My 2015 New Year’s Resolution: Don’t Be a Pudding Brain

There's hope for you yet, TechCommGeekMom, if you are deciding not to be a pudding brain like the rest of the humans.

There’s hope for you yet, TechCommGeekMom, if you are deciding not to be a pudding brain like the rest of the humans. — The 12th Doctor (Who)

Now that it’s the start of the new year, it’s time to make some resolutions–or at least set some goals. While I’ll be continuing my eternal quest to lose weight, it also means it’s time to start seriously thinking about what I need to do professionally in the coming year. Since I now know my contract has an end date, I need to figure out a plan. I’ve given presentations on the subject of how to get a tech comm job these days, and I know I’ve had to go back and follow my own advice. One of my big pieces of advice has been to learn something that can help you gain a new skill, or update an old one. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Lynda.com course refreshing your InDesign skills or learning Framemaker, or learning more about…well, anything that can help you find a job as technology advancements continue to speed by us.

During the last few weeks, I’ve started to look and see what kind of jobs are available, and think about tech comm trends to help me figure out what my next move might be. It’s different for each person, obviously, based on interests and skills, but learning something new can’t hurt, that’s for sure. I’m a person who believes I always have something to learn, and heaven knows, even after a Masters degree and some experience under my belt now, I feel I still have a LOT to learn still.

I still don’t have a clear path as to what I’ll be doing when my contract ends, but I think I’ve figured out something that will hopefully provide either some direction, or at least provide me with some new skills that will help me somehow.

One of the biggest trends I’ve continually heard about in the last year is that content marketing is the big thing that content strategists need to be pursuing. I have a strong background in customer/client services, so I have a good understanding of the importance of post-purchase content for goods and services. The perspective needed to create content for content marketing is something I have–it’s rather logical for me, really. And I’ve seen more content marketing jobs listed in my area…which is good. Well, almost good. It’s not good because in the end, I don’t have any real marketing background. There are a few skills that I sorely lack. I understand what some of these skills involve, but not enough to truly say I have enough experience to apply for a position.

So, after researching several options and having several conversations with my husband about it, I decided to register for a mini-MBA program in digital marketing that starts at the end of this month (January 2015). The curriculum includes sessions covering several topics that were in my personal checklist of subjects I wanted to learn to get ahead, and the structure of a 12-week online program from an accredited school meets my learning needs (personalized e-learning!). I sent in my registration form online tonight, and I’m probably going to get a phone call for the program to get further details to become fully registered, but the first step has been taken.

So, this is how I’m investing in myself to better my chances in finding a position when my current contract ends. The program ends around the same time as my contract, so the timing couldn’t be better. I haven’t decided if and how I will still break out on my own after the contract, but I figure whether I become an independent contractor or get a full-time job, these new digital marketing skills will come in handy either way.

I’ve taken a step forward. It’s always that first step that’s the hardest to take, but it had to be made. I’m sure there will be a few more first steps in whatever this new direction will be, and I’ll be sure to report them. But it’s that very first one that can be the most difficult. It’s now been made. I’ve got support in my decision at home, so that helps immensely. Time will tell if it’s a correct decision. I think it is. I’ve got nothing to lose but time and money, and a lot to gain with new information to learn. It’s an opportunity to diminish my chances of being a pudding brain.

About TechCommGeekMom

Danielle M. Villegas is a technical communicator who has recently started her own technical communications consultancy, Dair Communications. She has worked at the International Refugee Committee, MetLife, Novo Nordisk, and BASF North America, with a background in content strategy, web content management, social media, project management, e-learning, and client services. Danielle is best known in the technical communications world for her blog, TechCommGeekMom.com, which has continued to flourish since it was launched during her graduate studies at NJIT in 2012. She has presented webinars and seminars for Adobe, the Society for Technical Communication (STC), the IEEE ProComm, and at Drexel University’s eLearning Conference. She has written articles for the STC Intercom, STC Notebook, the Content Rules blog, and The Content Wrangler as well. You can learn more about Danielle on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/daniellemvillegas, on Twitter @techcommgeekmom, or through her blog.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to My 2015 New Year’s Resolution: Don’t Be a Pudding Brain

  1. Danielle – I wish you the best of luck with the new goals. I know the level of personal excellence you continually strive for and I’m sure you’ll do amazing!

What say you?

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s