Zareen Wajid, Talent Acquisition Specialist
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Really, I should focus on explicating how to be a mastermind communicator, but then you’d have to dedicate the rest of the week to read it all. And as much as I know you love reading my posts, I know you also have a life. So here and today, I will only focus on your darn good writing skills, and how they can fulfill your every wish.
Typically, high school students and college students associate writing skills with essays, novels, research papers, and lame note taking. They see a blank Word .doc. They exercise their creativity in determining how to slyly increase margins, augment font size, and use the largest font without alarming the professor’s eyes. Sound familiar?
Interestingly, employers associate writing skills with a campaign so powerful, it changes the world. Click this link to see for yourself. They associate it with presidential speeches, #hashtag campaigns, job descriptions, intensive care patient notes, political cartoons, and even, somewhat confusing 50%-off-marked -price sales.
Let’s look at some simple examples of when writing skills are more critical than ice cream and a swimming pool on a hot, 115 degree day:
- Email. More than likely, you will email your future employer before they become your future employer. And of course, once you are an employee, you will be spending at least 2-3 hours a day sending and replying to emails. An email isn’t simply answering a question or acquiring information. It is an art- managing conflicting schedules, knowing your audience, completing a project, putting out fires etc. You must learn how to form complete sentences, how to string together appropriate words, how to use the right tones, paragraphs/spaces, and the list goes on.
- Social Media. If you don’t have one already, you will create a LinkedIn profile. You will send InMails, comment on articles, boast about your professional accomplishments, and of course, network. As it’s an online platform, you will be indulging in a lot of writing. So, enjoy! P.S. same holds true for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Yammer!, etc.
- Reports. Remember your old pals, PowerPoint and Excel? In the real world, you guys are inseparable. Reports are utilized to get ideas/conclusions/ROIs across efficiently and effectively. You must know how to write succinctly and clearly. You must also know how to leverage words and diagrams/pictures to communicate well. And, you must know your audience.
- Interpersonal skills. Your boss will utilize IMs, texts, post-its, birthday/special occasion cards. And guess what? You must understand how to utilize those tools too. Otherwise, how will you interact with your coworkers and team? Writing skills are parallel to interpersonal skills. You can’t get along with others with bad grammar, incoherent sentences, and inappropriate acronyms. Please note, LOL may be okay, whereas LMAO is definitely not okay.
As Sir Edward G. D. Bulwer-Lytton famously said, “beneath the rule of men entirely great, the pen is mightier than the sword”. You may not be working with a physical pen at your future place of employment, but the metaphor holds true. Your reports determine your budget for next year. Your interpersonal skills determine your chances of promotion (trust me, you aren’t going anywhere if can’t make “friends” at work).
I know essays and research papers may seem like a drag now, but the skills you learn from being able to write coherently, concisely, and appropriately, will come very handy when you enter the real world. If you are interested in going beyond the real world to let’s say, world domination, then become a mastermind communicator.