While most people were celebrating last Christmas in their pjs, opening presents under the tree with family and friends, I was sitting alone in my apartment staring at my computer and wondering how the heck my life had gotten so off track.
At the time I was overworked, underpaid and unappreciated at my job. My company’s profits were declining and my co-workers began a mass exodus to new jobs, new opportunities and new friends. All of the things that made me enjoy working there were rapidly disappearing and I started dreading coming into the office everyday.
A Way Out
In a desperate attempt to turn my situation around, I Googled “happy at work” (how did we live before Google?) and stumbled upon The Chief Happiness Officer blog run by Alexander Kjerulf. The man’s mission in life is to teach people how to be happy at their work. From his blog I discovered not only pearls of wisdom that helped me get through another year at my job, but other career blogs which led to more career blogs and eventually even more blogs. It was comforting to know that I wasn’t the only unhappy worker out there and pouring over all of these posts gave me something to do at my desk other than ruminate about how much I hated being at work.
Aside from all of the great career advice, discovering the blogosphere is what reignited my childhood dream of becoming a writer. I got to thinking about how much I missed writing. Seeing how simple it was to create a blog made me realize that the only thing holding me back from pursuing my dreams was me. If these people could put themselves out there and be successful, so could I.
So when Christmas came around and my company gave us an unprecedented Christmas Eve holiday, I decided to take all the free time I would normally spend feeling sorry for myself and use it to get off my butt and do something. That’s how The Office Newb was born on Christmas day 2007.
I intended my blog to be both a showcase for my writing and a portfolio of my work to show potential employers. It has satisfied both counts. In April of 2008 I decided I had had enough of my current job and started a serious job hunt. I included a link to my blog in all of my resumes. I went on several interviews where everyone on the interview team had read my blog and went so far as to print out posts and bring them to the interview to discuss. They even asked me questions about my work style based off what they read on my blog!
Within a month I landed a new job at a great company—all because of my blog.
An Exciting Year
I have put a lot of time and energy into blogging. Because of it, I read a lot more. I stay current on today’s issues. I force myself to develop opinions and have learned how to defend them. But for all that I’ve put into this blog, I’ve gotten returned in spades. People from all over the world contact me about business opportunities and writing gigs. I get to see websites before they are live to the public. I read manuscripts before they are published into books. And best of all, I get to write for larger and larger audiences which I’m hoping will lead to my dream job: professional writer.
Blogging has given me a purpose in life, an outlet for my passion. And isn’t true happiness being able to do what you love in life?