The TC professional: a true Jack-of-all-trades

The dinner party was well underway. The setting was the lovely home of a good friend, complete with stunning views of the city at night. The guests were charming and intelligent. The food and wine were excellent. With all these ingredients, it was no surprise that the conversation flowed easily. We shared stories and laughter, and let the subject morph naturally from topic to topic, touching on movies, travel, nutrition, international packaging laws, pets, and medical advances.

Text by Leah Guren


The TC professional: a true Jack-of-all-trades

Image: © diephosi/

I had been happy to listen and add a comment or two. I honestly don’t remember what my small comments were, but at one point I realized that everyone was looking at me.

"Excuse me," said one gentleman, "but what exactly do you do?"

It seemed that my comments had revealed a strangely eclectic knowledge of seemingly unrelated (and wildly useless) trivia. My fellow dining companions, on the other hand, had excellent knowledge limited to their specific fields. My lack of focus confused them.

I had to explain technical communication and my role as a consultant and trainer. "Every time I take on a new client, I learn something else. I have to learn about their products, their technology, and their area of expertise. I really am not an expert in any of these fields; I merely know a little bit about a lot of things."

One woman, a professor of linguistics, looked concerned. "How can you ...