New Ham: Next Steps by KC HamLink
Find an Elmer. Historically, an Elmer is defined in amateur radio as an experience ham that can come alongside a new ham to provide technical experience and guidance. As you start to attend club meetings and meet other hams, watch for experienced hams that are helpful and friendly and work on developing those relationships. An Elmer is not an official designation that is bestowed on anybody, but rather just the natural relationships that develop as hams start working with each other. You may have one Elmer that you can go to for just about any question, or you may have several that specialize in various topics or at various times as you develop your skills.
Upgrade your License. Once you get on the air and get a taste for what you can do on the air, you'll likely want to upgrade your license. While Technicians have some HF privileges on 10 meters, that band isn't all that active given current prevailing solar conditions. Getting your General Class licenses opens up a whole new world of HF to you and presents a wealth of new learning opportunities. There are several events that come up through the year that can give you a further taste of what it's like to operate on HF and your Elmer can also help out there -- with operating tips and equipment suggestions. Several of the clubs around the area offer General Class study sessions and classes throughout the year. Ask around as you attend club meetings and watch Larry's list for announcements.