I’m double-dipping with this one as it’s an article I wrote for my community’s online blog/newspaper. Fitting, though:
I run a business and am launching a second one. I’m 26 years old and am attempting to have a semblance of a social life while also juggling some volunteer commitments.
Add to the list my blog which gets updated a couple times a week. Your mental imagine is either of a crazy person who doesn’t sleep and/ or is masochistic, or perhaps of someone who has too much on her plate. I’d say it’s neither, actually, but from the outside it can look that way.
With that in mind, I ask: What motivates an already busy person to blog? Might it be the exhibitionism of putting yourself out there for the world to see? Could it be a taste of celebrity? Perhaps it has something to do with the inner desire to journal and record our personal histories?
I can’t say for everyone it’s the same, but for me, it was a simple interest in creating a forum for my specific audience, quarterlifers, to have a sounding board. I take guest bloggers and encourage commentary, loving that my peers are able to discuss issues and topics that are specific to our stage of life. Additionally, I really enjoy the opportunity to be creative, more so than I do in my day-to-day activities running numbers for businesses on how to reduce their costs on credit card processing. It’s a great outlet to let loose through writing and share about experiences, get feedback, and synthesize life as it happens to and around me. That’s what keeps me writing.
The question was brought to my attention more generally about the pervasiveness of younger people blogging and their knowledge of social media. More so, the question asked if these skills could directly or inadvertently help to keep them employable.
My answer is maybe. While these skills certainly can’t hurt, I also don’t think they are always marketable. If I weren’t self employed and was writing a resume, I can’t imagine adding my blog as it’s too personal at times. Furthermore, I wouldn’t mention my knowledge of LinkedIn, Facebook, and/or Twitter for fear it would seem unprofessional. If I were going for a marketing or social media position, I’d hope I’d have enough experience professionally to quote those successes rather than these personal ones. Perhaps if employers are looking at online profiles, you can demonstrate your abilities based on how your pages reflect you, but I wouldn’t put my eggs explicitly in that basket.
On the flip side, there certainly is the possibility of gaining an online audience and being ‘discovered’ by possible employers in your field. If that’s one’s goal, I’d say go for it, but recognize that alone would likely not be your best bet: stick with your day job and blog on the side.
What’s odd is that some of what may motivate people to blog is precisely what can prevent them from being employable. Putting yourself out there, airing your opinions and/or personal life, and seeking notoriety could all have the opposite effect on making oneself more attractive in the job market, dependent on your blog topic and industry. Unless your aim is to target a market, make yourself an expert, and then parlay that into career success, there certainly can be pitfalls to putting oneself out there by blogging. I do hope, though, as an optimistic young professional, that perhaps that worlds of business and personal lives could blend in a healthy manner, addressing the fact that the two worlds are not as separate as we’re oftentimes led to pretend.
Blogging or not- it’s just a fact that the younger generations are accustomed to communicating online and will do continue to do so, for better or worse.