“I don’t have time to read blogs, never mind write one.”
Tell me you haven’t heard that one in the hallways. It’s right up there with “If my boss caught me doing that kind of stuff, I’d get in trouble.” Hey, I work for a place that’s pretty enlightened about this kind of thing and I still hear it.
But here’s a thought experiment. You interview two candidates for a C++ development position.
Suzie and Edward both have sufficient experience and knowledge of C++ to fill your position.
Suzie also tells you she taught herself C# on the side by creating a simple prototype of a graphing calculator.
Edward has no indication of any other programming languages.
Now, which bullet captures your thoughts here?
- Suzie sure has lots of spare time, she must not be working hard enough.
- Suzie is a self-starter and stays on top of the industry, and would add value in ways I don’t even know about yet.
This is a toy example, but the connection to entering the social media space should be obvious. Your employers should value this addition to your skillset, and even if they don’t you should still do what you can to take part. Because Suzie can apply for C# jobs too, if the going gets tough. Edward? Not so much (and you know as well as I, the going is getting tough).
This isn’t some amazing new concept. This is simply part of being a professional in our field. Yes, it’s more work. So was figuring out what C# was all about when Microsoft introduced it, but some of you found time to do it anyway.