Writing: 1 of the Top 10 Recession-Proof Skills
According to the book 150 Best Recession-Proof Jobs (2009, JIST Publishing), 1 of the top 10 most recession-proof skills is writing. Yes, WRITING! Why?
First, let’s clarify that 150 Best Recession-Proof Jobs doesn’t mean just any old writing. 150 Best Recession-Proof Jobs defines “writing” as “communicating effectively with others in writing as indicated by the needs of the audience.” Following on that, my answer to why writing is in the top 10 is twofold:
- Effective writing is crafted to address the needs of the audience.
- Increasingly, work-related communication is written—through web sites, emails, text messages, tweets, and so on. This is not to say that oral communication has been replaced; it hasn’t, but where a sales pitch was often face to face and followed up with a phone call, now written communication dominates. Similarly, internal communications are increasingly written.
This leads me to another qualification. Writing must be clear, targeted, and error-free in order to be effective. Here are some examples:
- A typo in a company’s web site is a distraction and makes the company look unpolished and sloppy. What does that say about the products or service?
- A user’s guide that has errors (in fact, procedure, spelling, or grammar), that is unclear, or that is hard to follow is hard to use. The users will stop using.
- Because communication at work is increasingly written, clear, organized, effective writers are seen as clear, organized, effective workers.
- As Workopolis.com points out in “Five Simple Ways to Get Better Results from Your Resume,” a spelling error can stop a recruiter from reading a resume. In other words, effective proofreading can make or break your chance for that next career move.
So, what to do?
My suggestion is that individuals, companies, and organizations invest in professional writing, in professional editing, and in coaching to improve their writing. Please contact me for more about writing, editing, and coaching services.