Re: How much training and professional development is enough?

Subject: Re: How much training and professional development is enough?
From: Michelle Vina-Baltsas <Michelle_Vina-Baltsas -at- US -dot- CRAWCO -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 21 Dec 1998 11:30:45 -0500

Hi!
Here is some feedback from some questions you posted last week:

My questions to you then are

1 -- Does your company pay professional dues? If so, what type?

Answer - I belong to the STC and my company does pay for the annual dues.

2 -- Does your company pay for conferences in any way (e.g. paid time
off, complete reimbursement, etc.)?

Answer - I'm very fortunate that my company pays for all my conferences,
and I use company time to attend the conference.

3 -- Are you encouraged to go to professional conferences?

Answer - Currently, I am the only tech writer at my company. I have
researched the classes I've felt were necessary for me to improve my
skills, which in turn would improve our documentation, and so far my boss
has been very responsive.


4 -- Is there a formal training policy? Informal? What are the
expectations of management?

Answer - I'm not sure what management expects, but I know what I want and
need. I want to continue to learn and improve my existing documentation so
that our clients continue to find the documentation useful,attractive, and
approachable. However, I know that my boss has been impressed with my
desire to learn new products, such as FrameMaker and PhotoShop, and has
seen how my desire to learn new "things" has benefited the company. I
think management just wants me to continue doing a my job without bothering
them too often. If I do the footwork, present my case explaining why I
need to attend training, etc, clearly outline how learning this new
"whatever" will benefit our clients, this is usually enough.

5 -- What do you feel is the minimum you need to learn to stay current?

Answer - This is a tough one. I do my best to read any STC publications on
a monthly basis, keep up with TW lists, and attend STC meetings to see what
other TW are doing. This helps me gauge how I'm doing in terms of staying
current.

This works for me, but may not for everyone.

Good luck!
Michelle




"Nyman, Rikki" <Rikki -dot- Nyman -at- ALLIEDSIGNAL -dot- COM> on 12/17/98 07:53:00 PM

Please respond to "Nyman, Rikki" <Rikki -dot- Nyman -at- ALLIEDSIGNAL -dot- COM>

To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
cc: (bcc: Michelle Vina-Baltsas/CRAWFORDCO/US)
Subject: How much training and professional development is enough?




Hi!

Lani Hardage wondered which conference was best if you only get one.
I was wondering how many of you get to go and under what circumstances?
How much personal professional development do you do? How successfully
can you blend new learning into your jobs and how much to you have to
add by way of conferences, classes, and reading?

Since I am putting together my personal objectives for my boss right
now, I would like to know how many of us get to go to conferences (any
size, shape, or color) as a part of our job.

I'm curious about the professional development perks the rest of you
get, especially if you are working captive. My company doesn't pay for
the engineers' professional memberships let alone the technical
communicators. That pretty much puts conferences way off to the side
unless we want to pay for it ourselves and take vacation time to go. Is
this common?

Also, at my company we are a "learning organization", but only 40 hours
a year is actually mandated. I find that I personally need to spend a
lot more time reading and taking classes to remain current in this
field.

My questions to you then are

1 -- Does your company pay professional dues? If so, what type?
2 -- Does your company pay for conferences in any way (e.g. paid time
off, complete reimbursement, etc.)?
3 -- Are you encouraged to go to professional conferences?
4 -- Is there a formal training policy? Informal? What are the
expectations of management?
5 -- What do you feel is the minimum you need to learn to stay current?

This is an "on the fly" query -- not a serious survey, though I think
the information might be useful to many of us. Feel free to wax to
poetic. Reply to me directly if you are shy.

I'm curious enough that I'll compile the responses and post them to the
list in a summary after Christmas break.

Thanks!

Rikki

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