Career Opportunities

The High-Tech Career Handbook

A weekly ComputorEdge Column by Douglas E. Welch

Nine Years!

July 1, 2005

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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.

Looking back

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.

Looking forward

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 printed.

One example is the column from November 1998 entitled “The Right Way to Resign.” (See: 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

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.

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