Re: Freelance, contract part-time

Subject: Re: Freelance, contract part-time
From: Karl Norman <kylesimmons0164 -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Thu, 21 May 2015 17:31:09 +0000

I appreciate everyone's responses. I'm still torn about what is going to be
right for me. Just had a big conversation with my managers about culture
change. I'm really advocating to use our documentation and written
procedures as the front line for evolving the mindset of certain employees
to one that advocates for doing things right. I assume a lot of you in this
list write consumer-facing documents. Everything I do is used in house on
the job, and it's all subject to FDA auditors and their ilk.

You know, I wouldn't talk about documentation as culture if I didn't
believe in it and believe it could actually benefit this company. But I
still feel like maybe this setting is wrong for me. And maybe it's because
I'm 1 person, the sole tech writer, for an entire manufacturing operation.
I'm stretched thin, but I'm sure a lot of you know what that's like. Its
better than being underutilized. But I also don't get to really look at my
work and assess whether it's something I'm proud of.

If I worked for smaller businesses, do you think I'd be able to spend more
time making higher quality documentation? You know, like craft beer versus
Budweiser? Budweiser is a great consistent product, but I'd rather drink
something a little more interesting, even if it costs a bit more. Will
small business owners pay me to craft their internal documentation? Is this
a pipe dream?

On Thu, May 21, 2015, 12:55 AM <techwr-l-request -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> wrote:

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> Today's Topics:
>
> 1. RE: Off topic - help with 1099 (Debbie Hemstreet)
> 2. Freelance, contract part-time (Karl Norman)
> 3. Re: Freelance, contract part-time (Peter Neilson)
> 4. Re: Freelance, contract part-time (Gene Kim-Eng)
> 5. Re: Freelance, contract part-time (Robert Lauriston)
> 6. Re: Freelance, contract part-time (Peter Neilson)
> 7. Re: Freelance, contract part-time (Gene Kim-Eng)
> 8. Re: Freelance, contract part-time (Peter Neilson)
> 9. Re: Freelance, contract part-time (Gene Kim-Eng)
>
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Message: 1
> Date: Wed, 20 May 2015 08:02:19 +0000
> From: Debbie Hemstreet <D_Hemstreet -at- rambam -dot- health -dot- gov -dot- il>
> To: 'Robert Courtney' <Robert -dot- Courtney -at- molinahealthcare -dot- com>,
> "Tech-wrl (techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com)" <
> techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
> Subject: RE: Off topic - help with 1099
> Message-ID:
> <
> FD4A5C5D10630245B99C7B220F3D49D65A793530 -at- RMC-EXCH02 -dot- rambam -dot- health -dot- gov -dot- il>
>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
>
> I live in Israel and have a lot of 1099 work here. I've found that Turbo
> Tax Home & Business, while pricey (in my opinion) is worth the expense.
> Cheaper than an accountant, and very helpful for getting all my taxes done.
>
> If it can help me with the hassle of dealing with overseas submissions,
> I'm certain you can use it to help you with your work in the USA. It helps
> you calculate deductions, and what you have to pay for Social Security as
> well as Income Tax.
>
> It is only as accurate, obviously, as the data you enter, but assuming you
> know what you are doing (and if you don't, it gives you links to help, and
> everything is available on the USA website for income tax for more
> (confusing) information, details, instructions) -- it will save you the
> cost of an accountant.
>
> I hope this is helpful.
>
> Debbie
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 2
> Date: Wed, 20 May 2015 16:40:59 +0000
> From: Karl Norman <kylesimmons0164 -at- gmail -dot- com>
> To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Subject: Freelance, contract part-time
> Message-ID:
> <CAJUsO-9tMeqXG4dqaj6LKxef=
> wi7kihD-+7MGvhnz2G61D25dQ -at- mail -dot- gmail -dot- com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
>
> I've noticed a number of contributors here and in other tech writer forums
> have gone rogue and begun freelancing at some point in their careers. Seems
> the trend is to get the feet wet with a big company for x years and then
> make the switch to freelance/contract work. Maybe some of you could expound
> upon your decisions to make that change. What were the determining factors?
> How did you feel confident that you could go it alone?
>
> I'm at the beginning of my career. I've been with a medium size company for
> 10 months, and I'm working on building a document control department.
> There's plenty of opportunity for me to grow here, but a significant part
> of me doesn't care about the work. I've pursued working with nonprofits,
> helping with procedures and ISO documentation, and I like that kind of work
> better than my current position. I just like the working relationship I
> have with small organizations. But, obviously the bills have to be paid,
> and tech writing as a value added service is a hard sell to small
> businesses and nonprofits. Do any of you rogues have advice for someone who
> might want to leave his cubicle? Most importantly, how do you ensure the
> bills get paid?
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 3
> Date: Wed, 20 May 2015 12:54:37 -0400
> From: "Peter Neilson" <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
> To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Subject: Re: Freelance, contract part-time
> Message-ID: <op -dot- xyx09bt7rns8nc -at- odin>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8; format=flowed; delsp=yes
>
> On Wed, 20 May 2015 12:40:59 -0400, Karl Norman
> <kylesimmons0164 -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:
>
> > I've noticed a number of contributors here and in other tech writer
> > forums have gone rogue and begun freelancing at some point in their
> > careers. Seems the trend is to get the feet wet with a big company for x
> > years and then
> > make the switch to freelance/contract work. Maybe some of you could
> > expound upon your decisions to make that change. What were the
> > determining factors?
> > How did you feel confident that you could go it alone?
>
> The place where you were folded, and the new opportunities immediately
> available didn't offer full-time, regular employment. Often the work was
> through an agency that only used 1099. There was the bait that "We'll
> probably bring you on from temp to full-time if the economy improves."
> That means, "Temp forever."
>
> Some companies dump most of the regular employees and then try to bring
> some of them back as 1099, paying the same hourly rate, but without the
> benefits. It's a form of salary cut, and it sometimes works.
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 4
> Date: Wed, 20 May 2015 10:42:49 -0700
> From: Gene Kim-Eng <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>
> To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Cc: Karl Norman <kylesimmons0164 -at- gmail -dot- com>
> Subject: Re: Freelance, contract part-time
> Message-ID: <555CC799 -dot- 5020104 -at- genek -dot- com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=windows-1252; format=flowed
>
> I'm at the opposite end of my career, and I'm doing it because I don't
> need or want to work full time anymore but growing tomatoes and planning
> the layout for my mini-orchard isn't quite enough activity for me yet.
> And a little spare cash to actually pay for the trees isn't so bad, either.
>
> I'm concentrating on small firms that haven't ever had a writer and may
> never have enough work to hire one full time. A few years back I did a
> year at one of those big corps that had fired en masse and replaced with
> contractors, and I don't ever want to do that again if I can avoid it.
> Not because it was a bad gig for me, but because it was a real downer
> working with the remaining direct hire employees and seeing how bad
> their morale was. Only take a contract like that if you're really hard
> up or you're the kind of person who enjoys watching starving people in a
> famine zone trying to survive by eating grass,
>
> Gene Kim-Eng
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 5
> Date: Wed, 20 May 2015 10:50:19 -0700
> From: Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>
> To: Karl Norman <kylesimmons0164 -at- gmail -dot- com>, TECHWR-L Writing
> <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
> Subject: Re: Freelance, contract part-time
> Message-ID:
> <
> CAN3Yy4Aq_s1LWSQXvm94XH+8GtD6WbBMt4mg6w9J0DZhfBKsow -at- mail -dot- gmail -dot- com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
>
> If you have to worry about paying the bills, freelancing might be
> stressful and unpleasant, especially if you want to work only
> part-time and/or for nonprofits.
>
> I prefer being a full-time employee, but, in my market, I've ended up
> contracting when the market was down, I got laid off, and that was all
> I could get.
>
> I was a freelance journalist for 10+ years before I switched to tech
> writing, so that was nothing new.
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 6
> Date: Wed, 20 May 2015 14:28:53 -0400
> From: "Peter Neilson" <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
> To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com, "Gene Kim-Eng" <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>
> Cc: Karl Norman <kylesimmons0164 -at- gmail -dot- com>
> Subject: Re: Freelance, contract part-time
> Message-ID: <op -dot- xyx5mfk8rns8nc -at- odin>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8; format=flowed; delsp=yes
>
> On Wed, 20 May 2015 13:42:49 -0400, Gene Kim-Eng <techwr -at- genek -dot- com> wrote:
>
> > I'm concentrating on small firms that haven't ever had a writer and may
> > never have enough work to hire one full time. A few years back I did a
> > year at one of those big corps that had fired en masse and replaced with
> > contractors, and I don't ever want to do that again if I can avoid it.
> > Not because it was a bad gig for me, but because it was a real downer
> > working with the remaining direct hire employees and seeing how bad
> > their morale was. Only take a contract like that if you're really hard
> > up or you're the kind of person who enjoys watching starving people in a
> > famine zone trying to survive by eating grass,
>
> I tried working for a company with that problem and discovered I could
> accomplish nothing at all. Turns out one of the "remaining" people was
> busy sabotaging the computers that were being used by the contractors. I
> lasted two weeks. One my last day I'd found someone from another
> department to look at my machine, and he said, "This machine's hosed! No
> wonder you can't do anything," but by then it was too late.
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 7
> Date: Wed, 20 May 2015 11:36:05 -0700
> From: Gene Kim-Eng <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>
> To: Peter Neilson <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>,
> techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Cc: Karl Norman <kylesimmons0164 -at- gmail -dot- com>
> Subject: Re: Freelance, contract part-time
> Message-ID: <555CD415 -dot- 7010705 -at- genek -dot- com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8; format=flowed
>
> In this particular gig I was carrying a laptop around, so the only
> people who ever had hands on were the company's IT. In the gigs I do
> now, I've been using my own equipment.
>
> Did that company survive long with that situation going on?
>
> Gene Kim-Eng
>
>
> On 5/20/2015 11:28 AM, Peter Neilson wrote:
> >
> > I tried working for a company with that problem and discovered I could
> > accomplish nothing at all. Turns out one of the "remaining" people was
> > busy sabotaging the computers that were being used by the contractors.
> > I lasted two weeks. One my last day I'd found someone from another
> > department to look at my machine, and he said, "This machine's hosed!
> > No wonder you can't do anything," but by then it was too late.
> >
> >
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 8
> Date: Wed, 20 May 2015 14:47:15 -0400
> From: "Peter Neilson" <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
> To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com, "Gene Kim-Eng" <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>
> Cc: Karl Norman <kylesimmons0164 -at- gmail -dot- com>
> Subject: Re: Freelance, contract part-time
> Message-ID: <op -dot- xyx6g1rlrns8nc -at- odin>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8; format=flowed; delsp=yes
>
> On Wed, 20 May 2015 14:36:05 -0400, Gene Kim-Eng <techwr -at- genek -dot- com> wrote:
>
> > In this particular gig I was carrying a laptop around, so the only
> > people who ever had hands on were the company's IT. In the gigs I do
> > now, I've been using my own equipment.
> >
> > Did that company survive long with that situation going on?
>
> This was way back BL (Before Laptops), and the site where I was working
> was the remains of a company that had just been eaten by one of the Heavy
> Players that is still around. I believe that this was after Bill Heavy and
> Dave Player were no longer involved.
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 9
> Date: Wed, 20 May 2015 11:55:09 -0700
> From: Gene Kim-Eng <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>
> To: Peter Neilson <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>,
> techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Cc: Karl Norman <kylesimmons0164 -at- gmail -dot- com>
> Subject: Re: Freelance, contract part-time
> Message-ID: <555CD88D -dot- 3080509 -at- genek -dot- com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8; format=flowed
>
> Bill and Dave really needed to live forever. If they had, the wicked
> witch would never have been able to take over their kingdom and massacre
> their knights.
>
> Gene Kim-Eng
>
>
> On 5/20/2015 11:47 AM, Peter Neilson wrote:
> >
> > This was way back BL (Before Laptops), and the site where I was
> > working was the remains of a company that had just been eaten by one
> > of the Heavy Players that is still around. I believe that this was
> > after Bill Heavy and Dave Player were no longer involved.
> >
> >
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
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