Thursday, April 20, 2006

Boston Globe: Blogs Essential to a Good Career

With a hat tip to a buddy who is a public relations professional, an article from the Boston Globe on how blogs can be an important tool for career advancement.

Some salient points:
Employers regularly Google prospective employees to learn more about them. Blogging gives you a way to control what employers see, because Google’s system works in such a way that blogs that are heavily networked with others come up high in Google searches.

And coming up high is good: “People who are more visible and have a reputation and stand for something do better than people who are invisible,” says Catherine Kaputa, branding consultant and author of “Blogging for Business Success.”

A blogger puts himself out in the world as someone who is interesting and engaging — just the type of person everyone wants to meet. “A blog increases your network because a blog is about introducing yourself and sharing information. . . .”

Blogging can get you a job

Dervala Hanley writes a quirky literary blog that got her a job is at Stone Yamashita Partners, a consulting firm that “tries to bring humanity to business.” Hanley says the firm was attracted to her ability to put her business experience into personal terms on the blog.

Blogging helps you move up quickly

To escape the entry-level grind, you can either pay your dues, working up a ladder forever, or you can establish yourself as an expert in the world by launching a blog. High-level jobs are for people who specialize, and hiring managers look for specialists online. “Decision-makers respect Google-karma,” writes Tim Bray, director of Web technologies for Sun Microsystems — on his own blog, of course.

Blogging makes self-employment easier

You can’t make it on your own unless you’re good at selling yourself. One of the most cost-effective and efficient ways of marketing yourself is with a blog. When someone searches for your product or service, make sure your blog comes up first.

Blogging provides more opportunities

Building brands, changing careers, launching a business — these endeavors are much easier once you’ve established yourself online.

“My blog is a foundation,” says Rosengren. “I’m building an awareness that I can leverage to do other fun things with my future, such as product development, or public speaking.”

A blog gives you a leg up when you meet someone new. Dylan Tweney, a freelance writer, says a blog gives him instant legitimacy with clients.

Clearly, this article is not about us hobbyist political bloggers.

It’s not about the people on our blogroll, nor about the bloggers whom we regularly read.

None of us blogging to promote our careers. Indeed, blogging can be an impediment if it becomes a too-time-consuming hobby.

But in fact, blogs are becoming a normal adjunct to an academic career, as evidenced by Ann Althouse, Shark & Shepherd, the Becker-Posner Blog, Freakonomics or Tony Palmeri.

And blogs have certainly become a way of establishing legitimacy in a field.

While we happen to have the credentials and position to speak on public affairs (blog or no blog), that’s not true of Owen Robinson of Boots & Sabers. How has he become a “somebody” in Wisconsin politics? By dint of his blog.

One can, in other words, establish onself on the basis of merit, credentials or no credentials.

In the jargon of the economists, barriers to entry are lowered in many fields.

What we hobbyist bloggers have been doing is more and more becoming a career strategy for people in a lot of professions, especially the self-employed and those who live as consultants and independent contractors. Having a blog is becoming a necessary component of being a “somebody.”

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