Despite living in the age of video posts and 140 character tweets, writing is still an essential skill in most businesses. When I'm mentoring new employees, they often give me a funny look when I tell them that writing ability is both crucial to their success and a must-have to be considered for promotion.
Here's a few reasons this advice applies to you:
You want others to understand your work.
Brilliant engineer? Talented analyst? Your work speaks for itself right?
Wrong! If you are the only one who understands your output, you won't get credit for your genius. Even worse, management might pursue someone else's inferior, but clearly presented ideas. Learning to explain complex data or designs in simple language is a foolproof way to increase your impact.
The job you want requires writing skills.
Want to move up in your organization? Chances are that your boss writes a ton: team emails, memos, progress reports, you name it. What better way to show you are ready than by becoming an awesome communicator?
Thinking of changing jobs? You will need to write a cover letter or at a minimum, exchange emails with the recruiter/hiring manager. Grammatical errors in your cover letter might sink your chances, while a great thank you email to the hiring manager can bump you to the top of the list for your dream job. Which brings me to…
People draw conclusions about your capability based on how you write.
I've seen companies reject bids for contract work simply because the proposal was full of typos. These errors make you look careless and sloppy, and who wants to work with someone like that?
Even if your work is free from typos, clear writing can be the difference between “wow, those results are impressive” and “can you explain what these numbers mean?”. Over time that difference will shape how others view you.
Every email, memo, and PowerPoint slide leaves an impression on your reader. Turn their reactions into sales, raises, and promotions by becoming a better writer today!