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President's Message: Get the most out of your membership
2002, Q4 (June 20, 2007)
By Meredith Blackwelder

Can you believe it? It's already the fourth quarter of 2002! As winter's long evenings approach, we hope that you are looking forward to what the Carolina Chapter has to offer in the coming months.

Take advantage of your STC membership by attending programs presented by fellow Carolina Chapter members, using resources that were designed with your needs in mind, and attending affordable training events featuring topics you suggested. Possible future topics include medical writing and expanding the technical communicator's role as customer advocate.

Your programs

Our programs manager, Greg Berg, has cultivated a great slate of programs for the fourth quarter. Greg has taken your suggestions from Vision Day and from other times throughout the year to bring you interesting and relevant meeting topics.

Your resources

If you're looking for a new job, check job listings on our web site, and post your résumé for employers to read at http://www.stc-carolina.org/www/resumes.shtml. We're in the process of updating the Employer pages at http://www.stc-carolina.org/www/companies.shtml and are looking for volunteers to help Kim Thorton call companies and verify their information. This is a great way to learn who hires technical communicators and help the Chapter at the same time! To volunteer to help update these pages by contacting and talking to hiring companies, e-mail Kim at claudette69 at mindspring dot com.

We are preparing to gather data for the 2002 Carolina Chapter Salary and Employment Survey, so stay tuned for a questionnaire coming your way. Speaking of the 2002 Survey, you can compare the state of things today with Lydia Wong's 2001 Salary Survey at http://www.stc-carolina.org/www/cc_joblisting.shtml#salary. In this repository, there are even surveys that go back to 1994.

Did you know that we have an email discussion list set up for our Chapter? You can post comments, questions, and announcements regarding general technical communication issues. To subscribe to this list, send a blank message to joinstc-carolinadiscuss at lists dot stc dot org.

Once you are subscribed, you can post a message to the group at any time. Be sure to read the rules at http://www.stc-carolina.org/www/companies.shtml.

Your workshops

The Carolina Chapter is also offering some exciting workshops. The training committee is planning telephone seminars and Saturday workshops throughout the fourth quarter. If you are considering becoming an independent technical communicator, the December 7, 2002, workshop was for you. It provided an in depth look at the legal and practical aspects of independent consulting.

Your opportunities

The Carolina Chapter provides opportunities that will lead to networking and help you gain experience. How? Right now, we need help with one-time tasks such as bringing food to a program or writing an article. We also need volunteers for continuous positions, such as serving on the training committee, becoming a mentor, or helping with the newsletter. Any of those sound good? Contact me and we can chat in more detail about it.

Also, in the words of Taryn Light, President of the Boston Chapter:
  • If you are unemployed, then you might find that volunteering to help on a committee may be the key to getting your next job through the contacts that you make or the new skills that you learn.
  • If you are new to the area, then you might find that volunteering to help on a committee will introduce you to new friends and let you start networking.
  • If you have experience in technical communication, then write an article in the newsletter to get published and enhance your résumé, or share your knowledge and experience in some other way such as at a program, workshop, or seminar. End of article.

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