You know why you joined STC. Do you know why you should stay?
By W.C. Wiese
1. Job Quality
You’ve got a job. Is it the one you want to keep?
Consider the range of things we do as technical communicators. We document products, maintain databases of product information, develop interfaces, write policies and procedures, create indices, write new business proposals, design and develop content for websites, and provide user help, all while advocating for our profession and individual goals. But they don’t hand over the interface design keys until you’ve earned them.
That partly explains the wide variety of Help Wanted job descriptions and the inevitable requirement for communicators to have five years of experience. In most cases, future employers don’t know what you can do but also can’t train you. They can’t evaluate your skills, but also can’t risk the company and its product reputation to someone still practicing.
STC membership helps solve these issues. For one, other chapter members have been down that road, finding ways to make needed job changes as they became more specialized. They can advise you, help build your resume, and coach for interviews. There are ways to demonstrate you have extensive experience without having been in the field for a given length of time. Plus, demonstrating membership in your professional society raises your status by demonstrating commitment to our profession and continued growth.
You might also consider becoming a Certified Professional Technical Communicator. This certification and completion of STC workshops can give you the credentials and specialties that make you the preferred choice for a future job opportunity.
And how will you find that new opportunity? Though STC, of course. STC provides members with a robust Job Bank and Career Center that lists career opportunities with leading organizations around the world. You can also access resources to post a resume or create a personal job alert to let you know when jobs you want are available. This service is free to members.
Editor’s note: This article is being released as a series over a few months- be sure to check MtM regularly so you don’t miss it!
An STC Fellow with 45 years’ experience in aerospace marketing support and program communications, W.C. currently serves as Florida Chapter Treasurer. He has served STC as Society Treasurer and as a member of the Board of Directors. He previously served as President of STC’s Orlando Chapter and Treasurer. W.C. has presented at 13 Annual Conferences.