Friday Coffee Chat (23)–To Blog or Not to Blog?

To Blog or Not to Blog?

This week on Friday Coffee Chat, I’m going personal, and I’m going to talk about blogging which I had never planned to do. I like that all of the chats I’ve hosted before are reader based rather than blogger based. I have friends that read my blog that are not bloggers, and I like them to be able to feel like they can chime in on any chat. I hope that they will feel like they can comment on this chat as well.

Some of you may know that I am looking for a job. It’s been a frantic search because I find myself in a situation where I need a job and sooner than later is almost a requirement for me. In the last few weeks I felt like I would have to give up blogging for fear of a company that I applied to Google searching my name and finding my blog. I don’t think that I post anything objectionable on my blog, but that is in the eye of the beholder. I do review some books in the fantasy genre that some people may find objectionable just because they are fantasy books.

I did read someone’s blog who posted about her sister moving to New York and needing to find a job. This was one of the instances where blogging was an asset to a person who was looking for work. It seems like it’s the exception to the rule though. In the last week, I read several articles about people getting fired for the content on their personal blogs. I want to give myself the best chance possible to find a job, and with all these stories coming out I feel conflicted about whether or not to continue blogging.

My search has roughly gone on for two months. I set an internal goal for myself to apply for ten jobs per week. So far, I have applied for 91 jobs since starting to keep track on my nifty spreadsheet. Of those, I have definitively been turned down by roughly a third the companies. I still have faith that by remaining optimistic and showing that if I continue to plug away, search, and apply for jobs my tenaciousness will pay off and an employer will take a chance on me. I just need that one chance.

On one hand, I feel like my blog is an asset. It shows that I have taken the initiative to do something for the last year and a half that I enjoy immensely and requires some thought and work. On the other hand, I don’t tell most of the employers that I apply for jobs with that I have a blog. It’s up to their HR department to find me through web searches. I am hesitant because someone may look at my choices of books to read and decide that I am not the person they are looking to hire. Maybe this is just me overreacting and feeling overstressed to find a job, but in reality I feel like this does happen to people who run personal blogs.

I am not in a position where I can stay unemployed for very long. I feel that I have a lot to offer a prospective employer if given the chance. For so many years I have settled in my life, and now I feel uncompromising about what I want in life. I have these goals and I am pursuing them like The Goonies pursued One Eyed Willie’s booty (yes, that is one of my favorite movies of all-time)! My question is, will blogging hurt my pursuit of my dream job?

I love blogging. I love the community. I miss posting reviews. I miss talking to people about books. I miss having regular Friday Coffee Chats. It is hurting my blog and me to not be as active in posting as I once was. Not as many people are commenting on my posts, and not as many people answer my Tweets on Twitter when I talk bookish things. I know that I am taking a risk even posting about my job search and my questioning whether or not I should continue blogging, but here it is. Life is all about taking a few risks here and there. I want to know what you all think about blogging while job hunting.

  • Do you think there is a risk of being turned down for a job interview if you have a blog?
  • Thinking with your head and not your heart, what would you do if you were faced with the absolute need to have a job? Would you continue blogging?
  • Do you think that blogging can be an asset even if you are not searching for work in marketing or the publishing industry?


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Patches said...

You bring up a really interesting topic, and it is one that I am very concerned about myself. I feel that in this age of hyper-connectivity that many people feel far to comfortable with vomiting their everythought onto the screen while lacking the self disgression to filter their thoughts.

This, I feel, is caused by what I can only think of as the hyper-isolation of the modern world. What I mean by this is that while there is an overabundance of interactive stimulus between the umpteen-millions of people on social media...the act of blogging or facebooking or what have you is a private undertaking where even if there is an immediate response from someone else the effect is dulled by the screen infront of the writer...a sort of technological distancing that (I have noticed) has made people feel less responsible for what the say or announce to the world at large. This is why employers may search for prosepective hires on the web because they do not want to hire someone who is not able to make the distinction between what is and is not appropriate to post on a blog or other social media.

Sorry for that diatribe...what I am getting at is that there is a risk of blogging when interviewing for a job but only if the blogger is not willing to take ownership of the ideas that are being conveyed and do not have a sort of professional candor (ie no pictures of being a drunken mess on facebook or blogged list of former lovers on a website that is open to the public...extreme examples but I have seen them). Thinking in this regard I feel that you have nothing to fear with your blog. You will not be turned down for a position simply because you prefer fantastical literature compared to say political non-fiction. The very fact that you have seriously thought about that being a factor proves to me that you have enough self-awareness that the blog is highly unlikely to get you in trouble with a potential employer.

Now in terms of whether you should continue blogging the truly import question is "Does blogging make you happy?" If it does (and that is the impression that I get) then continue blogging even during this difficult time. As long as it is not getting in the way of your job search voicing your opinion about the literature you love can only be a good thing for you in terms of stress relief and personal enjoyment. I was recently unemployed and gave up some of the things that I enjoyed doing because I felt that getting a job was more important. While it was true that much of my time needed to be spent in looking for work I was miserable untill I picked back up some of those activities. Also employers can tell during interviews if you are miserable and that may turn them off. So it it important to make sure that you are giving yourself some time for fun activities.

Finaly, I do feel that blogging can be an asset when applying for work for two reasons. First, even if you are not looking for work in publishing it is showing that you have a skill with written communication which is an important trait to have. Secondly, and more importantly, it shows that you have interests outside of the work you are looking for. In my experience this is very important to employers because a person who is single-mindedly fixated on any job or activitiy is more likely to succumb to burning out then someone that has a creative outlet (ie blogging) to turn to in order to relieve stress and recover from the repetitive humdrum of the average persons working life.

I guess this all has been my long winded way of saying YOU have nothing to worry about with this blog and that you should ablsolutley continue blogging if it makes you feel good, just make sure leave time for the job search and everything will work out just fine. Good Luck!

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