Thursday, June 27, 2013

Everyone must have a blog and/or a website

Most people underestimate the power of having a portfolio website and/or blog. When you are going to attend an interview, you are advised to visit the company's website to familiarise yourself with the company, why not do the same and have employers look at your website and/or a blog to get to know you before they can even meet you?

Majority of companies are worried that they will hire the wrong person, and will have to go through a lengthy legal process to get rid of that wrong hire. That's why these days employers are resorting to using technical tests and other time wasting techniques to weed out people who don't know how to do the job. Let's make it easy for employers by having a portfolio website and a blog.

I think everyone who has access to internet must have a portfolio website and a blog to showcase their skills. If you are in law industry, setup a blog for free and start blogging about legal stuff, if you are a journalism student, start writing stories that you find interesting in your community on your blog, make it easy for your future employers, they wanna see your writing style and your passion for the job. I know some people reading this article may complain that they don't have time to blog, but they spend the whole day writing things on social networks. Writing an article doesn't even take more than 30 minutes of your time. You don't have to write an article everyday.

Most people will give you all sorts of excuses to avoid writing on a public platform. Here are the top ones:

  1. I don't have something to write about
  2. I am not good at writing
  3. I am not that popular, no-one will care
  4. I don't have time to write
Let me break down those excuse and give you solutions to any of them.

Excuse number 1 can be a valid one for people who have chosen a wrong career, but they can always write about the things they are passionate about, who knows, maybe someone who can help you change a career may read and give you a chance.

Excuse number 2 is just that, an excuse to avoid doing things that are important to your life while doing things that aren't important like liking photos of half-naked people on social networks all day. No-one was born a good writer, the best writers had to start somewhere, the best writers you know, were terrible writers than you are when they started, they became better writer because they used to do it more often. Practice makes perfect. I am not a perfect writer,. I don't even consider myself good, but I am willing to continue writing until I get better at doing it.

Excuse number 3 is more like a chicken-egg problem, you want to become a popular writer with thousands of readers before you can start write something, and readers are waiting for you to get popular before they can read your stuff. The truth is, you gonna have to work hard to be a popular writer, then you can have thousands of readers. It is true you are not popular writer yet, but someday you will be, for now just focus on perfecting your writing skills.

Excuse number 4 is the most popular excuse. People will keep themselves busy with useless things like watching TV soapies 4 hours a day, instead of doing things that will help move their careers to the next level. No-one have time for anything, you have to make time. Your career is more important than knowing if Khethiwe will finally listen to her family and close friends and give up her alcohol addiction. Knowing that piece of information isn't going to help your career in any way. You are just wasting your time. Cut one soapie out of your daily schedule and use that time to improve your writing skills instead. TV is like a visual drug, it makes you feel good in the short-term, but bad for you in the long run.

I always advice web development students to setup a simple portfolio website which they can use to showcase their talent, but for some reason, they don't do it. How will someone know that you can create a website and passionate about it when you can't even set-up a website for yourself. It won't be a great website, but if you keep doing it, you will get better at doing it. When I was still a student, my curriculum vitae was available as a website. It made it easy for me to find a job when I started looking for one.

This world is littered with people who claim to know how to do something, while they know that they can't. They know how to talk, but can't translate that talking into action. Separate yourself from those kind of people by creating a portfolio website and/or a blog to showcase your skills and talents. It's always nicer when you are been interviewed to point to something you have done, instead of talking about it. Your qualifications aren't a guarantee that you can do the job, that you know, and employers know better.