STC Election Meet the Candidates
This entry is being posted on behalf of Carolyn Klinger, candidate for Vice President in the 2021 STC election.
Carolyn Klinger Since I was old enough to receive responsibilities, I have been drawn to service. It felt good to fill a need and help others. As an adult, I have learned that true leadership comes from a desire to serve others but that pleasing them is not guaranteed. What has been challenging in my leadership journey has been realizing that I do not always have to solve a problem on my own. This has been a humbling realization and necessary as the problems I have sought to solve have become more complex. Working with teams as much as I have, I have found that my impact is multiplied the more I incorporate the opinions and ideas of others, and that a job well done requires the talents of the group.

It was soon after I discovered technical communication as a career that I became a leader in my STC chapter, Washington, DC – Baltimore. All my leadership skills, latent during that fraught transition from college to entry-level jobs, started to come alive. I started as chapter secretary, enjoying the opportunity to organize chapter resources and communicate action items. I was starting to understand the structure of my chapter and STC. As I moved into new STC roles, I enjoyed the complex projects I took on, sometimes forgetting in all the group work and consensus building that I was leading. Most satisfying in all this was the feeling of belonging, of understanding where I was in my career and what I could do, completely independent of my job, to move it forward. As I’ve grown in my various STC roles, I’ve found that there is a market for my type of leadership, which unites emotional intelligence and empathy. I believe that my leadership style paves the way for open communication.

The reason I am running for the office of STC Vice President is to continue as an impactful leader and create opportunities for others to feel that they belong to our community. My hope is that STC members tie their own career success to the success of STC. They may do this through becoming a Certified Professional Technical Communicator, earning STC recognition such as Associate Fellow and Fellow, or by helping their chapter, Community of Practice, or Community of Interest earn STC recognition for the value they provide.

To make my vision a reality, I would like to see the Society respond more to the motivations and needs of our newer, and often younger, members. I would like more emphasis on the quick transition from member to active volunteer. Members are motivated by taking concrete actions that make a difference in their careers. Also, many of those new to the profession have degrees in techcomm and are more ready to contribute than entry-level technical writers of the past (like myself). The Society needs ways to funnel new volunteers into chapter leadership so that they can do the things that will grow their careers and strengthen the profession.

New generations of members and those of us paying attention to worldwide trends are also more aware of the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The Society has already begun exploring ways to respond. We can all help by demonstrating in our own work how good techcomm creates community, prevents injury and accidents, and expands a product’s audience through accessible content development techniques.

My passion for the profession allows me to find fulfillment in carrying out the mission of STC. My leadership approach helps me understand that each of us has a vital role to play in that mission. If elected as STC Vice President, I look forward to the opportunity to bring us all forward together.  
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