I watched an episode of Panorama on Monday night called Real Apprentices. Basically, it was looking at 4 young unemployed people and their search to get a job. It’s very well for the Daily Mail Brigade to say “Get a job you lazy bums”, but I know people who have been long term unemployed and have been promised work only to find it snatched out from underneath them. They had one person on the programme who was only guarenteed a day’s work. These companies make a fortune and can only guarentee a days work? No wonder why so many people don’t bother.
One statement got me thinking a lot though, as it was a statement I used a few years ago.
“I can’t get a job because I don’t have experience, I have no experience without a job.”
This got me thinking. Most of us want to blog for an income, but realisitcally most of can’t, but what about using it as a reference to get a job, particularly if your CV is a little thin?
Primarily, the focus has always been on the negative side of mixing bloggign and work (see “Dooced“), and obviously some blogs should be shown to potential employees. However, a lot of blogs in my mind can be used in some way shape or form to promote yourself – my mate Tom wants to be a sports journalist, so he blogs about football, Han could (and should) but her wordpress templates on her CV if she wants a web design job.
And I’m not talking about journalism or web design skills. Three areas which have improved with me thanks to my blog have been the following.
1. Improves Your Language Skills
I don’t really like talking about my current employment on my blog, but I’d be lying if I said that my blog wasn’t mentioned in my interview for the job. I also have acquired an ability to bash out fairly coherant sentances, that you lot seem to enjoy. One of the issues raised within the programme on Monday night was the fact that a lot of school leavers have a weak grasp of the English language. I’m pretty sure that blogs over time assist you in improving those skills.
2. Improves Your Organisational Skills
Blogging can be a tough hobby, especially on how seriously you take it. People like me (who take it very seriously) need to be ready for every eventuality. You can’t do this unless you improve your organisational skills. Which’ll stand you in good stead elsewhere.
3. Can improve your Management and Budgeting Skills
Recently, I’ve become a bit entrepreneural with my blog – buying and selling links and services to hopefully get more readers to read my blog. I don’t use my own money. Well, technically I do, but it’s all money I’ve got from Text Link Ads or Ad sales. Either way, I made the concious decision a while back that my money was better off sat in a paypal account than in my back pocket (for now, plan on withdrawing a bit for my hols), and I take calculated risks on my blog. I never spend more than I earn though, and hell, I’m enjoying it a lot more than gambling (which I used to do quite badly).
Either way, I believe blogging is a worthwhile hobby that does give you good skills. Of course, it’s a matter of proving them to future employers which is the tricky thing.
What things have you learnt blogging?