Blogging My Way To A New Job Or Not?

I started blogging in January 2009. It all started after a heated discussion at work–how to incorporate social media into our marketing mix.  After writing a sample article and receiving many kudos from my manager and co-workers, my blog was born.

To date, my blog has been all about discovery: what if I write about this subject; what if I link to this person’s blog; what if I open a Twitter account and link to my blog; what if I join Blogher; what if I use these tags; what if I ask a question on LinkedIn; the list goes on.

It has been a lot of fun catching up to and jumping on the blogging train and delving head first into the world of social media.  In fact, I”ve had so much fun that I want a new job doing this stuff! I want to blog and manage an on-line community.

But wait. There’s a problem here.  Unfortunately, my personal blog could become a liability when it comes to a serious job search.

Sure, I’ve been careful not to be too specific about who I’m writing about, but there is a definite “tone” that could be miscontrued as bitter.

I like sarcasm, but someone looking to hire me, may not. I also like talking about controversial things like religion and healthcare reform. And I on occassion discuss my chronic health condition. Not really the professional voice some may be looking for, right?

So, I’ve been thinking about starting a new personal/professional blog (now that I’m an old pro). I purchased my domain name/hosting (www.karenshaffer.com), started a new Twitter account, and am chewing on where to focus my content.  I’m a writer, yeah, but I’m so much more than that.  I’m a consumer advocate, a project manager, a data freak, an excellent maker of coffee….

I’m glad I took the time to experiment with a personal blog first before taking on a super-focused professional endeavor, but I’m thinking it’s time to move on and get serious.

Have advice for me? I’d love to hear from you.

  6 comments for “Blogging My Way To A New Job Or Not?

  1. August 29, 2009 at 7:07 am

    I agree with you that our blog reflects who we are and we have to be careful about what we put there for potential future employers. But at the same time if an employer reads my blog and decides not to hire me for what is in there, I have to ask would I be a good fit for that organization? Would I be happy there?

    I tried what you are doing and have decided that I am going to only maintain one blog and when I start my job search in the next month or so, I will proudly have my blog link on my resume. I am what I am and I believe that if an organization sees me as the human being that I am and sees the honesty that I provide in my blog that they will either believe that I fit their culture or not.

    I don’t have all the answers, but I would prefer to have to discuss my blog at an interview than some of the inane questions that are always asked, that everyone fakes an answer to.

    Harold

  2. August 30, 2009 at 11:25 am

    I did the same thing. I started a personal blog (www.theparentrap.net) as a test to learn about blogging. Luckily, because it was about my family, I had to self-edit from the start. Three years plus later, it’s still going strong, even though I’m two jobs past the one in which I started blogging. Ironically, that job site is still behind the times on social media. They’ve adopted blogging, but aren’t making the most of it or Twitter. Slow to learn is slow to learn.

    Another way to get started (especially if you’re going to be controversial) is to use a nom de plum. Hey, it was good enough for Mark Twain when he was starting out!

  3. August 30, 2009 at 11:26 am

    nom de plume — not plum! It’s about names not low-hanging fruit!

  4. August 31, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    Hi Karen,
    I say “you go girl” and “go for it”! I love doing social media networking, writing and blogging and since being laid off from two jobs within the last six months, I decided it was time to go full force with it!

    I had started my virtual assistant services company two years ago but was only able to work it part-time, now that I’m not working my full time career as a Sr. Technical Recruiter with over 13 years of experience, I’m now focusing full-time on my business. Writing, blogging and social media networking is one of my best and fastest selling services. It comes very easy to me and I just love it!

    So, you go girl and do what you love to do and enjoy doing! That really is what life is all about, right? Enjoy it and have fun! Thanks for a great article and for sharing!

    Deb :)

  5. August 31, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    Karen,
    Yep, it’s tricky business to determine how much of the personal is OK and may even enhance a professional blog.

    My two cents: If you’re going to have two blogs and want one to better serve you for career purposes, then in your head it might be good to separate topics and views as what you feel falls more into professional (writing, data freak, project manager) and personal (chronic health issues, coffee making, religion). If you can figure out a way to make coffee work as a segue to some kind of professional point (metaphor/allegory) that’s cool.

    Even in a professional blog it’s OK to have a point of view and be controversial –it’s more the topic than the tone, though being overly sarcastic on a consistent basis may not be the best policy for professional purposes, unless the type of writing gigs you want would call for such a thing. In any case, showing personality is part of what’s expected of a blogger.

    You have to sort it out, but if you want a job as a company blogger and/or managing an online community, for sure, write posts that relate to this area of interest — how to’s, tips, opinions on news/surveys, to show you know the lay of the land. Good luck with your endeavors.

  6. September 2, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    Wow, thanks for all the great feedback and support.

    Harold, I see I inspired a new post on your blog. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to leave a comment for some reason.

    Rhona, Luckily, I did use a nom de plume to a certain degree. My blog is authored by “Mother Shaffer”. So, if you Google Karen Shaffer, my blog does not come up. Great tip though for anyone thinking about starting a blog. I have to admit, it was not a conscious decision on my part.

    Deb, Glad to hear about your success! YOU go girl!

    Deni, Great tips. I’m still “maturing my thoughts” (as a favorite manager of mine used to say) about the new blog and will definitely keep your wise advice handy.

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