Promoting Professional Geekery #11: Career Track

Last week I suggested that, to help promote professional geekiness and the fan-to-pro idea, that you speak at a convention and share your knowledge (or at least horror stories).  OK, so far so good, maybe you're even doing that.

So let's take it farther and reach even more people.

I want you to go to a convention and inspire/run/create a career TRACK.

You know what I mean – a whole series of events for people who want to turn their hobbies into career.  A good track covers multiple careers or issues with one unifying theme.

I find that a good career track has a few traits:

  • It covers a "certain level of breadth", such as having panels and workshops for people of different levels of experience, or covering multiple careers in writing.
  • It paints a consistent picture with its breadth, so the various events tie together.  A cosplay career track may have a panel on modeling, a panel on places to get degrees related to clothing/costume creation, and a look at working in the fashion industry.  All relate to cosplay/costuming careers, all address different areas of interest, but they also tie together well.
  • It gets the right people to speak on the issues.

A good career track gives people a chance to get into their geeky career interests deep – if they want.  Otherwise they can just attend a particular event or two and move on to other endeavors.  Either way, they benefit and you get to share.

You as a professionally geeky type get to not just reach people, but reach them in a coherent way.  You've got a plan that makes it easy, clear, and organized to have people turn their con experience into a pro experience.

The convention also benefits:

  • It helps create a focused set of events for interested people – and keeps them interested.
  • It helps the convention look professional by having focused tracks (or even a track).
  • It helps organizing space and event time around given plans.

Take a look at the career events you do – or see – at conventions.  I bet they inspire some tracks you could push for . . . so what are you going to agitate for at your convention of choice?

Steven Savage