Contract vs. Full time

Subject: Contract vs. Full time
From: Karen Steele <KAREN -at- BILBO -dot- BITNET>
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 1994 15:27:52 -0600

I'm trying not to be insulted as I read the posts on this topic.

> Since we hire most of
> our exempts as college new hires, our exempts tend to be better qualified.

What is it, exactly, that makes a fresh college graduate better qualified than
an experienced contractor?
Perhaps all that interviewing for jobs? Or maybe all the experience gained as a
college student?

Your logic escapes me.

> Contract employees
> have no illusion of career path, so will tend to stick with the
> security of a steady paycheck.

Oh, yeah? Since when did contract work offer the illusion of a steady paycheck?
If I wanted a steady
paycheck I'd become a full-time employee at some company where I could document
the same
technologies, and the same products, year in and year out.

Unfortunately, many former full-time employees, and out of work writers take up
contracting to "make do" in
between jobs. There is a big difference between these "warm bodies", and a
professional freelance or
contract technical writer.

Some of us are hired for our expertise. Special skills not available from the
"captive" workforce can be
purchased on the open market -- for a price. Usually the need for these skills
is not long term. And most
companies don't want to pay for them forever.

> Left with a bad taste in my mouth,
> Maria

I'm sorry you had a bad experience. Your writer did not behave very
professionally. Usually you & your
contractor would have a contract. You spell out the terms and conditions to be
met by both parties. For
example, you were expecting 40 hours of service per week, and two weeks notice
of termination. My
contract calls for the same thing -- and I suspect most professional contractors
write their contracts in a
similar manner. This protects me, as well as my client.

You can have a bad experience with a contractor or a permanent employee. The
qualities that make a
technical writer good at what they do contribute on both sides of this fence.

There are rotten apples in every bucket. But please don't assume that all
apples are rotten based on one
bad experience.

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