Learn in Public - Share Your Data Analytics Journey
Finding a data analyst job is hard right now. The market is tough and there’s a lot of people out there who want to break in. To be honest you need a bit of luck. But as Seneca said, 'Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.' So when I was job searching, I increased my luck by: building a portfolio, gaining real world experience, and creating content. I’ve talked about the first two several times in my posts. But I want to discuss why you should share your ideas, thoughts, experiences while job searching and after.
This is the premise behind a book I’m reading right now, Show Your Work by Austin Kleon. If you want more of an advantage it isn’t enough just to be good. You need to showcase it. Whether that be a blog, like this one or posting content on Youtube or Instagram. Don’t worry if you’re not an expert! Embrace being a beginner.
Why You Should Share Your Journey
Flourish as an amateur. As an amateur you understand the beginners mindset while an expert doesn’t. You experiment more and sometimes might discover more.
You can help others. You can teach those who are a few steps behind you because you’ve recently been there. You don’t have an expertise bias.
Document your journey. You can start seeing the work you’re doing and you feel like you’re making progress.
Bring the network to you. By sharing your ideas you can gain an audience and use it when you need it, like when you need a job or feedback.
Foster your creativity. Creativity isn’t done in a vacuum. It’s a collaboration and the result of minds being connected to other minds.
How to Start
Now, how do you start? You don’t need to start a Youtube channel or an entire blog, though I’d encourage you to do it. But here’s a few ways you can begin.
Start a work journal
Write your thoughts down or record them. Take photos of your work and the different stages in your process. This is about keeping track of what’s going on. By doing this you’ll start to feel like you’re making progress. And once you’re ready to share it, you’ll have plenty of material.
Share something small everyday. It doesn’t have to be amazing 100% of the time, and it probably won’t. Social media sites are the easiest to do. You could start with making quick Youtube shorts or making LinkedIn posts (which is how I began). The best thing to do is to start.
Share other people’s work
If you’re struggling to come up with something on your own, share the stuff you find. Share things that might be helpful, interesting or entertaining. Whether that’s a blog article, video or social media post. Some of the best things I’ve consumed is because someone recommended it to me. This should be said but don’t forget to credit someone’s work if you share it.
What to do next
Those are just a few ways you can begin sharing your work. As with anything you share on the internet, you’re going to get criticism. This is natural and you need to learn how to take it. Don’t let fear stop you from putting yourself out there. If you still struggle with this, start by becoming comfortable with sharing your thoughts on someone else’s work. Like if you’re too scared to post on LinkedIn start by leaving thoughtful comments on other people’s posts. It lets you practice sharing your ideas publicly, but without the pressure of creating your own post. You could do the same with commenting on someone’s Youtube videos or writing a blog post about a piece of work you’ve seen.
Regardless of what you do, start now. It’s better to do something, even if it’s just writing in your own journal than doing nothing. And if you aren’t gaining traction on your content, don’t worry. Overnight successes are rare. It takes time to build an audience. For the first 6 months of writing almost no one saw my posts, but over time I started gaining more and more views. And don’t be afraid to change your style, content, or writing. This blog has gone through several iterations, we’re human which means we change.
Embrace being an amateur.
Share your journey.
Start small and share often.
Anytime you learn something or find something interesting share it with your platform of your choice. You don’t have to consider yourself a “content creator” but there’s a load of benefits to sharing what you do online. Even if it’s just a few words.