A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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Are Business-Oriented Social Networking Web Sites Useful Resources for Locating Passive Jobseekers? Results of a Recent Study   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Employment recruiters often maintain that business-oriented social networking Web sites offer a fertile source of information concerning “passive” jobseekers. These individuals, according to placement specialists, are persons who are currently employed and not seeking a career change. Many human resources professionals maintain that passive jobseekers are especially desirable because they represent an untapped pool of potential candidates who are not already associated with placement agencies or other recruiting professionals. Also, many passive candidates are considered to be especially stable employees. Although special effort may be required to convince the passive jobseeker to seek employment elsewhere, this effort is worthwhile because of the quality of the individual and the ultimate payoff to the recruiter who successfully places the candidate . The managers of business-oriented social networking sites do not dispute the notion that their services are oriented toward passive jobseekers. Indeed, some of these sites, such as LinkedIn and Power Search, explicitly promote their networks as providing vast databases of passive candidates accessible to recruiters. However, the assumption that members of business-oriented social networking Web sites are passive jobseekers has never been validated. The purpose of this study is to examine the accuracy of this assumption.

DeKay, Sam. Business Communication Quarterly (2009). Careers>Unemployment>Social Networking


A Career in Technical Writing: Beach Time

Beach time and bench time refer to paid or unpaid time off between consulting contracts. When you are a contractor, it is best to take initiative and find other options no matter how much you trust your recruiter. Never trust a company to have your best interests in mind.

Hewitt, John. Writer's Resource Center (2008). Careers>Unemployment>Freelance>Technical Writing


Career Preservation in a Volatile and Competitive Work Market   (PDF)

The ideas presented in this paper reflect my 25 years of observations and work experience, and recent period of unemployment in 2002. These ideas apply most appropriately to the software, high tech, and telecom industries, but could easily apply to other industries, academia, government, or non-profit organizations.

Emerson, Nathan F. STC Proceedings (2003). Careers>Unemployment>Planning


Common Myths and Misconceptions About Layoffs

A Reduction-In-Force (RIF) or layoff is the easiest, fastest way to cut costs as companies trade immediate, short-term gains for long-term growth and performance. The detriment of this approach is wide-spread and lasting, yet management continues in this mode with greater frequency. More and more companies believe this policy just makes good business sense. But year after year, hard data and analysis disprove this notion. So let’s begin by examining some common myths about layoffs.

Barber, Kerri. TechCom Manager (2009). Careers>Management>Unemployment


Creating a Layoff Survival Kit   (PDF)

Details how technical communicators can prepare themselves for the possibility of job loss.

Scanlan, Ann. Intercom (2004). Careers>Unemployment


Dealing with Job Loss   (PDF)

Leonard-Wilkinson suggests how Web designers can cope with the problems of unemployment in a difficult market.

Leonard-Wilkinson, Theresa A. Intercom (2001). Careers>Unemployment>Web Design


Doing Good with Technical Communication Skills

Writers suggest people maintain or improve skills – or develop new skills – in some open-source type project where there is no pay, but plenty of opportunity to learn and, well, practice. This post is for sharing a few of those places of practice.

Mardahl, Karen. STC AccessAbility SIG (2009). Careers>TC>Unemployment>Open Source


Don't Wait to be Downsized!

Sure, the economy's booming now, but as the Asian crisis becomes the North American crisis, it pays to remember Newton's famous law of gravity: what goes up must come down again. And, of course, when the economy comes down and pension fund managers start asking those awkward questions about why they should remain invested in your company's stock, managers have a lemming-like tendency to trim staff to make room for short-term profits and long-term plausible deniability. As a technical communicator, you're obviously well up on the hit list, which some might see as a bad thing--but there's a silver lining to every cloud (or, in our case, a copper lining; they don't pay us well enough for silver). In fact, the good news is that it's easy to ensure you're the first one fired, so you can leave before the job becomes mundane without looking like a quitter. Then there are all those perquisites (severance pay, a little downtime)...

Hart, Geoffrey J.S. Geoff-Hart.com (1999). Careers>Unemployment>Planning>Technical Writing


Economic Woes Signal Content Industry Job Losses: It Could Happen To You!

One thing this experience has taught me is that basically, most people, are good, concerned and genuinely want to help you in your time of need.

Hoffmann, Maxwell. Content Wrangler, The (2008). Careers>Unemployment


Finding a Job as a Technical Communicator: Strategies for Defining Goals and Opportunities   (PDF)

One of our main objectives as technical communicators is to practice our craft. Those of us who are unemployed or underemployed know that we need to have the job we want in order to make the contribution we know we can. Those of us who are currently employed should be continually looking for that next opportunity. The same skills that make us good technical communicators serve us well in our job search. With a little inspiration and a lot of perspiration, we can get the right job.

Eiler, Craig A. and Beth M. Gallob. STC Proceedings (1994). Careers>Unemployment


Fire Up Your Frozen Job Search   (PDF)

Graden analyzes the reasons why job searches sometimes stall and suggests how technical communicators looking for employment can regain momentum.

Graden, Katherine E. Intercom (2002). Careers>Unemployment


Health Care Prescriptions for a Terminal Job

What do you do about medical insurance coverage if you are laid off?

Randolph, Brett W.F. Boston Broadside (1992). Careers>Unemployment>Biomedical


Job Hunting in a Global Market   (PDF)

An international demand for native English-speaking technical communicators has provided many opportunities for North Americans to seek employment overseas. At the same time, there are many who have dreamed about working abroad. Those interested in pursuing international employment should learn various job-search techniques, and should be aware of differing re'sume' requirements. Know what you will do if and when a job offer is made, and prepare yourself for the move. Living and working overseas can be exciting, but it is also challenging. You must be willing to accommodate yourself to the local culture. The Internet is an essential tool for international job seekers.

Van Laan, Krista, Carol Chubiz and Donald J. Plummer. STC Proceedings (1998). Careers>Unemployment>International


Job Hunting in a Recession   (PDF)   (members only)

Being unemployed can be very stressful and difficult—but being unemployed during a recession can be even worse. Molisani gives his tips and advice on how to weather the storm, and what steps you can take to find a job.

Molisani, Jack. Intercom (2008). Careers>Unemployment>TC


Job Hunting Resources: Webcasts

The current economic downturn seems to have impacted almost every industry within the United States and many abroad. It has already had a direct impact on the employment status of an increasing number of individuals, including technical communicators. STC will assist with an economic recovery plan for those technical communicators who have already been laid off or expect to be soon. These only work for Internet Explorer users on Microsoft Windows computers.

STC (2009). Careers>Advice>Unemployment>STC


Lessons of Survivor Literature in Communicating Decisions to Downsize   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Many companies have entered a new era of human resources management–one based on transaction cost economics and one in which downsizing has become a permanent part of the corporate landscape. But their insistence on communicating decisions to downsize solely in economic terms is creating serious problems among employees who survive the layoffs. Disloyalty, disaffection, increased absenteeism, and even acts of sabotage are growing among workers who view downsizing as a social, not economic, issue. This article discusses the new era of human resources management and reviews survivor literature in an effort to provide guidance to companies about how to communicate downsizing, specifically, and how to communicate with the postdownsized workforce, generally.

Guiniven, John E. Journal of Business and Technical Communication (2001). Careers>Unemployment>Workplace


Looking for a Job? Try LinkedIn or Twitter

Social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are transforming the job search process, enabling more and more people to connect with potential employers, promote their own skills, set up support groups and search for job leads and contacts.

Zeidler, Sue. Washington Post, The (2009). Careers>Unemployment>Social Networking


Making Lemonade From a Layoff   (PDF)   (members only)

Layoffs are all too often a fact of life in today’s economy. Your actions after a layoff can go a long way toward making sure you not only spend a short time on the sidelines but also stay sane while there. Houghton uses examples from experience on how to best navigate your way through a layoff into your next job.

Houghton, Rachel. Intercom (2010). Careers>Unemployment


Making Unemployment Work for You

So that's it. You've gotten your freedom, your walking papers, your pink slip. Redundancy, dismissal, restructuring, it all amounts to the same thing: you are unemployed. So what are you going to do now? Look for another job, of course, or maybe start your own business. In either case, given today's job market, chances are you're going to have more than enough opportunity for reflection. So while you're busy rewriting your resume for the nth time and scouring the job sites, here are ten simple tips that will help you make the most of your freedom and empower you to take charge of your unemployment

Bernescut, Beatrice. Communication World Bulletin (2003). Careers>Unemployment


Motivation in the 1990's: The Stability Crisis   (PDF)

This paper presents some of the challenges and approaches to dealing with corporate downsizing, both from a management and personal viewpoint. It identifies some behavioral characteristics of people experiencing stress due to job instability. In addition, it gives some suggestions for managing your own stress and helping your employees through difficult times.

See, Edward J.P. and Tara C. Scanlon. STC Proceedings (1993). Careers>Unemployment>Management


Outplacement: Why It Doesn't Work

If you are offered career transition support as part of your severance, do yourself a favour and opt out of the collective program, but find out how much has been set aside for the outplacement program. Then, ask your HR department to hold those funds for you until you can find an independent career consultant to work with, on an individual, tailored-to-your-needs, custom program. Independent career consultants like myself can work with you for a much longer period of time for the same budget the company is prepared to allocate to the big firm. When you find your independent, personal career consultant or coach, they can invoice your former company, and your ex-employer’s conscience can rest easy. And you can then arrange with your personal career coach when you want to start and how fast you want to go. At your convenience, not theirs.

Hamer, Emma C. Hamer Associates (2009). Careers>Unemployment>Advice


The Paucity of Part-Timers

As a technical writer with over seven years of experience and a Master's degree, I am disappointed with the lack of part-time jobs and lack of responsiveness by employers to create part-time technical writing positions.

Fass, Lisa. Boston Broadside (1992). Careers>Unemployment>Freelance


Smart Job Searching: Second Year of STC WorkQuest   (PDF)

Looking for work can be lonely, frustrating, depressing, and demoralizing. Job seekers can battle these effects by joining a support group that not only motivates and empowers, but also provides concrete information about how to conduct a job search. STC WorkQuest is such a support group sponsored by the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication.

Ramey, Janis G. STC Proceedings (2004). Careers>Unemployment>Collaboration>STC


Stop Whining About Outsourcing!

I’m sick of hearing all the whining about how outsourcing is going to migrate all IT jobs to the country with the lowest wages.

Patterson, David. Queue (2005). Careers>Unemployment>Outsourcing>Offshoring


Supporting Our Members through Lean Times

The Twin Cities chapter offers a variety of services to help out-of-work and underemployed writers and editors. Of these services, the most important is something that many members may take for granted: opportunities for volunteers. Members may not realize it, but volunteering at the chapter level improves their marketability by helping them acquire new skills and hone the skills they already have. Some of the Society’s most loyal and active members are those whose careers have seen marked improvement as a result of their participation in STC.

Levander, Deanne K. Tieline (2003). Careers>Unemployment>Community Building>STC



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