A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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Age Discrimination in Technical Communication   (PDF)

Age discrimination in the workplace occurs any time one worker is treated differently from another due to age, or another worker's beliefs about age-related inabilities. Solving the problem of age discrimination in the workplace involves three things: understanding the problem and how it affects the way we work, educating ourselves and the rest of the general working public about age discrimination, and finding specific ways to address and overcome the issue.

Steele, Karen A. and Linda I. Bell. STC Proceedings (1993). Careers>Advice>Discrimination>Workplace


Apply Empathy Within Your Organization

Each organization exists for a purpose: to bring something to the world, make it available to people, and enable those people to capitalize upon it. Many organizations exist to also make
 a profit. Whether for profit or not, all organizations seek to sustain themselves, so they can continue bringing their things to the world. Within each organization, there is usually a healthy awareness of the purpose, as well as a focus on being sustainably successful.

Young, Indi. UX Magazine (2015). Careers>Workplace>Collaboration>Emotions


Bill Gates' Last Day At Microsoft

Bill Gates gave his last keynote at the 2008 CES show in Las Vegas and he started it out with a spoof of what his last day might be like and includes cameos from a number of Microsoft executives and some Hollywood stars, celebrities and politicians. This video is just an excerpt of the longer keynote.

Catalyze (2007). Careers>Workplace>Multimedia


Breaking the Sound Barrier   (PDF)

I love my job but don’t feel the managers think it’s important, partly because of the noise. I also sometimes feel that I’m just an ISO requirement. I’ve also heard from techs that customers don’t look at the manuals; they just put them on a shelf. Any thoughts?

Alroy, Faye. Intercom (2003). Careers>Workplace>Writing>Technical Writing


By the Water Cooler in Cyberspace, the Talk Turns Ugly

Thousands of message boards for individual companies have emerged over the last few years, creating a window on what some employees feel but never say publicly. Often the view through this window is rather ugly.

Abelson, Reed. New York Times, The (2001). Careers>Workplace>Collaboration>Online


Career Options for Technical Communicators in a Restructured World   (PDF)

In a booming economy, promotions and advancement 'up the career ladder' seemed like reasonable expectations for capable technical communicators. But in the new downsized business environment a new career pat tern is emerging called the portfolio career. In a portfolio career, a person develops a range of skills and applies them in a series of jobs or assignments or responsibilities. Technical communicators are in a unique position to take advantage of this new trend in the workplace because they often possess a wide range of transferable skills and have a good overview of the company's product line and business processes.

Fisher, Lori H. STC Proceedings (1995). Careers>TC>Workplace


Cell Phone Etiquette   (PDF)

Lists fifteen rules for conscientious cell phone usage.

Robart, Kay. Intercom (2001). Careers>Workplace>Collaboration


Choose More Than a Job… Choose How You Want to Work   (PDF)

Technical communicators can be found in various working environments, including consulting firms, traditional companies and organizations, and in entrepreneurial ventures. Each environment has advantages and disadvantages that you should consider. As a technical communicator, you have the ability to choose the working environment that is right for you during different stages of your career.

Statt, Ronald A. STC Proceedings (2003). Careers>Workplace


The Co-Working Revolution: Your Office Away From Home

I’ve been fascinated by businesses popping up around major metropolitan areas that create a shared workspace for independent workers. Imran Ali wrote about the trend of co-working spaces back in April, and I’ll be exploring the trend further as I look to set up a co-working space in my town.

Sherman, Aliza. Web Worker Daily (2008). Careers>Workplace>Collaboration>Coworking


Coming into the Workplace: What Every Technical Communicator Should Know—Besides Writing   (PDF)

Working successfully as a technical communicator involves a great deal more than a thorough knowledge of professional skills and capability in the craft. Working at this kind of job means dealing with all sorts of people, handling all sorts of assignments and dealing with all sorts of corporate agendas and requirements that have seemingly little to do with getting the project out the door. But it’s all in a day’s work, and if you want to keep the job, you’ve got to accept and actually operate within all of those guidelines, strictures, rules (written and unwritten) and mores that make up the corporate structure.

Barker, Thomas, Rebecca A. Fuller, Deborah J. Rosenquist, John Schladen and Thea Teich. STC Proceedings (1995). Careers>Workplace>Writing>Technical Writing


Communication in International Virtual Offices   (PDF)

Advances in communication technologies mean that colleagues from different parts of the world can work together in the same online space. In some cases, that space is an e-mail exchange, text messaging, or a shared corporate intranet site; in other cases, it is an electronic bulletin board or chat room related to a project. These shared online work spaces—or international virtual offices (IVOs)—provide a level of interaction that can reduce production costs and shorten production cycles.

St. Amant, Kirk R. Intercom (2003). Careers>Telecommuting>Collaboration>Workplace


Competitive Advantage through Employee Engagement

Engagement. Is it the latest corporate buzzword? Not for serious business leaders who understand the correlation between engaged employees and improved financial performance. They see engagement as a source of competitive advantage. All things equal, they believe, an organization that has engaged employees will outperform one that doesn’t.

Shaffer, Jim. Communication World Bulletin (2005). Careers>Management>Collaboration>Workplace


Conquering the Cubicle Syndrome

Cubicles aren't really physical walls--they're a state of mind. In effect, it's the belief that you've been compartmentalized and isolated that defines the cubicle. The four-sided, felt-lined livestock pens loved by evil office managers everywhere hides the truth: cubicles are all about being isolated and treated as part of the building infrastructure, whatever the physical location of your chair.

Hart, Geoffrey J.S. TECHWR-L (1999). Careers>Workplace>Collaboration


Coworking Evolved

It’s interesting to see coworking snowballing as a phenomenon, but like many trends originating in dotcom culture, what’ll be most interesting is how these shifts begin to affect larger companies and more traditional employers.

Ali, Imran. Web Worker Daily (2008). Careers>Workplace>Collaboration>Coworking


Coworking in Africa, San Francisco and Bath

A look at the underlying value structure of coworking communities, how they’re evolving in different countries, and the issues existing coworking communities face as they outgrow the space available.

Ali, Imran. Web Worker Daily (2009). Careers>Workplace>Coworking>Case Studies


Coworking or Noworking?

An exploration of the downsides to telecommuting and coworking, focusing on the experiences of a coworking community founder.

Ali, Imran. Web Worker Daily (2008). Careers>Workplace>Coworking


Coworking, Childcare, Cubes

An interesting discussion on the potential of providing childcare facilities to coworkers – with the coworkers themselves dedicating a portion of their time to caring for the children of other community members.

Ali, Imran. Web Worker Daily (2008). Careers>Workplace>Coworking>Children


Creative Classes, Civic Regeneration and Coworking

This post speculates on the potential to revitalize decaying and vacant urban centers with new creative areas, by replacing discount stores, vacant properties and unused public libraries with coworking facilities.

Ali, Imran. Web Worker Daily (2008). Careers>Workplace>Coworking


Cubicle Etiquette   (PDF)

Presents 22 rules for considerate behavior in the workplace.

Smith, Gary M. Intercom (2000). Careers>Workplace>Collaboration


Design Patterns for Coworking

Recently a member of the global coworking mailing list, Joseph Holsten) recently created what’s essentially a recipe book of ‘how to’ guides for those seeking to setup a coworking community, coworking space or simply better operate the communities and spaces they’re already running.

Ali, Imran. Web Worker Daily (2008). Careers>Workplace>Collaboration>Coworking


Developing High-Performing Teams   (PDF)

Social psychology and organization development suggest that virtually all people, and all teams, must deal with conflicting impulses toward effective and ineffective behaviour. Research shows that it is a basic human trait to want to succeed, to be in control, and to avoid embarrassment. Group dynamics research also suggests that teams operate on two dimensions: the task or work dimension, and the social or relationship dimension. High-performing teams pay attention to both the task and social environments. They create an environment that minimizes the occurrence of face-saving and defensive behaviour. This environment is usually characterized by honesty and authenticity, by the use of relevant and verifiable information, and by a willingness to own up to mistakes.

Conklin, John James. STC Proceedings (2004). Careers>Collaboration>Management>Workplace


Dilbert™ Goes Corporate...or How to Navigate the Thorny Thickets of Corporate America without Selling Your Soul: Featuring Lockheed Martin's Acclaimed 'The Ethics Challenge'   (PDF)

This unique and lively workshop is based on an ingenious board game developed by the Office of Ethics and Business Conduct for the Lockheed Martin Corporation, under a special copyright agreement with Scott Adams. It uses the famous characters in the cartoon strip, including celebrated ethicist Dogbert™, to inject a spirit of fun into the heavy debate that often swirls around the thorny ethical dilemmas we confront in the workplace. Here, teams of technical communicators will compete to see who can best balance ethical values with business realities and come out with practical, honest solutions. While the vehicle is rather lighthearted, the content is anything but. The case histories are carefully designed to cut to the moral chase. There are no right or wrong answers—only good, better, best, not so good, and Dogbert™. Yes, there's an answer key, but that, too, is controversial. What? No clear answers? Of course not. That's the whole point.

Voss, Daniel W. STC Proceedings (1999). Careers>Workplace>Ethics


Don't Let Your Work Become a Commodity   (PDF)   (members only)

Learn specific steps technical communicators can take to respond to the commoditization of technical tasks.

Harvey, Michael. Intercom (2008). Careers>TC>Workplace


Dr. Strangemeeting (or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Enjoy the Donuts)

Experts claim you'll spend 1500 hours in meetings during a typical 30-year career--that is, if you can duck some meetings by looking busy and if you can retire early. If you duck slowly or plan a long career, you could easily spend more time in meetings than you spend working. Fortunately, a little planning and some quick thinking should let you turn meetings into a blessing--or at least a tolerable evil.

Hart, Geoffrey J.S. Geoff-Hart.com (2001). Careers>Workplace>Collaboration


Employee Families and Organizations as Mutually Enacted Environments: A Sensemaking Approach to Work—Life Interrelationships   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Work—life research tends to privilege the organization—employee relationship, with the family's role largely relegated to providing emotional and material support to the employee and adapting to organizational requirements. Systems oriented research, however, points toward a larger role for the family, including mediating the employee's relationship with the organization as well as direct organizational interactions. This study uses Weick's model of organizational sensemaking to examine, through the analysis of employee and family interview accounts, how a global high-tech organization and its employees' families enact one another as environments. Three dynamics of mutual enactments— two cooperative and one competitive—were identified, along with implications for work—life integration research and practice, for more traditionally programmatic work—life accommodations, and for families' management of their relationships to employing organizations.

Golden, Annis G. Management Communication Quarterly (2009). Careers>Workplace



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