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Why Is Writing Important? It Makes You Recession-Proof [See How]

As I write these lines, the global economy is softening, inflation is hitting many countries, and we are at the brink (if not in the midst) of a recession. In all media outlets, we hear a lot about economic uncertainty but very little about how we can fight inflation and become recession-proof individuals. 

We are actually having the wrong conversation about economics. Instead of talking about the price of material commodities going up with inflation, we should be talking about the value of human commodities going down with competition.

In other words, we’re talking about the 9% inflation in the grocery store when we could be talking about a possible 200% value increase in a person's market value. Needless to say, if you increase your value by 200%, the 9% inflation matters a lot less.

A caveat, though: to increase someone's value by 200%, you need some skills and expertise already. You don’t need to be the best, but you need to know your craft and have a level of expertise in it. (0 multiplied by 200% still equals 0.)

Let me illustrate what I mean through a story.

It’s a story about the only time in my life when I was laid off. I was laid off because I was a human commodity. And the worst part? It was from a minimum wage job which I’d reluctantly accepted.

If that already feels gross to you, wait for the actual story…

Why Is Writing Important in Life? It Secures Your Future.

Back in university, I worked for months at an authorized Apple repair store in downtown Montreal. The management liked me, and although I needed to improve some skills, I was doing an overall good job. For me, it was a student job, but this could have been full-time, permanent employment. 

Late in the fall of that year, I planned to visit a friend in Mexico City during the Christmas holidays. So I went to my boss to ask for some time off for that trip, but before I could do that, he broke to me the news that they were letting me know.

“You’re just not indispensable enough,” he said stoically, sitting behind his office across from me. “We normally would make an effort to keep you, but we’re too tight on money, and we have to let someone go. I’m sorry.”

“Ouch,” I thought. “I’m not indispensable enough. Wow.” The funny part is that the business had persuaded me to leave a job I liked at Starbucks to come work for them. Starbucks wasn’t great by any means, but it was close to school, the team was great, and…  well, free coffee, right?

Everything about this story makes me feel embarrassed because I was making as little money as was legally allowed, and I was at the mercy of the market and the decisions of people like my boss.

Writing Skills Help, But Publishing is Necessary

Here's the caveat about this story: I was a non-player because I had no expertise, but even I grew my expertise, I still struggled. I still was at the mercy of the market and decision-makers. Why? Because no one knew me, and I had little credibility. I was good at my craft, but I had few options.

Later in my undergraduate career, I had developed enough expertise and confidence in writing to go pursue opportunities. So, one summer, I applied for over 50 roles. Yet I couldn‘t get one employer to call me back.

Then, I started taking LinkedIn seriously and wrote content online about my writing expertise. I wrote. I published. I put myself out there. And then, funny enough, recruiters now reached out to me for interviews… and I was saying no to them most of the time!

I actually landed my first job out of university without needing to apply. I stayed there for several months, but then I left because the U.S. State Department awarded me a Fulbright fellowship to go teach in the U.S.

This leads us to my main point.

Writing Creates Leadership, and Leadership is the Only Safe Space in the Market

Let’s go back to the iPhone repair business that laid me off in university. The business was respectable, but it wasn’t a leader by any means. On the contrary, it was a business of “followers.” 

The business had to follow Apple’s leads in anything it did. It was certified by Apple, it repaired Apple products, and it had to go by the whims and fancies of the Cupertino-based multinational. Needless to say, that is a position weakness.

These days, layoffs are happening across all industries, and many businesses struggle because consumers can do less with their dollars. However, the reality is that these setbacks only really affect those who aren’t leaders in their field.

  • Leaders aren’t worried about their role or their business.
  • Leaders always have people coming back to them.
  • Leaders win in any economy.

While Apple also feels the impact of a softening economy, it does not feel it nearly as much as its followers. Apple has billions of dollars in the bank, a solid brand, and a solid advantage in the market.

My point? I’m not saying become Apple. However, do leverage writing to become a leader. The written word has a weight, and it can take your life to a brand new level. Apple uses the written word everywhere. Apple uses the written word everywhere, and so does every successful business.

How to Use Writing to Grow Your Career or Business

The bottom line is, that you can either hire an expert writer or become one, but either way, you need writing. You need the authority and credibility that comes from the written word. You need proof that you are an expert and provide valuable expertise.

For example, you can use writing to:

  • Develop your own frameworks and models
  • Increase your social media presence
  • Grow a blog that ranks on Google
  • Write an authority-building book
  • Become an overall better communicator

Most people ignore writing because they think it’s unimportant or unnecessary in the social media age. So they never improve their skills or work with someone who is highly skilled But that’s just a convenient belief.

The reality is that writing underpins most skills needed for success: strategy, communication, sales, marketing, etc. If you don’t have the tools to leverage writing, you are falling behind in the economy.

The question you need to ask yourself is this: “How am I using writing to show leadership in my field?” If the answer is nowhere, it’s time to get started.

*This article is adapted from the Leadership Writing newsletter, which you can find here on LinkedIn  or by subscribing to our email newsletter.