A Large World!
I have had the pleasure of interacting with quite a few renowned professors from the Ivy League universities in my professional life. I also had the privilege of having an online interaction with two world leaders in breakthrough innovation from the University of California at Berkeley's Extension centre, just a few months back. To be honest, for the first time, I felt that the world wasn't shrinking', after all! I realised that the world is huge, and we know so little about so few people! I got the same feeling while interacting with four first generation entrepreneurs whom we had invited for a panel discussion to our entrepreneurship club, ACE.
While there are celebrities in almost every field who are known to people of all age groups across the world, there are so many 'relatively unknown' talented individuals who are experts in their own domains, who are respected in their 'small' industrial and academic circles, as well as recognised and valued in their 'closed' community of friends and relatives. Isn't it a big challenge then, to make others know about your presence and availability as a resource?
Of course, there are appropriate forums, to tell the world about your availability, your talent and your capability. Your resume should be uploaded on job sites. Your profile should be updated on LinkedIn. But is that enough? What if you aren't looking for a job change at the moment? What if you are still building up on your skill-sets and continuing to explore your range of interests? What if you just want some biggies – be they successful industrialists, great personalities, Nobel Laureates and renowned celebrities to sit up and take notice of your presence, knowledge, skill and competence? Or you just wanted a former classmate, a relative, a colleague, a teacher or a potential recruiter or partner to know about your credentials and credibility.
Welcome to the simple ICT solution that is available at hand – a professional blog of your own! This would be your showcase to the world.
The empirical research conducted by me on over 150 students doing undergraduate and postgraduate courses in various streams of Arts, Science, Social Work and Mass Communication, proved that less than one percentage of the student community has a professional blog of its own apart from their email ID, Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp presence! You might be shocked to know that the data is nearly the same when it comes to working professionals!
Although 'blogging' is an indulgence and a pastime for many office-goers, it is more of a 'casual, stress-relieving banter' that people indulge in, while gossiping on issues of mundane matters or spicy sensations. Hence, the 'professional blog' is virtually non-existent, and so, it's the right time to get started and create one right away!
Whether you are a professional working in the ICT sector, or represent the academia as a professor or a student, it is good to have your own webpage which bears your photograph, shows your qualifications, and highlights your knowledge, skills, publications, projects and experience. Moreover, it doesn't mandate any upfront monetary investment, as required for creating a website.
Additionally, you could provide hyperlinks to your articles, publications, videos, programmes, live sites and other works through a seamless and effortless fashion. You could present your thoughts, opinions, ideas, beliefs, and creations in positive light, in the best manner possible! This is the idea of a professional blog: No careless chitchat, no foolish or funny comments or images – only professional content, decided by you - in the order of priority that you assign.Read More
They've done it…
One of my students doing her degree in Mass Communication, created a professional blog showcasing her writing skills. This included her personal encounters, anecdotes, fictional writing, travel destination updates, movie reviews and recommendations. She also packed it up with her advertisement banners created as part of her summer project, web-links, updates, and postings.
Any potential recruiter visiting her site would have found answers to his questions and have no hesitation in picking up the right talent! A trainer and consultant whom I helped set up a professional blog at WordPress.com, uploaded not only her writings, which included her articles and white papers but also her client testimonials. Another colleague who is starting off as a counsellor and mentor in another city has already agreed on the basic components of his professional blog site.
An entrepreneur has uploaded his entire e-Book for free download on his professional site. Yet another budding photographer and aspiring film-director has studded his site with awesome pictures and videos – all created by him! He wrote back recently how satisfying it is to get noticed by his colleagues and critics in the first place and secondly to receive feedback for his creative outputs from them.
Seven Simple Steps!
1. Create a compilation of what all is to be showcased.
2. Give a structure and format to the presentation sequence: For example, if there are pictures, videos, programmes, downloads, certificates, recommendation letters, references, client testimonials, etc., then the manner in which all these may be presented in an orderly manner needs to be planned.
3. Identify the blog site itself, where it would be created? (Ex: is it in WordPress.com, Blogger. com, Tumblr.com, Blog.com or Weebly.com)
4. Create your professional blog site.
5. Review it for editorial mistakes and typographical errors.
6. Send out the link to friends and family and mentors for a quick review and feedback.
7. Make necessary modifications based on the inputs received.
Eureka! You have now made your showcase ready – now share it with the world. Make sure to add the blog site address to your email signature and use it when you correspond with other professionals. Also, do remember to include it as part of your résumé – as it could be the key differentiator, to stand out amid the clutter.
R. Krishnan is currently the Head – Entrepreneurship Development, at Amrita Centre for Entrepreneurship, Corporate & Industry Relations (C.I.R.), Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, at Coimbatore