As a resident of Nigeria, chances are high that you already know the stiff competition exists in the labour market. In case you don’t, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said the rate of unemployment in Nigeria stood at 23.9 per cent in 2011, while urban unemployment was estimated at 29.5 per cent in 2013.
In other words, the jobs are not there, compared to the number of job seekers. And if you’re lucky to already be holding a job, job security is low.
In this case, you want to position yourself for better opportunities and constantly re-invent yourself. You want to sharpen your skills to start your own business, or to land or keep the job of your dream. And you want to use your unique talents to make a difference in the world.
Then blogging might help you.
Here are four ways I believe blogging can help you take your career to the next level.
Learning New Things
Think of it this way: if you set out to wash clothes, your objective is to clean the clothes, not your hands, but it’s your hands which become clean first.
Blogging is about sharing what you see, or want to see, in the world. It’s about teaching or sharing what you know and what you, too, are learning. When you start a blog, you’ll find yourself always learning new things about your areas of interest and career so you can keep sharing without running dry of ideas.
In today’s marketplace, it’s important to keep updating your knowledge on an ongoing basis. If you stop learning, you can become outdated within few months. Blogging keeps you on your toes in learning, and that’s good for your career growth.
As you learn more, you also start thinking clearer and generating ideas to help your business or move you towards your career goals. Critical thinking is one of life’s most vital skills, but you don’t get taught in school. Blogging fills that void, helping you learn and grow your thinking muscles exponentially.
Let’s face it – writing is essential in almost every career in this century. From writing a CV and cover letter to writing business proposals, letters to clients and business partners, writing is increasingly becoming indispensable to both business owners and workers.
Don’t neglect any opportunity to know how to do it better.
Blogging helps you hone your writing skills. Writing mastery comes with constant practice and blogging is just about that. In the book, “On Writing,” Stephen King narrated how once he didn’t write for some weeks due to an accident. He explained that when he started to write again, his words weren’t connecting well.
If that could happen to Stephen King, one of the most-read living authors in the world today, then you should not feel too safe. Inconsistency weakens your writing muscles. And that’s why blogging, which keeps you writing regularly, helps you write better.
Advancing Your Resume
Your blog can make your CV come to live. If there has been a period you were out of employment, showing employers that you were blogging then will convince them you were not just idle. They will see that you put the period to a great use and have even learnt more and improved your skills.
While the CV of everyone else shows their knowledge, skills and achievements, yours will stand out and tell potential employers that you are not just knowledgeable but you are also capable of articulating your opinions. You can see this inspiring story of a blogger whose blog made an employer come hunting for her and hand her a job she’s very excited about. How sweet!
Making Vital Connections
Blogging helps you connect with people from all walks of life. Thanks to blogging, I’ve come to make friends with people I admire, people everyone else consider as gurus, influencers and geniuses. Again, I’ve met and made friends with many ordinary people making extraordinary impacts. Many of them have helped me grow and achieve many of my goals.
If you’re a business owner, such vital contacts can help you land more clients, connect you to more opportunities and help you overcome some of your business challenges.
If you’re a job seeker, such contacts can link you with industry leaders and influencers who can help you get your dream job.
And if you’re an employee, the connections can help you keep your dream job or even land a better one. And they can also link you with resources and tools that would save you valuable time and energy.
How do you get started?
If this is the next question on your mind, have no fear.
Starting a blog is very easy and you can have your blog up and running in just 30 minutes. You don’t need knowledge of HTML or other technical stuff. All you do is click options you want and save it to see the results – similar to how you use MS Word.
You can open a free blog on WordPress.com or Blogger.com. Or if you want more freedom and control, get ‘a self-hosted blog’ which will cost anything between $50 and $70 for a year. You can create a self-hosted blog in few minutes. Just search Google for how to do it or use this simple guide.
One important tip is to have a focus for the blog. Don’t just write and blog about everything. Choose a niche or thematic focus you’re passionate about and are competent in.
It could be writing, productivity tips, entrepreneurship, parenting, leadership, etc. Blogging without a focus is a big mistake that sets a blog to fail. Avoid it.
Blogging is a good exercise to advance your career. It can help you increase your knowledge, write better, create connections and polish your resume. Give it a try.
Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Darren Baker