Tag Archives: Lavacon

Why is it so important that STC survive?

Mark Baker, commenting on my post about STC and its future, asked me a question:

Larry, I have to ask why you think it is so important that the STC survive per se? Is it because it performs some vital function that will cease to exist if STC folds? Or is it sentimental attachment based on time sunk into it, long time association, and long standing friendships?

I’ve pondered that question for a while.

STC logo

Yes, STC has been good to me. But that’s not the only reason I want it to succeed.

Of course part of the answer, for me, is sentiment. My experience with STC has been extremely rewarding. I don’t keep up with friends from high school or college, but some of my STC friendships are going strong after 20 or 30 years. In STC, I feel an incredibly strong sense of belonging. This is my tribe.

I understand, however, that most people don’t share that sentiment. And I know it’s not a reason for wanting STC to survive per se.

So is there, in Mark’s words, a vital function that STC provides? I think there are several — or at least there can be.

The role of a society

What’s the role of a professional society in a field where credentialling — that is, licensing — isn’t a legal prerequisite to participation?

Start with networking and information exchange. Several of the more recently formed communities, like LavaCon and Write the Docs, provide both of those. It’s because of that, I think, that people are questioning whether STC has become outmoded.

Yet a professional society ought to perform other functions as well:
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Be the Captain: A Trusty Compass

Book cover imageAs you read Jack Molisani’s Be the Captain of Your Career, you might find yourself thinking that you already know most of this. But then you’ll hit upon something new, something that gives you an “aha” realization and makes the book worth every penny you paid for it.

As you stand at the helm and navigate your way through your career, this book can be the compass you need to get your bearings and stay on course.

It’s easy to read: short, with chapters that often go just two or three pages. Have a highlighting pen handy: you’ll need it. I’ll keep my marked-up copy close by, to refresh my memory and to take stock of what I’m doing well and what I need to do better.

I love the tone of encouragement and exhortation. Jack speaks with authority born of his work as owner of a staffing company as well as his own personal experiences. An accomplished speaker and the organizer of the Lavacon conference, Jack is the real deal. His entrepreneurial know-how and his positive energy resound throughout the book.

Be the Captain contains great tips, from someone who’s sat at both sides of the interview table, on things like overcoming inertia, networking, selling yourself, and acing the interview. But this book isn’t just for job seekers. For example you’ll find solid, realistic advice on estimating work and then selling your estimate, and on negotiating to reach a win-win result.

The last section, Have It, covers some well-worn ground: decide what you love, and then do it. But the section is still worth reading, for in it Jack gives away his hard-earned wisdom on things like establishing a set of core values, personal branding, and negotiating.

Finally, Jack invites his readers to engage with him, providing an email address and two Twitter handles. I appreciate knowing that he’ll be there with me as I navigate the shoals.

Have you read Be the Captain of Your Career? If so, what was your take? If you had any “aha” moments I hope you’ll share them in the comments.