I am a mid-career operations professional, recently downsized, investigating the field of technical communications as a possible future career path. As an outsider with limited technical writing experience I reached out to the STC Philadelphia Metro Chapter to discover more about what a technical writer may experience in the real world. I initially emailed chapter Secretary Claire Hirai who immediately put me in touch with professionals Donn DeBoard and Barrie Byron. Mr. DeBoard and Ms. Byron selflessly allowed me to conduct informational interviews during casual lunch meetings and phone calls. It was as if I had hired a team of consultants to guide my entry into technical communications.
Both Mr. DeBoard and Ms. Byron gave me exceptional advice, introduced me to additional chapter members, consulted me on my resume and social media presence, and otherwise provided mentorship. Within a few weeks of emailing Secretary Hirai I had learned more about the career, and developed more new contacts in the field, than I could have under almost any other circumstance.
I attended a chapter meeting, where I met more working technical communicators and was warmly welcomed by a generous and friendly chapter membership, who gave exceptional professional advice to a complete stranger who simply asked. I enjoyed a detailed seminar given by the effervescent Barrie Byron, on how to best utilize LinkedIn and other social media to promote your career. This valuable information will serve any professional who wanted to get more out of his or her career.
I heartily recommend the STC Philadelphia Metro Chapter for its exceptionally friendly, professional, and supportive membership. Anyone who wants to network productively with technical communications professionals will find a group of successful men and women more than happy to provide mentorship and consultation.
Dave Gorga, Operations Professional making the change to Technical Communications