Being in the STC CWC Leadership (Part 1)

The chapter membership is in need of a volunteer to step up and fill the position of Vice President for the upcoming term 2014–2015.


What’s In It For You? Why should you volunteer? Let me give you my perspective, having served as VP, then President and now Past President. I volunteered because I had recently returned to Vancouver after an absence of 10 years (in Calgary), and when I had left Vancouver, I wasn’t employed specifically as a ‘technical writer.’ While living in Calgary, where I had that title, I had learned about the STC, joined, and started to attend local chapter meetings. I found people with the same interests as me but who also knew other people in the field.

It was fun bantering and conversing with people who thought (mostly) the same way I did, who cared about commas, and who wanted to humanize the experience other people had with technology, whether that was learning how to insert a battery into a new toy, or mastering a sophisticated software program.

Admittedly, I am no stranger to volunteering in groups – I also attended the Calgary Folk Music Festival for several years as a volunteer and I regularly donate blood. I know there can be some resistance in today’s urbanites to ‘joining’ but it’s an easy way to meet like-minded people.

Returning to Vancouver with plans of starting my own company and freelancing as a tech writer, I knew I needed a network. Reading the stats that few jobs are found through classified ads and knowing from past experience that it’s not so much what you know as who you know, I realized it would serve me well to serve the membership in this high(er) profile position. Yes, it’s quite a commitment: 3 years! But it does look wonderful on your résumé and there are few tasks that you have to complete all on your own.

For the first year, as VP, you are learning about the chapter, its members, and current volunteers. In our new structure, the VP also oversees the programs. You become familiar with the annual schedule of events and learn a lot about running meetings, and the ins and outs of running a not-for-profit organization, how to set up and hold a webinar, and to think fast on your feet!

Check out part 2 for perspective on being president and past president.