atw: Re: Fields of Tech Communication

Hi Ilana

I'm looking at a permanent job at the moment after years of contracting so 
I'm going the other way from you.  Contract work is in my experience more 
exciting, interesting and varied but you can forget about security, and I 
would hate to add up how much time I spend finding work versus actually 
doing any.  Fortunately the pay is better and that makes up for a lot.  The 
move from innovating to maintenance mode you describe has been the same for 
my contract jobs, but in three to six months rather than your two years. 
Maybe its just due to the smaller scale of companies here in Perth, but its 
also true that they tend to expect more from contract staff.   Good luck 
with the move.

Damian Forlani-Brennan
damian@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Tara Forge
www.taraforge.com.au
0438 411 323
(08) 9561 6304
PO Box 111 Two Rocks WA 6037

"Sometimes being nice is just not being as nasty as you could be." (Angie 
Eves)

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ilana Cohney" <Ilana.Cohney@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <austechwriter@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, December 16, 2004 6:59 AM
Subject: atw: Re: Fields of Tech Communication


> Hi all,
> Not exactly the same topic but I also am considering a  work change.
> Over the years I have been mainly working in a series of permanent
> positions for both IT and non-IT orgnisations.  I have been in my
> current position for two years.  I seems that after a couple of years in
> an orgnisation, the profile and worth of the technical writer is much
> less than it was at the beginning.  When I commence a new job there is
> usually much appreciation that at last there is someone who can actually
> write to take over all those pesky documents and Help projects.  After a
> year or two the core system, online and procedure documents have been
> written and (in my experience) the writer goes into "maintenance" mode.
> This means that you are no longer seen as an important asset to the
> company.  As was so innocently put to me by my boss last week, "In our
> experience, no-one actually uses the online Help anyway!" After all
> documentation does not actually generate revenue for the business like
> programming or project management does!
>
> My question actually is, how difficult is it to actually make a decent
> living out of contract work?  At the moment, it certainly looks more
> appealing to me than dealing with another lot of patronising,
> unappreciative ....need I say more...  set of bosses.  My problem is
> that when I am looking for work, I panic and accept a permanent job and
> its security because the thought of starving does not appeal much
> either.  Those of you contractors, do you find the constant job search a
> real grind or do the benefits outweigh the negatives of a permanent
> position?
> Ilana
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