It seems to me that the old way of being successful was to gain as much knowledge as you needed about something, keep it tightly to your chest and keep your head down. Follow that and before you know it you’d be at a company for 30 years.
Getting a new job was much simpler. You’d write-up a resume, attach some references and send it off. If you’re lucky, you’d get called in for an interview and those direct references would shine on about how great you were.
This allowed you to keep things close, the only people who would be called on to speak about you were people who were close. The network and portfolio of work would be kept small. The tools of dissemination made it harder to show everyone everything great you’ve ever done.
Today, we create content all the time, a dribble shot here, a blog post about an interest or work topic there1 and we leave a long body of work in our wake.
Not all of it is on purpose either! Most people don’t close accounts for web services, or use the ones they sign up for regularly.
This content, directly intended for self-promotion or not, gives potential employers (and employees!) a much larger canvas to examine. They can find out more about who you are, what you’re thinking about, where you’ve been in the past.
So if you’re the kind of person who keeps things close to their chest, who doesn’t blog or instagram or tweet – who doesn’t see value in stuff like that, I ask you the following. Who is more likely to get hired? A person with good qualifications and a few good references or a person with equal qualifications and recommendations who, when you Google them, leaves behind a vast trail of personality?
Who would you hire?
Once you’re hired, who’s more likely to get noticed or promoted? The co-worker who communicates their work, who collaborates and creates relationships?
Somebody who can sell to people inside the organization and articulate in a public way their value to the organization will be championed by more of the community than those that keep it bottled up.
Related: The Diva Paradox by Seth Godin.
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