Book Show your Work! by Austin Kleon placed on a desktop with laptop, notebook, coffee and pencil. Title says "tips for data Professionals from" the book.

In my last blog, I spoke about the application of Austin Kleon’s book Steal Like an Artist for data professionals

In this blog, I want to now share lessons for data professionals from Kleon’s sequel, Show Your Work!

Why Show your Work?

Here are some benefits for showing your work to others:

Opportunities to get feedback from peers and experts

  • Hold yourself accountable to your online followers
  • Impress potential managers and employers
  • Inspire others on their learning journey
  • Teach others about the topics you are learning
  • You will meet and connect with others who do similar work like you

“Share what you love, and the people who love the same things will find you.”

And yes, even beginners can do this.

“The minute you learn something, turn around and teach it to others. Share your reading list. Point to helpful reference materials. Create some tutorials and post them online.”

Kleon believes that no matter what stage you are at in your craft, you are in a place where you can show your work.  

Step 1: Pick What you Want to Learn

“The best way to get started on the path to sharing your work is to think about what you want to learn, and make a commitment to learning it in front of others.”

What I LOVE about the data field is that there is always something to learn, no matter what stage you are in in your career. 

So first decide what you want to learn that you are willing to show others. 

If you feel like you need a community to do this with, we are fortunate to have several opportunities in the data world, like:

Step 2: Decide on your Sharing Platform

Now that you know what you’ll be learning, decide on which platforms you want to document your journey on. It doesn’t have to be just one, you can choose to cross-post on all the platforms out there. Here are some examples:

  • Start a blog to document the behind the scenes (aka BTS)
  • Create a website (if you’re doing a blog, use the same site) where you can post your end products. This can become your online portfolio. If you are a coder, you can use a public github repo (highly recommended).
  • Post videos and pictures of behind the scenes on social media
  • Do live working sessions or AMA on social media like Instagram, Tiktok, Youtube or Linked In
  • Don’t forget to tag relevant people in your industries in posts that were inspired or motivated by them or their work. Many will appreciate that and may even share your posts 🙂 

Step 3: Build a Sharing Routine

If you decide you will blog about your learning routine, figure out how often and what dates you will be publishing a blog.

Whether you will be just blogging or also showing your work on social media, get in the habit of documenting your work. Take photos of your work and get comfortable picking up your phone to record your work. 

As someone who’s not used to posting on social media or taking a lot of photos, I am trying to make this more of a habit. 

I also got myself a small tripod to hold my phone on my desk so I can record quick videos of what I’m working on (most of Tiktoks/Reels are recorded using this). 

“Teaching people doesn’t subtract value from what you do, it actually adds to it.”

In the upcoming blogs, I’ll show some BTS of my own work and plan on documenting more on my social media accounts.

If you aren’t already, be sure to follow me on Instagram @hanalytx and Linked In to keep posted!