Writing a blog is an excellent way to validate a skill set because it requires for you to share insights. To write an effective blog, you commit to researching and understanding what is currently being published regarding the subject matter – you become an expert. Moreover, to add value, you must think of ways to transform your message into something new and enlightening. Demonstrating you can be creative and insightful is a powerful way to build credibility with a skill set.
Think of two students who graduate with degrees in economics; one has a blog where he discusses what he has learned in his economic courses and makes interesting conclusions, and the other does not have a blog but has a marginally higher GPA. Who is going to get the job offer from an economic consulting firm? I would lean towards the graduate with a blog because I can better predict his performance; I know he can conceptualize what he has learned and develop his own perspectives.
I think mid-career professionals benefit from maintaining a blog because it requires them to keep on top of their field, a good reason why it is an effective way to validate a skill set. To build a knowledge base, you need to feed on articles, other blogs, and books related to your field of expertise. Being insightful about your field demonstrates you are becoming an expert.
Starting a blog is a challenging endeavor for many reasons. First, you might not have developed the skill of writing. Second, you do not know what to write about and have what is known as “writer’s block”. Third, you are wary about publishing your thoughts to a target audience because you might feel ashamed if your writings are not well received. The best advice is to start writing a blog anyway. To start out, you might not publish your blog entries on the internet or if you do publish, turn-off commenting and/or publish anonymously; you can decide to publish under your name when you are ready. I have been writing a blog for six months now. It is an ongoing commitment, but I feel more confident with my skill set each time I publish a blog entry and I am inspired to prepare for the next one. Some of these ideas about writing a blog come from Seth Godin’s book “The Icarus Deception”, where he argues we should become artists who produce valuable art – fresh insightful work; a blog can be art.
Of course, the advantage in using a blog to validate your skill set is you can share your perspective. You can also use various forms of media to deliver your message in a blog entry, so it can be a more effective way to demonstrate your skill set.