If you’re a professional today, you need to be a writer! You have to improve your writing skills to advance your career. Don’t believe me? Did you know that an estimated 269 billion emails are sent every day? And the world sends 18.7 billion texts every day. The average professional sends 40 emails a day. Written communication is frequent, and the volume is only growing. In 2000, only 12 billion emails were sent per day. That’s a 22x increase in email traffic over the last 17 years.
I did an informal family poll to see if personal experience backs up the numbers. My dad, a retired oil exec, estimated that mid-career his communication was about 30% written and 70% oral. As he moved up the ranks, the percentage shifted to around 60% writing and 40% speaking. I also asked my sister, a young professional at a non-profit. She estimated that her communication with donors is about 80% written and 20% is oral. Donors are the lifeblood of a non-profit, so it’s incredibly important to get written donor communication on point.
If you’re a professional, and don’t think writing is important – think again. We all write. Every day, constantly. Just look at the metrics! Maybe it’s just a text to your co-worker, or a short caption on an Instagram post. It could be a quick Slack message to your teammate. Or maybe the stakes are higher – you send an important email to your boss, or contact a recruiter about a job posting. You’re writing, and you need to be writing effectively!