Re: FWD: Marketing tech writers and consulting companies

Subject: Re: FWD: Marketing tech writers and consulting companies
From: John Posada <john -at- TDANDW -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 1999 11:18:23 -0500

Disclaimer: While I am a contractor, I do not play one on TV. Also, the
following post may have a misspelling or two, the selection of a word
that may not have been the best possible choice, and is, in general, the
rantings and ravings of a writer with five software releases going out
in the next two weeks.

Dear Anonymous User:
>
>
> Many on this list are contractors, so I'd like to ask some advice.
> About six months ago I began working for a consulting company as a
> full-time employee. I get all the benefits (health insurance,
> vacation, sick days, etc.) through them. They pay "bench time" (which
> I have not had to use yet). We are in a large metropolitan area with
> significant high-tech industries.
>
> The problem is that this company is simply not marketing its writers.
> They actively place and market their programmers, business
> consultants, system consultants and other professionals, but they seem
> to only have jobs in far-outlying areas for writers....and it's almost
> as an afterthought. My first contract with them required me to drive
> about 70 miles per day (all freeways, so it took about 2-4 hours
> driving per day). I'm currently winding down my project and the next
> possible project is even further! I'm so frustrated.

First...you started with them 6 months ago. I'm assuming that this is
your first contract with them. If you weren't happy with the distance
when it was proposed, why did you take it? Was it to get experience? OK,
consider the commute your payment for it.

Second...you haven't had downtime, but you aren't happy with how they
are marketing you. You cannot do much better than no downtime and paid
bench if that should happen.

Third...If you aren't happy with the possible conditions of the next
project, "Just say no". You aren't an indentured servant, you are a
contract tech writer. I've used four different agencies for the last
five contracts (with another one starting in two weeks), and upon
leaving them, we still remained friends...or at least parted on good
terms. They won't take it personal if you treat them fairly. I do it by
giving them a head start on finding a replacement contract before
placing myself on the general market.

Nothing personal, but you seem to be placing the blame on the agency for
conditions that you created either through complacency or by not
standing up for yourself. Assert your wishes, let them know what you do
want, and if they cannot give it to you, as you said, you are in an area
with significant opportunities. Go shopping.

Remember...you are the product from which they make their money. Make
them earn it.


--
John Posada, Technical Writer
Telcordia Technologies, the company formerly known as Bellcore
mailto:john -at- tdandw -dot- com mailto:jposada -at- telcordia -dot- com
phone(w) 732-699-3077 phone(h) 732-291-7811
alpha-pager: 800-864-8444 pin 1857522 http://www.tdandw.com
email pager: mailto:1857522 -at- pagemart -dot- net
My opinions are mine, and neither you nor my company can take credit for
them.
"Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish,
and he will sit in a boat and smoke cigars all day."
"The only perfect document I ever created is still on my hard drive."


From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=



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