July 1, 2005
** Listen to this
column on your computer, iPod or other audio player **
As unbelievable as it might seem, this column marks
the beginning of my ninth year writing Career Opportunities. At 51 columns
per year, the grand total of individual articles comes in at 408 with
a total word count somewhere around 286,000 words. These totals stagger
me. They also humble me. Looking back on all the work, though, I still
relish the hundreds of thousands of words to come. Many thanks to Computoredge
for providing me a platform for my thoughts and my hopes for the future
of the world of high tech work.
Over the years, I have received many wonderful letters from people who
took my writing to heart and used it to improve their high-tech careers
and their lives. I am always excited to receive letters from readers,
even if they sometimes contain harsh realities that I might not otherwise
welcome. It is through these letters, , that I hone my thinking and my
writing, developing new ways of reaching out to the people at the other
end of these typeset pages.
In many cases, you will have found me in these pages, in either thinly
disguised scenarios or fully exposed, warts and all. I make my observations
by living them and living with a high-tech career has always provided
me plenty of fodder. All of it has passed through these pages, the good
companies, the bad companies, excellent co-workers, friends and acquaintances,
hard times and good times. As a recent column related, I try to live my
life as a good example to those around me. This includes showing the troubles
as well as the triumphs. I certainly hope you have gotten as much out
of my life stories as I have.
Back in September of 2004, I finally got a chance to try a new project
I had been thinking about for years – and audio version of Career
Opportunities. Technology finally met up with my desires in the form of
“podcasting,” – radio shows that could be downloaded
to your computer or your portable MP3 player. It felt good to finally
put a physical “voice” to my writing, allowing me a bit more
freedom of expression and nuance to the printed word. Podcasting has opened
up a completely new world of “readers” to Career Opportunities
from around the globe. I have received requests for reprints from the
around the world, including Europe, North America and the Philippines.
So now I sit each week, with microphones and headset, knowing that the
words travel farther than I might ever imagine.
The High-Tech Career Handbook
As some of you may have noticed, I have added a sub-title to the name
of this column on my web site and in my podcast. The idea of The High-Tech
Career Handbook came to me when I was preparing a print collection of
past columns. Whether I had planned it or not, taken together, this is
exactly what these columns are – a handbook that can be referred
to again and again, whenever questions present themselves. Many of the
columns are, to use a publishing term, evergreens. This means they still
provide good and useful information regardless of when they were originally
One example is the column from November 1998 entitled “The Right
Way to Resign.” (See: http://www.welchwrite.com/dewelch/ce/ce9811.asp)
This is consistently one of the most accessed columns on my web site.
Additionally, each week, I now glean one article from the archives and
re-present it as a podcast. In this way I hope to introduce new readers
and listeners to some of the gems of Career-Op past. You can find these
“From the Archives” columns, as well as the podcasts on my
web site at http://welchwrite.com/career/.
I hope you all continue on this high-tech career journey with me. I would
love to hear your comments and questions about this column or your own
high-tech career. Maybe some of us will eventually approach retirement
together – or at least retirement planning (which all good investment
bankers say begins at 20!). That would certainly make for some interesting
columns. The high-tech work world is constantly changing and it is through
you, as well as my own career experience that I learn about new trends,
tricks and troubles. I eagerly await your email. Thank you all for making
this 8 year journey such a wonderful ride.