You know why you joined STC. Do you know why you should stay?
By W.C. Wiese
You’re a young professional and you’ve joined the Florida Chapter, either while a student or part of a continuing job search after graduation. With any luck, you’ve met a few grizzled professionals, gotten some useful career insights, and learned a little more about the business world than they told you about in college. In return, the Florida Chapter has benefitted from your energy and optimism while you grow in your first job or continue a hopeful search.
For many young members in the Society for Technical Communication, this is the story of their beautiful, but short, relationship with the professional society that is best able to sustain them throughout their career. Since 2002, for example, more than 160 student members participated in Florida Chapter’s widely recognized mentorship program. Year after year, veteran chapter members have augmented classroom lessons with their own experience, helped to focus and polish resumes, shared in job searches, and conducted practice interviews.
Yet, disappointingly, only a fraction of our mentees renew their STC membership.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average American worker holds an average of 9.3 different jobs between age 25 and 52. But because companies usually aren’t as committed to technical communicators, that number could be larger for us. Especially if you are a contractor.
So now that you’ve landed your first position as a technical communicator, you might think your need for an STC membership is over. It’s not. Here’s why.
Editor’s note: This article is going to be 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.