Re: Career longevity

Subject: Re: Career longevity
From: Marcy Baker Hartman <catguest -at- ISVPROG -dot- EBAY -dot- SUN -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 3 May 1995 23:07:23 GMT

In article jtchew -at- netcom -dot- com (Joe Chew) writes:
>:I wonder how the statistics would differ between people who went
>:into technical communication intentionally because they knew what
>:it was and that it interested them, and people who saw it as a
>:first step out of the secretarial pool, or a way "over the fence"
>:of a company where they hoped to get an engineering job, or a
>:more lucrative side trip in a journalism or fine-arts career.
>:

Good grief, Joe, I have never met anyone in the Technical Writing field
(at least here in Silicon Valley, CA) who used it as a step up from the
secretarial pool. The companies I have worked with consistently
insist on three or more years experience in the field, particularly
where the preparation of software manuals for end users is concerned.
And those who write in hardware documentation would certainly
have had more computer science or engineering classes, or experience
in those fields. The days when a woman had to start out in a company
as a secretary are long, long gone. A CS or Engineering degree is
a ticket in to a good job just about anywhere around this town.

There have been engineers who thought they could write (most can't,
IMNSHO) and some companies let them try. Usually I get called in
to bat clean-up after some engineer has failed miserably. This is
why people like me get paid so much. 8^}

After nearly eight years as a consultant, the longest I was ever idle
was one month during the deepest, darkest days of the Silicon Valley
recession about two years ago. I find that I have to schedule vacation
and time off into my contracts or I'd be working 52 weeks a year, ten
hours a day!

BTW, I'm a former newspaper reporter who returned to college for
a computer science degree when I saw the word processing on the
wall! Today I am making at least twice what my journalism cohorts
make, and usually about four times their pay. This includes those who
went into radio and TV work. I won't even attempt to compare that to
what fine arts grads are making.

Marcy

############################################################
"When I think back to all the cr*p Marcy
Baker Hartman
I learned in high school, its a Technical Publications
Consultant
wonder I can think at all."
trillian -at- netcom -dot- com
- Paul Simon -
catguest -at- isvprog -dot- Ebay -dot- Sun -dot- COM
############################################################


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