career longevity

Subject: career longevity
From: Dan Dornbrook <djd -at- SAFCO -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 5 May 1995 11:10:00 CDT

In response to posting by Bryan Cobb of Intergraph Corp., Huntsville, Ala.
(which in turn responded to posting by Shelly LaRock):

>Generalizing about career longevity is deceptive. Whether you stay at a
>tech writing job depends on a number of factors --

Another factor that influences longevity at any particular job is the local
or regional job market, in general or for technical communicators in
particular (or for the industry in which one has experience). For example,
my predecessor on my current job told me that the Chicago metro area was a
rather stagnant job market for most of the time he was here but has become
much more active (in the sense of employers seeking out qualified people) in
the past year or two.

My own experience confirms the influence of market conditions. I'm in my
second full-time technical writing position since early 1994 -- after
switching into technical writing from journalism, where I held the same
position (in Milwaukee) for 10 years.

This is not to say that every inquiry is worth pursuing, or that any offer
is a reason to move. Many people stay in one place for years because they
like it. But the availability of opportunities to move is as variable as
the ability to stay in one place. In the end, it's still up to the
individual writer to decide what he or she wants and why.

Hope that helps.:-)

Dan Dornbrook (djd -at- safco -dot- com)
SAFCO Electronic Systems Division
Chicago, IL, USA

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