Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Secret, LinkedIn, and Why Blue Should Apply For Jobs Instead of Me

Whenever I visit my parents' home, I intuitively sniff out all the new books that have arrived in my absence, and -- with few exceptions -- read them. It's how I became acquainted with Blink and The Tipping Point, and, on this visit, The Secret.

The "secret" of The Secret is that if you think about particular goals constantly, continuously (not continually -- that would imply breaks in the thought process), you can achieve them. The Secret takes it a step further and states that you will achieve them, and achieve them by thinking alone; the power of thought will "attract" your goals to you.

That's why people think The Secret is a bunch of hogwash. I agree. However, there's one thing The Secret gets right, and it's something I already knew: if you want to achieve a goal, it's a good idea to work towards it -- not just think about it -- constantly and continuously.

So. I want to get a job. Not just any job; I've had jobs, and plenty of them. I want a job that allows me to use my best skill set (that'd be the "writing" one, also possibly the "teaching" one, not the "stuffing envelopes and answering the phone" one, although I'm good at that too). And I've got a deadline of sorts; next May, after graduation.

I want the kind of job that a person might more accurately call a "career;" and I'm thinking about it constantly and continuously.

When I was applying to graduate school, I began nearly a year in advance. Every day I said "what's one thing I can do today to get myself closer to grad school?" Likewise, with the India trip, I took some time every day to figure out "what can I do today that will get me closer to going to India?"

And so, in the name of "what can I do today to get me closer to a good post-graduation career," I joined LinkedIn. (I've got a sneaking suspicion that networking is going to play a major part in this career process.)

And after I filled out my profile, my education (state schools) and resume (service and temp work) looked so unimpressive that I quickly ditched the entire thing.

After all, without the background to prove it, how could I promote myself as a "Writing Professional," as the site encouraged me to call myself? No one would believe me.

Then I thought "well, if they read the blog, they'd know where my real skills were." And that's when I began to wish Blue could apply for jobs instead of me.

The real world says my education and experience only qualify me for service jobs; but Blue has been hired to write articles for magazines (real, paying articles), not to mention getting tagged and linked-to across the blogosphere.

I live in the "middle of nowhere," but Blue rubs elbows and trades comments with many influential people; people who have founded successful companies, who write articles for major magazines, who work for prestigious institutions, academic-or-industry; people whose names jump out from the insides of books and remind me of how cool they are (Niranjana, that'd be you, in my copy of Sacred Games). Even someone who might be the Next Marketing Guru. ^__^

(Did I miss anyone? I hope not.)

Blue's even prettier than I am, because the world only sees Blue when the photograph turns out well.

In short, Blue's a much better job candidate than I am. Should I make a LinkedIn page for her?

When I began this blog I chose pseudonymity because I thought revealing my true identity might negatively affect my career options. Now I am wondering if and when I should out myself, or whether I should simply change my name to Blue.


Shripriya said...

This is the downside of anon blogs. I say just make the two-identities one, do a full reveal and voila, you can apply as yourself.

If this is impossible for some reason, then there's a problem... but otherwise, it will solve it nicely.

Writing is really hard to break into and most people start out freelance, so do everything you can to help yourself.

Blue said...

The reveal is coming soon...

What I mean by "getting a job that allows me to use my writing skills" isn't exactly that I want a job writing articles or fiction/non-fiction or anything like that, although I would love the chance to try that kind of work.

All I mean is that I'm looking for a job that lets me use words, punctuation, spelling-and-grammar -- even the transcription work I did would be fine, if it were adequately paid -- all of my strengths. If companies have people that put numbers together, surely they have people that put words together.

But I'm not even sure of the names of the jobs I'm looking for.

Shripriya said...

Well, in the internet world, there are people who write copy for emails and marketing communications etc. They usually live within the Design umbrella since the user interface and the words etc. all go together.

There are also people who are in charge of email communications writing.

But most any job would require you to "use words, punctuation, spelling-and-grammar" since you'd have to communicate via email :p