Many of us, as project managers, are champions of process improvement and organizational maturity. We look for ways to get those around us to document their knowledge for the good of the organization and team. However, most of us are guilty of keeping our own knowledge in our heads. We do this to the detriment of our teams, companies, and even our own careers.
Whether you’re a project manager or have an entirely different role in an organization, I encourage you to put your knowledge on paper – be it a short article, blog post, response to someone else’s blog post, company newsletter, presentation to a local professional organization, whatever. When we share our knowledge with others, we showcase our talents and experience, thereby becoming experts in our field. We are all experts at something. It’s time to share that knowledge with others.
Don’t know what to write about? It doesn’t have to be a stressful exercise or require a lot of preparation or research (though that is great, too). Many times, my inspiration for an article is thinking of something I know now that I wish I had known ten years ago. If you’re looking for something more specific, though, start with the following topics:
- What’s it like, day-to-day, in my job or industry?
- What does it take to get into a role like this? How did I get into this role/industry?
- What do I love most about this job or career path?
- What habits, skills, or best practices make someone in this role successful?
- What are the biggest lessons I have learned (whether on a particular project or in my overall career)?
- What information can I share that would be helpful to someone new in a particular industry or role?
- What’s the funniest/most challenging/surprising/greatest learning experience I have ever encountered?
- Who or what has impacted my career the most and why?
If you speak genuinely, you’ll show people that you, too have made mistakes and learned from them. As a result, you will grab people’s attention and begin to stand out in your industry. We all have valuable information stored away in our heads, and people love to hear stories. Why not share yours with others? How many cool projects, events, or other important lessons have you kept to yourself and not shared with someone who could benefit from your knowledge?
If you’re a certified project manager, you even get 15 free PDUs for putting your knowledge in an article or presentation. Alternatively, PMI chapters worldwide are always looking for newsletter content and speakers. You would be doing the great project management community a lot of good, and at the same time helping yourself and your own career. Isn’t it time you started giving your knowledge to the community?