Why do you do contract work?

Subject: Why do you do contract work?
From: Folse Kate <folsek -at- BSCC -dot- BLS -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 15 Apr 1997 16:59:00 EDT

Hello all -

I am trying to gather some information from you technical writers
who are employed as consultants either on your own or through
an agency. If you could complete the following survey and return
it to me at kfolse -at- mindspring -dot- com, I would greatly appreciate it.
I'll post a summary if anyone indicates they'd like to see it on this
list.

Thank you!
--Kate Folse
kfolse -at- mindspring -dot- com

General Info about you:

Where do you live? (City, State, Country)
How long have you been consulting?
Have you ever been a 'permanent employee?' If so, how many years?
How many years experience total do you have as a technical writer?
What is your educational background?

Now onto the real survey:

1. When securing a contract, which do you find produces the most
satisfying work? (Check one.)
Agencies
Job shops
Networking
Self employed
Word of mouth
other (name)

2. What is average duration of your contracts?

3. What kind of benefits do you have? (Check all that apply.)
Health
Life
Disability
other (name)
none

4. Who provides the above benefits? (Check all that apply.)
Employer
STC
Spouse
National Provider
other (name)

5. Where do you do the bulk of contracted work?
At home
Client site

6. What about contracting gives you the most personal satisfaction?
(Check one.)
Determine own working schedule
Freedom of time
Increased money
other (name)

7. Typically how much time do you spend "between contracts?"

8. How do you usually spend your time between contracts? (Check one.)
Looking for new contract
With family
Vacation
Seminars
Training
other (name)

7. Have you ever been unwillingly unemployed? How long?

8. Who tends to pay most for any training/conferences? (Check one.)
Employer
Client
Self
I don't get any training or go to conferences

9. If self, how much do you spend annually on training and conferences?
What types of training/conferences do you attend?

10. How do you survive between contracts ? (Check one.)
Spouse's earnings
Savings
Independently wealthy, I only work for fun

11. If savings, how many months of savings do you keep?

12. Which factors about contracting cause you the greatest amount of
stress. (Rate on scale of 1-5, 5 being the most highest.)
Can't schedule enough time off between contracts
Can't get higher rate
Can't set own schedule
Lack of benefits
Lack of training
Other (name and rate)

13. Which factors influence your decision to accept a contract? (Rate on
scale of 1-5, 5 being the most important.)
Commuting distance
Ability to telecommute
Dress code
Product that you will be documenting
Tools that you'll use to document
Rate
Other (name and rate)

13a. Which factors influence your decision to decline a contract? (Rate
on scale of 1-5, 5 being the most important.)
Commuting distance
Ability to telecommute
Dress code
Product that you will be documenting
Tools that you may use to document
Rate
Other (name and rate)

14. What types of assignments do you typically accept? (Check all that
apply).
Write/edit user's guides
Write/edit hardware documents
Write/edit other system documents
Write/maintain Windows help
Web development
Proposals/Newsletters/Annual Reports/
Other (name)

15. What tools (type of computer and software) do you use to complete
your contract?

16. Who typically provides you with hardware/software to do your job?
Self
Client
Employer

17. In one sentence, can you summarize why you choose to do contract
work.


18. Can I contact you for more information if I need to? If so, please
indicate your email address.

Thank you again for your time!!


* Kate Folse
* Technical Writer
* 770.604.6324
* folsek -at- bscc -dot- bls -dot- com

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