I originally had a list of ideas to choose from for my next blog post. After visiting TUJA’s blog, The Unknown Job Applicant, (which was recently featured as a Best Pressed choice by WordPress), I shelved that list for another time. At the risk of writing a “copycat” post, I decided instead to explain why I chose to make my job search public through this blog.
As mentioned in my very first post, there were many reasons why I started to blog about looking for work. The first was to showcase my skills and experiences. That’s not necessarily a bad thing if it is done professionally and truthfully. It’s no different than uploading my resume to torontojobshop.ca or monster.ca for consideration by hundreds of employers. So far, the blog has caught the attention of a few managers looking for new hires, which led to requests for my resume and interviews. It’s not as much attention that I get from my “David Needs A Job” ads on Kijiji and Craigslist, but it certainly has not hurt my job search in any way. More about that point at the end of this post.
By running a blog about my job search, I’m announcing my status as someone who is looking for employment. Again, not that different from, say, going to meetup.com or LinkedIn or telling your friends and family members in order to network. The only difference is the scope of people you can reach through a blog. I’ve received visits from as far away as India and the Philippines. I’m not planning on moving there to work, but I mention this just to show the range a blog can reach.
With these visits come words of sympathy, supportive comments, and suggestions on how to improve the way I look for work. These things mean a lot to me, more than people realize. It lifts my spirits when I am feeling low, keeps my job search strategy fresh and innovative, and introduces me to material to read about. We have a lot of intelligent bloggers here on WordPress. I’ve learned how to improve on my own blog by following other blogs like TUJA’s, though I admit there’s still room for improvement.
Blogging is a form of catharsis. I’m going to be frank with you: when you are unemployed, there’s really not a lot of people to talk to during this time. This can make someone feel somewhat isolated and can work against you. Once I get something off my chest in a blog, I find I can focus on my job search better and produce results that lead to more interviews and referrals.
All of the above of course depends on how much I choose to reveal about myself in this blog. Before writing the very first post on March 29th, 2012, I struggled with the question of balancing my job search blog to be all the things I mentioned before with the amount of my private life I wanted to reveal. I am not an introvert, but I’m not a person who constantly seeks attention nor wants to draw too much attention. My blog is visible to both people who know me and perfect strangers (like employers screening potential hires through social media).
I agree with TUJA when he said, quoted “if you’re looking for a job, it’s imperative that you take a look at what’s out there about you, and do what you can to clear out the things that might not be the most flattering towards you.”. For that reason alone, he is absolutely right to adopt an alias.
In the end, though, I decided to go unmasked in order to get past the unemployment figures reported on radio, TV and the newspapers. These are sterile numbers that statistics people love to use to measure trends, but does not tell the real story about the unemployed who are looking for jobs. You can’t really understand what it’s like until you walk a day or two in the job seeker’s shoes, and distilling parts of my life could have gotten in the way of that understanding.
What you are reading about me in the blog is not only the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, it’s the uncensored truth. So, if you are left with something to ponder after you read about my frustrations with job assistance centres and interviews, the amount of time, effort, and creativity I employ looking for work, or my wonderings if I am ever going to land a job, then this blog and giving up a bit of my privacy was worth it.
And as always, thanks for reading!