Exploring Tech. Comm. Opportunities: Working Outside the Tech Doc Box - Nov 16
Sunday, 23 October 2011

Perhaps we technical communicators are Renaissance People, prepared to bring our broad collection of interests, skills, experience, and talent to new work. All we need is to understand how to parlay our expertise as technical communicators into new roles within our companies or to charge ahead on a new career path. The skills, aptitudes, and persistence technical communicators deliver along with their documentation products have wide-ranging value that can keep us gainfully employed in challenging roles that require effective communication, ability to interpret complex information for targeted audiences, and patience. Presenters Gina Gotsill and Judith Herr will explore possible career growth for technical communicators partly by referencing our own stories. We will look at how technical communicators can work effectively and thrive outside familiar subject matter – applying the same skills they have honed during their careers. The presentation will include… · Two hot areas where tech communicators fit · Resources for researching “outside the box” · Checklists about what makes us special (“Encouraging Exercise”) · Q&A , discussion, sharing audience comments and experience

About Gina Gotsill, Proposal & Marketing Manager at TechProse A journalist at heart, Gina Gotsill transitioned into copywriting in 2004 when she started writing special section copy for newspapers on a freelance basis. It was a move she never dreamed she would make, but once she started, she realized all writing starts with fact-finding and reporting. She embraced those early opportunities, which eventually led to a position in 2006 at TechProse, where she started as a Proposal Writer. Today, she manages the majority of the marketing and proposal content the company generates and relies on her skills in reporting and journalism to create accurate and timely documents. In 2010, she co-authored Surviving the Baby Boomer Exodus: Capturing Knowledge for Gen X and Y Employees (Cengage) with TechProse co-worker Ken Ball. About Judith Herr: President, Well Chosen Words; STC Fellow With 30 years experience in technical communication and project and team management, Judith Herr applies her unique combination of expertise, training, energy, and humor to bridging the gap between extremely focused scientists, engineers, and senior managers and their targeted audiences. She has managed teams preparing highly complex documents and proposals for both government and corporate clients. Her knowledge and expertise is spread across a broad range of disciplines including information technology, public health, environmental services, occupational safety, manufacturing, medical, safeguards and security, and scientific research. After 10 years directing technical communication projects and teams for a large high tech consulting firm, Judy started her own consulting firm, Well Chosen Words in 2001. Having raising her hand to volunteer at her first STC meeting about 25 years ago, Judith has served in every chapter position. She became an STC Fellow in 2006 and received the STC President’s Award in 2011. Judith served from 2008-2011 on the Board of Directors for the Society. Although retired this year, Judith continues to provide pro bono support and mentoring. Judith holds a BA in sociology and mass communication from the University of Texas and a Masters in Public Health from Tulane University. She lived three years in Belgium and three in Malaysia and traveled extensively in Europe and Asia. Since then, she has applied her education and her experience as an expat to every work endeavor, emphasizing the importance of effective and culturally sensitive virtual as well as occasional face-to-face communication to accomplish missions and objectives.