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Career Planning in a Post-Pandemic World

A Two-Day Online Seminar, 3 – 4 October 2022

10 Online Seminars focused on Career Planning in a Post-Pandemic World

COVID-19 has disrupted where we work, how we work, and sometimes even why we work. The impact of the pandemic was sudden, causing many to lose their jobs and shifting others to work from home to minimize contact with others. From the Great Resignation to a very competitive candidate market to extensive layoffs, we’ve seen massive swings in what’s happening in employment in the last couple of years.

These sizeable shifts have provided many opportunities for technical communicators. Clear and relevant communication is more essential than ever, providing valuable information about health care, improving interactions across an increasingly remote workforce, and building trust with your audience. How do you stay relevant and adapt your goals to this new world?

Purchase the recordings of the online seminars held 3-4 October 2022 to learn more about planning your tech comm career in a new professional construct.

Topics in the seminar include the following (see below for full descriptions of each session):

  • Technical communication in a pandemic-related field
  • Building trustworthy content with a skeptical audience
  • Switching from a permanent role to contractor and vice versa
  • Increasing digitalization of content
  • New soft skills needed by technical communicators
  • Personal branding
  • Career shift case studies during the pandemic
  • Work-life integration
  • Remote work tips and tricks
  • Changes to job search approaches during the pandemic
  • Changes to interview approaches in a candidate’s market

Purchasing the recordings of this seminar provides 4 CEUs toward CPTC currency. CEUs apply only to those who are certified; they cannot be counted retroactively.

Purchase Recordings!

  • $99.00 USD – STC Members
  • $129.00 USD – Non-Members

Online Seminar Sessions and Speakers

Author Unknown: Marketing Your Documentation, Managing Multiple Projects, And Protecting Your Wellness in A Remote, Start-Up Environment, Cheyenna Eversoll Duggan

Working as a technical communicator in a remote environment can often feel like we’re on a lonely island, performing a one person circus. Sometimes we’re juggling 5+ projects at once for teams we’ve never met in person. Communicating with SMEs and Stakeholders without the advantage of catching someone in the hallway or tagging yourself into a conversation means hours of stalking long Slack (or related messenger) threads to ensure documentation needs are even being met. It’s easy to forget a professional writer exists to address these needs.

We know the value of our work as communicators, but without this face to face contact we may fall into the habit of overworking, overthinking, and burnout. In this session, I’ll present techniques and strategies for and share my own personal experiences with managing multiple remote projects at once, making your presence known to your peers and your org as the functional expert in your area, and protecting your own wellness especially if you’re working as the only writer or a small team in a remote, start-up environment.

Keeping Score: Advance Your Career by Tracking Personal KPIs (STC Summit Encore presentation), Jennifer Goode

Are you ready to advance your career, but unsure of how to start? There are several strategies for advancing your career, but using personal key performance indicators (KPIs) is a unique strategy that can help you fast track your career. In business, you must be able to continually prove your value and proactively communicate that value with key managers and stakeholders—you can’t assume your manager will know your accomplishments.

Join this interactive session where you’ll learn how to systematically track your professional activities using five unique resources, translate your activities into personal KPIs targeted directly to your stakeholders, and convey your personal value to organizational leaders using KPIs and targeted communication strategies.

During this session, you’ll also track your own professional activities from a previous month, translate them into personal KPIs, link your KPIs to personal value, and create a communication plan to support your advancing career.

From In-Person to One Person: Catapulting My Career Forward During a Pandemic, Ashley Gordon

In the middle of a modern pandemic, I left my job of four years at a health tech behemoth to become the very first technical writer at a healthcare startup. In my previous role, I was one of dozens of writers in an established department filled with processes, guidelines, and rules. But my role was stagnating, and I didn’t see much room for advancement. As the Great Resignation began, I started considering other options that better aligned with my professional and personal priorities.

Enter: Luma Health. The young startup was looking to establish a documentation department, and the company was fully remote. My professional life reversed overnight: I went from a team of dozens to a team of one. I went from in-person to remote. And I went from an established department to a blank slate. In this session, I’ll discuss how I managed each of these changes and used them to catapult myself and my department forward. I’ll discuss the difficulties I faced in building a department from the ground up, and I’ll explore the benefits and challenges to consider when making a switch like mine.

Knowledge Management Strategies for the Great Resignation, Liz Herman

Organizations are facing significant knowledge loss right now due to the great resignation and the seismic shift to distributed workforces. In many organizations, a lack of senior leadership focus and funding on knowledge management (KM) initiatives has led to growing gaps in knowledge. What was previously working in terms of employee engagement is falling short as pandemic fatigue continues to damper efforts. Any boost in organic knowledge sharing among employees that was prevalent at the pandemic’s beginning when there seemed to be no shortage of employees wanting to help each other has abated. Despite these challenges, it is not too late for technical communicators to help their organizations act to preserve knowledge and meaningfully engage the workforce.

Content Governance: For Good and for Growth (STC Summit Encore presentation), Chris Hester

Content work is rooted in process: we plan, create, and deliver content, measure the results, and then plan, create, and deliver again. For some teams, the process is consistent with high-quality results, consistently. For other teams, it’s the opposite: a small change can have a long-term impact.

Content governance is essential to the content process. Join this session to learn how a governance framework can impact a content team’s performance and results. I’ll share lessons learned from previous projects as I walk through the elements that make up a content governance framework and examples of governance deliverables. I'll also provide tips for getting started on a framework for your team and implementing governance as a structure that enables work, not as a set of work rules.

This session is for content strategists, managers, and cross-functional stakeholders who face the complexities of content projects and want to help their teams succeed at getting the right work done at the right time.

Remote Interviewing — Finding the Right Fit, Suzanne Kelchner

Whether it’s a candidate’s market or an employer’s market, the purpose of interviewing is to find the right fit between candidate and employer. This is true for both contract work and full time employment.

When you work remotely, you may never meet your manager or co-workers in person. So how can you make sure you’re signing on with the right company? How will you know if you fit into the company culture? How does interviewing remotely affect this process?

Interviewing online has both positives and negatives. Learn how to work with the setting to get to the true purpose of an interview, such as eye contact, interruptions, and the narrow field of view. I’ll discuss:

  • The key factors in what candidates need to know about themselves and what they need in a company.
  • What I look for as a hiring manager.
  • How to foster positive communication between the hiring manager and candidate to ensure a good fit.
  • How to mitigate some of the issues in interviewing remotely, and enhance the positives.

Teach Old Soft Skills New Tricks in a Post-Pandemic World, Michael Harvey

To be more effective at work, technical communication professionals can use the soft skills of listening, negotiating, persuading, and presenting, and social skills such as empathy and cooperation. Traditionally, you develop these skills through in person contact, reading coworkers in real time, sometimes in formal meetings and other times during impromptu conversations. The lockdowns imposed by COVID-19 eliminated in person contact for what seemed an eternity. After lockdowns were lifted, in person contact was drastically diminished as many workers chose to work remotely. In a post- pandemic world, technical communicators must learn how to develop and exercise soft skills differently.

This presentation provides specific tips to transform in-person soft skills for use in a hybrid work environment. It offers practical advice for how to reach the most remote of your remote colleagues, build trust across physically distributed teams, and ensure clear communication regardless of the channel used.

Visual Personal Branding, Randy Krum

Recruiters and hiring managers are looking through hundreds of candidates for an open position, so you only have SIX SECONDS or less to make a memorable impression. By using the powerful benefits of visual design and data visualization in your own Personal Branding Strategy you will stand out from the crowd of candidates and be memorable. You should communicate your abilities and attributes to potential employers and clients with visual content online, on LinkedIN and with an infographic resume!  This presentation will show you some of the best examples of using visual content to promote yourself with images, websites, profiles, infographic resumes, and the tools and understanding you need to design your own.

What I Didn’t Know I Didn’t Know About Freelancing, Alisa Bonsignore

Presumably, you’re considering self-employment because you’re good at what you do, and you also see a market for that skill as a service. That’s an excellent starting point! There are two factors at play when deciding whether the self-employed life is for you. The first is an understanding of what the market will bear. The second — and arguably more important — is understanding your own financial needs.

Who needs to understand this?

  • Anyone going independent by choice
  • Anyone going independent by necessity (layoff or other precipitating event)
  • Anyone considering supplementing their income with side gigs

Writing for Business Continuity, Kelly Smith

Every company needs a business continuity plan that will help you stay in business in the face of a potentially business-ending event, such as a cyber-attack or physical destruction of property. Many business continuity teams are small, but their work is vital. The people in charge of recovering IT systems or directing the work of displaced employees need a plan. How will you keep doing your work without key software? How will you continue operations if your call center is destroyed? How will you recover if all your systems are encrypted by hackers? The business continuity team helps you plan for all these eventualities and more, and communication is vital to everything they do. This session discusses the types of technical communication required by business continuity teams, what skills you might already have that you can transfer to a career in business continuity, and how you can learn more about the field.

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