May 2019

Professional Development

The theme for May 2019 is Professional Development.

In a hyper-competitive business world where companies are doing less with more, the importance of professional development is increasing exponentially. Being marketable for a new job, and yes, even the job you’re currently in, requires continual learning and up-to-date skills. And despite how things might have worked in the past, you are the one responsible for cultivating your strengths, filling your skills gaps, and building your competitive advantage. Ongoing professional development gets you there. This month, the STC Roundtable explores the benefits of professional development and specific methods for creating and executing a powerful career strategy.

With each week, we'll dive deeper into the topic of professional development. We’ll begin with a webinar that lays the foundation for how to begin your professional development journey. We’ll then explore how a variety of technical communicators have developed their careers into a diverse set of paths. Our week 3 panel discussion will feature industry leaders discussing how they view professional development for themselves and others. And finally, we’ll get into the specifics: a job search guide, complete with compensation worksheets.

Weekly Content

Why is professional development important?

In this introductory webinar, we’ll address the importance of professional development in a changing economy; how to craft a plan for your development; how to be the Chief Marketing Officer of your career; and a variety of resources that can help you get there.

Content Asset

In this ebook, see how multiple technical communicators with different experience levels, roles, industries, and work experiences think about and implement professional development in their careers. You’ll hear from a range of individuals who started their careers in technical communication and have used various forms of professional development to grow into anything from long-term, specialized technical writers to content strategists to marketing pros, specialists and generalists alike. What can you learn from others and add to your own career plan?

Panel Discussion: The Strategy for Career Success

Alyssa Fox will host an online panel discussion with experts Alisa Bonsignore, Craig Baehr, Andrea Ames, and Mark Clifford. They’ll focus on the importance of professional development from various viewpoints based on their roles and experiences and how it benefits employees, organizations, and the discipline of technical communication as a whole. Join them on Tuesday, 21 May from 2:30 to 4:00pm EDT (GMT -4) to learn more about the impact that continuous learning has on your career, along with specific methods of expanding your skill set and increasing your earning power.

Job Seeker's Guide

Now that you’ve learned from others, let’s focus on your career specifically. Our job-seeker’s guide features search tips and resources for employees and freelancers alike, and includes valuable worksheets to ensure that you’re being compensated fairly.

Professional Development Resources







STC's Roundtable Discussions

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Roundtable Monthly Topics

Did this month’s theme spark questions? Are you interested in learning more? This is the forum to ask questions and discuss your experiences, challenges, and insights related to the monthly topic.

General Tech Comm Queries

Do you have questions about technical communication? Use this forum to connect with other Roundtable members or curators to ask and answer your questions.

General Roundtable Queries

Do you have questions about Roundtable, or are you experiencing technical challenges? Use this forum to ask and get answer to questions.

Curator Bio:

Alisa Bonsignore:

Alisa Bonsignore clarifies complex ideas from her office in the San Francisco Bay Area. More than just a writer, her extensive research experience is applied to all client work. She analyzes competitors and industry trends to gain the strategic insights needed to place each project into a broader context. She has more than two decades’ experience in healthcare and network security, and is increasingly involved with sustainability communications — helping organizations tell their sustainability stories in a way that benefits both people and the planet. She is currently serving her second term on the board of directors for the Society for Technical Communication.

Alyssa Fox:

Alyssa Fox is a content strategist and marketing leader who thrives on improving customer experience through brand consistency and relevant information. She believes high-value content is one of your most important business assets and builds frameworks and processes that treat it as such. She’s a champion for cultures that position content to drive leads, revenue, and customer retention. Alyssa has vast management experience across global teams and has worked on numerous cross-functional strategies. Alyssa is currently serving as the Immediate Past President and Nominating Committee Chair of STC.

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