiring a contractor at $40-100/hour when they can hire
experienced people for $20/hour?
As professionals we need to communicate a value that transcends cost.
Quality technical writing mitigates risk, reduces customer support
calls, and improves customer satisfaction with the company overall.
You can't justify working for free or cheap in the light of what you
offer the company.
For those who are looking for work, when the going gets tough, the
tough specialize. Are there areas in which you could specialize?
Subject matter expertise, production speed, understanding of
collaborative writing, multi-channel deliverables, multi-sourcing,
social media, documentation through the development process, training
materials development, business analysis, content strategy and
migration, programming, hardware testing ... any of these increase
your core value beyond the generalist fresh out of college.
For $18 to 22/hour, I could score a sweet government job in the typing
pool. The higher wages are for greater responsibility, for instance,
accounting or materials management. As a programming technical writer
I feel that I should be able to increase profits for the compan(ies)
that hire me more than enough to accommodate my desired wage.
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