View Full Version : Just a thought on Employment Leads

02-25-2004, 03:47 AM
This is my first post in this forum, although I've followed along for several weeks. I thought I might add another thought to the notion of developing employment leads.

I'm a Project Manager for ODP (Dept. of Homeland Security, Office for Domestic Preparedness) and as such, have occasion to speak with WMD-mitigation planners and managers from all over the United States and US Territories.

From time to time, all of the State-level Emergency Management offices are in dire need of technical writers for nealry every aspect of "domestic preparedness." I've asked, and been asked, about the most reliable source for finding tech-specialists and writers, and the most common answer is Monster.com. Many of these jobs are long-term, e-commute positions. For what it's worth...

02-25-2004, 03:56 AM
Liam, thanks for your insights. In cases like these, exactly how technical is it?


02-25-2004, 04:08 AM
Eileen, it varies. The field is enormous, and will only expand over the next couple of years. Some of the talents most in demand are:

Training developers ("instructor qualification" course developement)

Writers with "Adult Education" course development credentials

Grant Writers (Huge demand at the state and municiple level)

Writers with in Operations Management Policy/Procedure development.

Writers with "field exercise" development experience.

There are other areas, some far more techincal, some not nearly so techincal.

For instance, one aspect of my own project, is the development (writing) of courseware and teaching the "Operation, Maintenance, and Decontamination of First Responder (Fire/Police/Hazmat) WMD detection equipment. (Student throughput, approx. 33,000, nationwide, to date)

In addition, we developed and teach Mass Casualty Decontamination procedures and Personal Protective Equipment, levels A & B.

We also develop internal policy/procedure manuals that require much less technical expertise. As I said, the range and scope is enormous.

Oh, by the way...if you're interested in this field(s) check the FEMA website. They provide a multitude of online courses in the field of WMD Emergency Management, many of which are free.

02-25-2004, 04:18 AM
If you need help in anything technical including Security Sytems, Fire Alarm, Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, Operations Management, etc. Let me know.

I am technically not a "Published Writer" but I wrote many Facilities Management and Technical Procedures Manuals for some high profile customers.

It would not hurt me to take on some small assignments

[email protected]

02-25-2004, 05:54 AM
R, all of the assignments in my project are long-term, but there may be some short-term, e-commute opportunities with some agencies that we do business with. I'll see what I can find out and pass it your way.

02-25-2004, 06:46 AM
Liam, thank you for all that great info. A few more questions for you.

What exactly are adult education course development credentials? For instance, I've written, developed and taught my own (personal finance) seminars for adults, but don't have any kind of certification or anything.

As a copywriter with B2B and B2C experience, is there a place for me in all this? If I have access to the people I need to interview for information, and samples of the project type, I can get up to speed pretty quickly.

I also spent 8 years working for DOD myself as a Russian-English translator, and much of it was quite technical. But that was over a decade ago. Would that count for anything, do you s'pose?

Any general suggestions on how to approach this? Department names, job titles, etc?

Thanks in advance,

02-25-2004, 07:08 AM
Eileen, former DoD creds/experience are a major plus. if you post your resume on Monster, be sure to highlight that experience.

And yes, from what you've stated, you would certainly be a candidate. As for Adult Ed. tickets, pervious experience in actual development of courseware is the most important/sought-after asset. The ODP field, like most other professional areas, is fond of college graduates, however, real world experience is a prized commodity.

The thing about domestic preparedness is that it's such a new and expanding field. While it's certainly not a new concept, municipalities, counties, states and federal programs are taking new and innovative approaches to the issues of training and education. Never a better time than the present to enter into the field. It's not going away anytime soon, either.

02-25-2004, 07:35 AM
Thanks once again, Liam. And yet more questions!
Is there a way to go direct rather than via Monster?
And you described these as e-commute positions. Is that the same as freelancing on a long term contract? Or is it a salaried position? I live in Annapolis, Maryland, just half an hour from Baltimore and Washington; hopefully that, too, will be a bonus.
Thanks once again for your insights.

02-25-2004, 08:01 AM
The "problem" with the ODP field is that very few agencies had any template to work from for "start-up," therefore they applied the trial-n-error method to program development. And many of those same agencies are a long way from having a finished product. There's still a lot of evolution going on the development level.

As far as a direct line to these opportunities, a search of State employment agencies for opportunities in the domestic preparedness field will likely turn up some leads. Oddly, many programs don't advertise positions. They simply test the talent/resource pool with entities such as Monster.

In this particular field, short term assignments seem to be more common at the State level, although DoD contractors such as Battelle, Titan, EAI, SAIC General Physics, etc., offer most of the e-commute positions. (My Configuration Management Specialist works from home, half way across the country and I see her maybe twice a year.

Edited note: regarding compensation, you'll find a mix of "contract" work and salaried employment.

02-25-2004, 10:04 AM
Hi Liam, thanks for all that wonderful info. I had been wondering about writing opportunities in that field as I have written a lot about personal safety and self defense etc. I also have many contacts in the world of personal protection and law enforecment and military to call on for research and quotes etc.

Are there any magazines or periodicals relating to the Homeland Security that you could tell us about and that might be open to freelancers?

Again, thanks for posting, it's really nice to 'meet' you.:)

02-25-2004, 03:45 PM
Thanks for the welcome, Biz.

The only periodical that I read regularly is the Homeland Defense Journal. I'll check next week and see what other publications might be available.

02-25-2004, 11:01 PM
That would be great, I'll look forward to see what you turn up with. :)

Kempo Kid
07-03-2004, 10:35 AM
How do I apply?

I'm a tech writer with a science degree. I'm worked for engineering, IT, telecommunications, and scientific concerns as well as writing course material for software classes and software documentation. I've also taught editing and writing.

My resume is on Monster with all this stuff on it, but I've gotten very few responses lately. In fact, everything seems to have dried up. Nobody seems to be hiring tech writers.

02-26-2005, 07:20 PM
I own a technical writing outsourcing company. We have done everything from highly technical manuals to consumer shrink-wrap product documentation. Many of my people also teach university extension classes that they designed and created.

We are an excellent choice to get into this field. How do I reach this market? Is there a palce for an outsourcing company that hasn't done DoD work before?