One of the things I love about new media is that it’s dynamic, ever-evolving and always offering up new content. New! Shiny! Reads! Every day! It’s an exciting world.

But just like with classic literature, there are so many pearls tucked away in the archives of blogs across the globe that still offer wisdom and insight today. And since Internet years are likened to dog years, anything more than a year old is pretty much ancient history. So this occasional feature will highlight some very solid, relevant reads around the blogosphere to dust off and enjoy.

  • Make a Story Out of Your Career – Penelope Trunk illustrates the power of storytelling in job interviews, on the job and through your career.

  • Make Something Happen – Seth Godin delivers one of my personal favorite motivational posts of all time. 

  • Getting To Done: Down With Piles – Keith Robinson at Lifehacker offers simple ways to de-pile your life.

  • A Poem for All of Us Bloggers – Guy Kawasaki points bloggers to a 1959 poem, “There Is No Indispensable Man.” A good thing to remember, and the poem is terrific.

  • The Blog TrinityTony Bloomberg at Diva Marketing shares her take on the core elements of blogging in no more than three words.

As a professional, you should be able to talk about what you do. You should have an elevator speech ready to go, a 15 second sound byte that succinctly summarizes your work and its value. And you should be able to get into cohesive detail and give a full-blown 10 minutes if need be. Knowing how to speak about what you do is an important skill if you want to build your business, land more clients or increase sales.

But it’s also critical if you want to get beyond what you do and enhance your career. Why? Because you need to be able to communicate what you do not just to potential clients or customers. You need to be able to communicate the full scope of your work to your boss (and the people he answers to) as well.

I started thinking about this today when our department was audited. We’re an ISO certified organization, so each year, we have a review of our processes. In the middle of the audit, my boss gave me a call to ask me a question about a project I handle for the department. It was an easy enough answer. But it tuned me in to the open-door conversation going on mere feet away from me about all the projects and tasks and processes that make up the work we do every day.

He was getting barraged by questions that were pretty basic, but listening to my boss talk about my work and that of my co-workers made me realize that he knows a lot about much of what we do. And about other stuff, he’s clueless. I suspect that this is probably the case for a lot of workers. That’s because for many of us, we’re hired to fill a job description, are assigned certain tasks and projects. After time, we take on new tasks, come up with new ideas, evolve the way things are done. So unless your boss is standing over your shoulder to make sure you follow everything the way it was prescribed (hopefully, this isn’t the case), chances are, they don’t know exactly what your job looks like after you’ve been working for a while. Which, if you’re an evolving employee, isn’t really a good thing.

Here’s a few things you’ll have a shot at if you fall into the evolving employee camp and your boss really understands all you do:

  • Less work. If your boss sees that you’re drowning in too many projects or tasks but giving it your full effort, they might be able to take things off of your plate or help you prioritize. If you don’t tell them what all you do, chances are, you’ll keep drowning.

  • More work. If they see that your plate is too empty, they might be open to you developing new projects or ideas to keep you from floundering. If you never check in, chances are, you’ll be telling everyone that you don’t have enough to do – except the one person who can help you change that.

  • Star status. If you’re surrounded by co-workers who acclimate to their tasks and settle down there and choose not evolve their roles, there is a “standard” (be it a poor one) you can set yourself above. So, if your boss knows what you do and doesn’t know what your mediocre co-workers do, you’ll stand out in their mind even more.

  • A raise or promotion. If you’ve taken initiative and taken on new things, you’re more likely to receive recognition, perhaps in the form of a raise or promotion, if your boss fully understands the ins and outs of your job beyond what’s written on paper along with the value you add and how much your role has evolved.

For most all of us, this means there’s an unwritten duty in everyone’s job description, and that’s being able to sell yourself and your job to your boss. If you don’t communicate with your boss, chances are, they’re not going to know what your job really is. And before you tell me that paying attention to the work of their employees is a primary function of a manager and you shouldn’t have to bother, I’ll remind you that the best employees aren’t afraid of managing up. If you care about your career, you’ll take responsibility for it. In the end, being proactive and communicating your job to your boss – though it’s not something most of us learn in college – is one of the most valuable skills you can develop.

Action. It’s a powerful thing. It’s even more powerful when the passion and vision of a group of action-oriented people moves thousands of other people to action.

Their action touches millions. Maybe billions.

A new case study in the power of action is a little in initiative called, appropriately, Blog Action Day. In just a few weeks, this call for blogs across the globe to unite to talk about one issue has already spread like wildfire. And it will only keep spreading until the day arrives – October 15. People from around the world will be blogging about on issue. The environment. They won’t be pushing any one agenda. They won’t be posting the same press release. They’ll just be talking about the environment. Encouraging discussion, further thought, and, of course. . . action.

It’s the power of new media, the power of now, the power of action – in action.

I’ll be joining this powerful conversation. Will you?