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Live from LavaCon: The Expanding Role of Content Professionals: Seize the Opportunity!

lavacon_2013The Expanding Role of Content Professionals: Seize the Opportunity! by Victoria Koster-Lenhardt

Content professional: Someone who creates information that helps a consumer or customer make a decision.

For years the jobs were disappearing, but now they’re coming back, in fields related to ours. Because we’re the first to really “get” how content works on the web.

Victoria’s story

  • At age 21, Victoria met the man of her dreams, and went to Vienna with him for the summer.
  • Then she had to finish her senior year of college, and then got a job in technical communications at “Motor” magazine.
  • She moved to Vienna and became a lovepat.
  • She found out about a job at Coca Cola in Vienna, applied, and was hired. She worked there until 2010.

As a content “person” at Coca Cola she was…

  • Technical writer
  • working with PageMaker and Email
  • Publications Manager
  • Conference organizer
  • Information Mapping
  • Website, Intranet, Content development
  • Validated XML
  • Department of Outsourced and Internal communications

As a content person, you have skills. So the trick to getting the opportunities you want is to meet people.

  • You may be a “networker”
  • You may just meet people on bridges or trains
  • “The opportunities are there because you grab them, you seize them. They’re all over the place!”
  • The content work is so broad, you can find your dream job and tailor your experience on your resume to fit it.
  • Your job should conform to the life you want. Not the other way around.
  • We have to consider: what is our dream job? How can we get it?

Key takeaways:

  • Believe in yourself
  • Try new things, and be ready to fail
  • Stay relevant and nimble. Be ready to use any and all of your skills
  • Forget the job title. Describe what you do.
  • Don’t follow the pack
  • Talk to everyone, everywhere
  • Share your epiphanies

Marli Mesibov

Marli is a content strategist with a passion for the user experience. Her work spans websites, web applications, and mobile. Marli is the VP of Content Strategy at the UX design agency Mad*Pow, where she helps healthcare, finance, and educational organizations communicate with their audiences. Marli is a frequent conference speaker, and has spoken at conferences including Content Strategy Forum and LavaCon. She can also be found on Twitter, where she shares thoughts on content strategy, literature, and Muppets.

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