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Show Your Work

In ‘good old days’ it was up to the employer to find employees. He would put an ad in the papers for the kind of person and skills he needed for the job.

It is not the case in the new age.

Now it is up to the employees to make himself findable whether it is through LinkedIn or a blog or network of connections.

It is more true if you are an artist or a creative person. You need to build a name for yourself so that you could be “found” for an assignment or a gig.

A writer needs to have a portfolio of her work already out there if she wants to publish her new book. A singer needs to have recorded (armature or semi-professional) and shared his songs on YouTube. A painter, a photographer, an illustrator, all need to exhibit their work online in order to get assignments.  

All creative people need to build ‘sharing.’ into their routine while they are focusing on getting good at whatever they do.

Rather than working in silence and hoarding their work, the new age creatives need to open up about their learning processes and consistently share what they’re working on.

By generously sharing their ideas and their knowledge, they will often gain an audience.

Imagine if your boss didn’t have to read your resume because she is already reading your blog.

Imagine being a student and getting our first gig based on a school project you posted online.

Imagine losing your job but having a social network of people familiar with your work ready to help you find a new one.

Imagine turning a side project or a hobby into your profession because you had a following that could support you.

Or imagine something simpler and just as satisfying: spending the majority of your time, energy and attention practicing a craft, learning a trade, or running a business, while also allowing for the possibility that your work might attract a group of people who share your interests.

All you have to do is show your work.

P.S. This post is inspired by Austin Kleon’s book “Show Your Work.”

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