In 2015 I plan on spending a good deal of time working with aspiring bloggers. My main message to them will be:
If you do it well, your career will take off.
As a hesitant entrant into the blogosphere in 2007, I am finding today that the people who are considering blogging still have the same concerns that I did:
- My manager would rather that I didn't
- Bloggers are not getting their real work done
- Blogging is the equivalent of bragging
- I wouldn't know what to write
- I'm worried I would make a high-profile mistake that would reflect poorly on myself and my company
- I simply don't have enough time
I was fortunate to receive encouragement within EMC at the time (from Dan, Gina, Chuck, Mark, and Barry, for example). In particular I was advised to spend time considering my personal brand. I was told that if my brand was unique, and if I began to write articles that revolved around this brand, I would experience career variety and career acceleration.
All of this ended up being true. So in the spirit of paying it forward I spent some time in 2014 encouraging the hesitant. In particular, I spent some time brainstorming with people about their unique value. As you can see below, not only did some really cool blogs emerge, but examples of career acceleration were clearly experienced:
- Brittany Ghaderi writes the Millennial Technologist blog, which is a unique combination of the millennial experience, technology, and feminism. As a recent college hire Brittany has experienced unusual career acceleration by (among other things) presenting several times in front of EMC's Chief Technology Officer John Roese.
- Ed Walsh writes the Inside Outside Innovation blog, which chronicles his journey taking his field and customer perspective into EMC in order to influence EMC's internal innovation processes. As a result of his focus Ed is currently spearheading a revamp of EMC's global advanced development process, as well as running the CTO Office vision program.
- Nikhil Sharma writes the SolutionizeIT blog, where he is uniquely qualified to explain that technology is for show but solutions are for dough. Nikhil has been asked to drive major new initiatives within EMC (e.g. OpenStack and Trusted Infrastructure), and his blogs on OpenStack not only attracted talent to join EMC but placed him in high demand with customers.
What specifically causes this phenomena (dedication to blogging leading to career acceleration)? I have several thoughts, but my primary one is this:
Blogging causes you to learn. In other words, blog to learn. If myself or anybody else is going to put content out there, we need to know what we're talking about.
If you are going to pick one topic to learn about, I often recommend that you should learn about your own company's vision. All of the bloggers above are involved with the CTO technology vision.
Many of my blogs over the years have been about sharing something I thought or learned about. These posts have to potential to accelerate the learning of others and often cause people from all corners of the world to reach out and collaborate.
This causes career acceleration.
Some people have said that the glory days of blogging are behind us and that may be true from a popularity or an exposure perspective. However the career benefits of blogging are alive and well.
More to come in future posts.