Why should you document your work, especially as you’re launching your career?
1. When you document your work, you’re doing something.
I once heard it said that if you haven’t blogged this month, you’re not alive.
That’s pretty far-fetched, but there is a valid point: if you’re not showing your work, how will people know you’re doing something?
It shows you’re doing something.
People like people who can do things.
If you create a fantastic project–and the project’s out there–but you don’t show what went into making it, what you learned while making it, where you’re headed, how will someone know?
Documentation is a great way to show future and current employers what you’re doing. It’s a way to remember all you’ve done.
2. You’re creating a track record.
In an interview, you can use that record to say, “I can show my work.”
Documentation can be a huge factor in hiring processes–you’re not just saying you can do something, you’re showing! And showing is always better than telling.
You could show you’re creating a podcast, or you’re working on an art project, or you’re creating a website.
3. You’re continually learning.
A person who documents their work shows they’re growing.
Don’t limit yourself by what you don’t know. Don’t think, “I can’t do that. I don’t know how.” You have the ability to learn. You have the ability to say, “I’ve never done that, but you’ll never meet anyone hungrier to learn it than me.”
Then learn it. And tell someone.3. You’re creating value–for yourself, for someone else.
If you’re documenting a road trip by sharing the photos you took, you’re putting yourself in front of anyone who says they’d like to be a photographer but never actually take photos.
You’re doing something.
4. You’re pushing past failure.
New projects invite mistakes.
But that’s just it–humans mess up. A lot. And if we don’t show that, we’re taking away a part of the story that shows we’re learning, we’re growing, and we’re not afraid of failure, because in failure, we learn.
On my blog, when I document my work, I often include a big header that says, “Whoops.” I think it’s funny. But it’s honest: there are a lot of moments I mess up. Sometimes they’re funny (like the time I spelled words wrong in a grammar video) and most times (read: every single time) I wish they’d never happen.
The feedback I’ve gotten from this always amazes me. People love when you’re honest, when you’re human.
If you document failure, you’re learning from it.
Ready to document your work?
Here are the best things you can do to get started.
1. Find a place to show your work. This could be a blog, a Youtube channel, or in a Crash pitch
3. Repeat for as many things as you do.
Documenting your work is one of the best things you could do for yourself as you’re launching your career.