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On Monday, Shelly LaRock asked about tech writer longevity.
My personal experience in job longevity is mixed. I stayed five and
a half years at my first job, about three and a half at my second,
I've been at this one just about a year.
At the first job, I started in 1984 and many of the people that
started with me are still at the same positions in the same com-
pany. Some of them had been in their jobs for many years before
I'd gotten there, so we're now talking about -decades- of longevity.
At my second job, there was a lot of downsizing when the aero-
space industry slumped a couple of years back. The department
has dropped from about 100 people down to about 25 people,
most of those 25 have at least 10-12 years on the job.
In my current position, there has been a 100% turnover in techwrit-
ers (there are three of us) within the past two years. I have no idea
who was doing this job five years ago.
Now there is -one- factor to keep in mind on that first job, some-
thing that may have contributed to the long-term stability of jobs.
At that company, tech manuals were seen as a profit center, there
was a clear monetary advantage to selling as many manuals as
possible. At the second company, due to different accounting
methods the cash influx from tech manuals was never really seen,
and the organization was perceived as a drain on finances. When
the bad times hit, the axe fell.
Another factor that contributes to people spending only a couple of
years in any one job is their own free choice to find a better job.
That applies to my current position: those tech writers that were
here a couple of years ago all left of their own free choice, when
they got better offers from other places.
That's all I know.
rlippinc -at- bev -dot- etn -dot- com