Temping between contracts

Subject: Temping between contracts
From: geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA
Date: Mon, 26 May 1997 13:25:32 -0500

Stephen Victor wondered <<I don't see how [registering your
resume with a temp. agency such as Kelly] could help a
technical writer's career. Is there a reason a writer
should temp as a secretary between contracts, rather than,
say, as a construction worker? A nurse? A pilot?>>

The trick would prove useful solely to freelancers, who are
always looking for small jobs to tide them over... and
that's who I targeted the suggestion at. Doing construction
work might pay you very well indeed, but it would be
unlikely to find you any new writing clients. The tip would
be particularly useful if there are no contracting agencies
in your area, or if you want someone else to _help_ market
your services. (Never to replace your own marketing work.)
After my original posting, I was told that Kelly, among
others, has a "technical services" department, so you could
certainly register as a "professional".

<<Fighting the "tech writer is glorified typist" battle is
difficult enough without having tech writers reinforce the
idea by advertising themselves as secretaries.>>

Agreed. Sorry, Steve, if I misled you. The goal isn't to
advertise yourself as a secretary, but rather to reach
people who have never before heard the phrase "technical
writing/communication/etc." and who would only try to find
a good writer via a secretarial service. Once you've
reached them, you can do all the education you want, but
you've got to reach them first. If your local temp agencies
don't have a technical services branch, you could simply
leave them your resume and offer a finder's fee for anyone
who does call, looking for techwhirlers.

Again, let me emphasize my goal here: My suggestion is not
intended to replace proper job search or marketing
strategies... it's just another way to get your name out
there. The rest is up to you. Speaking of job searches, _PC
Magazine_ reviewed a few web-based resume repositories
(June 10/97, page 70: "Surfing for jobs"). If you're
looking, or think you might be soon, check it out for
details, but if you want to surf yourself, here are the
URLs (all begin with the usual prefix):

www.cweb.com = CareerWeb
www.careercity.com = Career City
www.careermosaic.com = Career Mosaic
www.jobtrak.com = Jobtrak

I haven't checked any of these personally (remember, I'm a
fat and happy wage slave), and I have no stakes in any of
the companies... this is purely an FYI, accompanied by a
hearty "buyer beware".

--Geoff Hart @8^{)} geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
Disclaimer: Speaking for myself, not FERIC.

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