First, let me introduce myself, because I’m the new steward of “The Prez Says” blog — I’m Nancy Allison and I’ll be writing both for and to you for the next STC year.
I’ve been in technical communication for 30 years, and it has been a rewarding ride! I started teaching English as a Second Language, but found that there were few full-time jobs paying a living wage. I needed more consistency than that, and I’d also found that I enjoyed writing teaching materials more than I enjoyed being at the head of a classroom. Someone mentioned technical writing to me, I took one evening course, got hired as an intern, and I was on my way! The fields of teaching ESL and tech writing may seem fairly far apart, but the commitment to successful communication underlies them both.
Of the past 30 years, I’ve spent about 8 as a full-time employee, and 22 as a freelancer. In the years that I freelanced, my greatest professional pleasure was meeting new people, learning a little about different technologies, and avoiding the politics and pressures that come with a full-time job. Now that I’m a full-timer, I find that the pleasure of working on things long-term, and getting to know people well, greatly outweigh the pressures that I feared. There is a real reward in staying in one place long enough to watch initiatives develop over the long haul.
Over the past few years, I got involved in another long-term project: STC New England. If you had told me two years ago that I’d be President of the chapter this year, I would have told you to dream on! But there was a need, and I thought it was worth responding to. With the great council members we have this year, I can’t go wrong.
Our theme this year is “Building Careers, Building Community” and I passionately believe in the importance of helping each other — one of the greatest rewards I receive from working with STC is to look around a room after a program and see clusters of people talking animatedly with each other, and know that I helped make it happen. Another is our monthly Council meetings, when we get through scads of work in two hours, with lots of laughter and high spirits. Our meetings are open, by the way, and they’re always listed on the main page of www.stcnewengland.org. Come and join us — let us know ahead of time, so we can feed you dinner!
All of the services and benefits STC New England provides are done in order to strengthen careers in technical communication, and help people to know and rely on each other. That’s why we work on these initiatives:
- Monthly programs
- Scribbling Tipplers social hour
- Documentation Competition
- Spring Conference
- Outreach to students, employers, and potential members
- Expansion of our websites and social media reach
All of this activity is for your benefit, so please help yourself to these offerings! Come to a council meeting, join a committee, email me with your ideas — get involved! I look forward to meeting you at an event this coming year.