Subject: Burnout?
From: surfer924 -at- earthlink -dot- net
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 9 Feb 2001 7:39:48

I am relatively new to the Tech Writing field, though I am on my third job
in as many years. I came to TW as a second career after retiring from
military service. As a beginning tech writer with a fresh college degree,
it took me almost a year to break into the field. In the mean time, I took
a job doing market research just to pay the bills. Just when I reached the
point of frustration and was ready to give up, I landed an entry-level job
in the engineering department of an IT company. The manager and the other
engineers were happy to have me, and were overjoyed when they found out I
actually knew what I was doing and wanted to do it right (apparently the
person I replaced was less than competent and really difficult to get along
with). The other tech writer was a seasoned veteran who acted like a mentor
for my first few months. I felt like I had made it. All in all it was a
good job.

After about six months, we had a reorganization and fourteen people were
laid off (including my boss)and the two tech writers were placed under
marketing (but technically we still worked for engineering). I hung in
there for another six months, then other things started happening within
the company to make working there less than tolerable. Now that I had over
a year's experience doing actual technical writing, I decided to start
looking for another job. In a few short weeks I found one with a defense
contractor offering me a $10K. raise with a signing bonus! (I thought only
engineers & programmers got those). I took the job, which I have been doing
for the last six months. I'm writing twice as many documents as I did in my
last job, making more money, learning new software, and my boss is
constantly telling me what a great job I'm doing.

So what's the problem? I think I'm getting burned out. Lately, the thought
of going in and sitting in front of the computer all day writing documents
that nobody is going to read is making it almost impossible to get out of
bed. I get to work and I find myself watching the clock waiting for the day
to be over.

To those of you who are long-time technical writers, is this common? Is it
a passing phase or did I pick the wrong profession?

Thanks in advance for your feedback.

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