Job Futures for Tech Writing

Subject: Job Futures for Tech Writing
From: "Larry Kunz ((919) 254-6395)" <ldkunz -at- VNET -dot- IBM -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 5 Dec 1994 12:03:49 EST

"We are all self-employed."

STC Fellow Bill Horton made this observation in his keynote address
for both the Region 2 and Region 5 conferences this fall. His point
was that, as companies cut staff and rely increasingly on contractors,
all of us need to think like self-employed people.

One of the benefits of my STC position is that I get chapter newsletters
from all over. This month's _Dateline_Houston_ has a great article by
Ryan Bernard, manager of the Houston chapter's Independent Contractor's
PIC. Starting with Bill Horton's observation, Ryan argues that
everyone, whether salaried or self-employed, must market their skills,
make themselves more valuable to their clients/employers, and increase
demand for their services.

For a long time I've been a salaried employee for IBM, which used to be
the epitome of bigness and stability. But after more than a year of
downsizing, rightsizing, and maybe even capsizing, I've learned that
Bill Horton is right. I no longer see myself as an IBMer but as a
technical communicator who happens, for now, to be on IBM's payroll.

The _Dateline_Houston_ article says "above all, salaried employees
should realize that thinking like a self-employed person is not an act
or cynicism or of disloyalty." Certainly my change of attitude hasn't
made me any less loyal to IBM. If anything I'm more loyal, because my
allegiance is to myself, not to my employer, and I hold myself to
higher standards of quality and integrity than any employer would.

(Ryan, if you're on the list, perhaps you'd be willing to post the rest
of the article. Or perhaps someone in Houston can persuade Ryan or the
_Dateline_Houston_ editor to post it.)

Larry Kunz
STC Assistant to the President for Professional Development
ldkunz -at- vnet -dot- ibm -dot- com

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