Blogging To Get A Job? Advice?
June 15, 2008 4:48 PM   Subscribe

Blogging To Launch A Career Outside Academia? Advice?

In a previous life I was in business. However, a few years ago I switched careers and entered a prestigious research PhD program in a semi-hard science while my SO got a professional degree.

I have a few more years until I graduate and while I love my education, school, colleagues, & life, I do not plan on staying in academia after I graduate. Why? Because I am drawn to public policy (related to my field), not erudite ivory tower research. I find the latter interesting, but the former riveting.

The problem is that the faculty and students in my school are ivory-tower folks (nothing wrong with that) and have few connections with people doing actual policy work. To get around this problem, I want to start a blog mixing the research and public policy in my field. The goal of the blog is to learn about policy through writing and social network with people doing policy work.

Ideally, I would blog for the next few years (in addition to my research) and, after graduating, get a job through someone I met through the blog or knew me through the blog.

1.Does anyone have advice on using a blog to launch a career?
2. Know of examples of this type of thing?
3. Got advice of networking through blogs?
posted by Spurious to Work & Money (8 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
It's very difficult to network with a blog. Why not do conferences and start networking in the real world instead. I imagine blogging in search of a career is going to be a dead-end, unless you're attempting to publicize some very good thesis. I would bet your school has some public policy teachers, perhaps start there for links.
posted by parmanparman at 5:07 PM on June 15, 2008

Best answer: This article on how to be a leader in your field is not exactly about blogging but might give you some ideas on how to position yourself and your blog so that it gets attention and helps build your reputation.
posted by metahawk at 5:16 PM on June 15, 2008

Why not do the same thing undergrad or masters students are doing in this specific field? Go to the career fairs at this university, if they have them. Also, ask faculty at the school if they know of anyone that is looking for someone.
posted by toaster at 7:23 PM on June 15, 2008

Response by poster: The is a great article metahawk. Thanks
posted by Spurious at 7:56 PM on June 15, 2008

It's very difficult to network with a blog. Why not do conferences and start networking in the real world instead.

parmanparman, you're talking nonsense—if you're a great writer and know what you're writing about, having a blog is actually one of the best ways to network, as the careers of many of metafilter's earliest members continue to bear out. if your blog is interesting, people in your field will read it, and you'll be a leg up on your fellow academics when it comes to attending conferences and getting jobs, because people will already know your name and what you're interested in when they meet you.
posted by lia at 8:40 PM on June 15, 2008

Response by poster: Hi Lia,

Thanks for posting that. While I can't go into more details, I have seen well written, thoughtful blogs used as a stepping stone into great careers. The bloggers became 'experts' in the topic through their blogs and leveraged that into real world jobs.

However, I do not know anyone that has done it personally, so I cannot really ask them how they did it. That is why I asked this question, to get tips on the nuts and bolts of doing so.
posted by Spurious at 9:01 PM on June 15, 2008

Penelope Trunk has written about blogging for networking/career and about networking/career in general in the Brazen Careerist blog -- try searching there.
posted by ecsh at 10:22 PM on June 15, 2008

Find all the blogs by people in your field and make a nice big blogroll of them in your sidebar. Click on all those links a few times a day and they will come to your blog to see who is linking to them. Subscribe to the RSS feeds of the best / most influential bloggers in your field and look for posts you can link to and write about on your blog. Again, they will come look to see who is linking to and talking about them. If they like what they see, they will start linking to and reading you too. Build up an audience. When it comes time to find a job, announce your job search in your blog post and ask for leads. Yes, you can find a job that way -- I have done it myself!
posted by Jacqueline at 7:16 PM on June 16, 2008

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