How My Blogging Helps and Hurts My Job Searching
Now that I’m out and about exploring various jobs, talking to recruiters and interviewing with potential future employers it’s becoming a bit of a dilemma as to whether I should give out my blog’s address to these parties.
I love my blog, I would encourage every single person to start one. It is totally different from a journal because you aren’t sharing your most intimate thoughts on a blog rather openly discussing certain aspects of your life, your viewpoint and documenting your progress in life and getting great feedback in return.
I don’t know what it is about putting your shit out there but by having others look into your personal finances, your personal matters, your career moves and bigger life decisions, you get a sort of insight that you may not get from friends and family.
How My Blog Comes Up
I like writing and for now the only way to showcase my writing is this website. So when the conversation comes up and they want to see some sample work they usually ask about my blog.
I also include writing as one of my “skills” on my resume, so when asked about sample work I refer them to my blog.
The issue is that I don’t like sugar-coating things and I like to be pretty honest about everything I write. Doing so means that I would be talking about the potential employers, their offers, what went well and what didn’t during the interviews and my final decision regarding them.
Recently I was doing some per diem virtual medicine work and one of the project managers heard that I liked writing. She called me up to see if I would be interested in writing some patient interaction outlines for their medical software. She asked for my writing and so I gave her the site address.
Why I Write, Why You Should Write
I write mostly for myself though secondarily I enjoy the feedback I get. Eventually it should help someone else, I can’t be the only doctor who got into medicine, realized that we don’t have enough financial knowledge, started spending too much of his income just to have to start from scratch and learn the financial side of medicine.
I can’t be the only doctor who went through a divorce or who decided after 7 years that he would like to try something other than clinical medicine. Whatever mistakes I’ve made should be a great learning tool for the next doctor who find themselves in my situation.
Keeping Your Writing From Your Employer
I say some pretty inappropriate things on this site, I curse and I make jokes that “a doctor shouldn’t make”. That’s the reason I have kept my real name out of this site – it’s something that you could do as well for your blog. I don’t think it really would matter if my readers knew my name and also, as long as my real name isn’t associated with this site in an obvious way it’s less likely that a future employer or business venture would ask me to take down my site or stop contributing to it.
You could also break your blog up, quite a few people I know do this. They have a main site that they write for and they have another one that’s more their op-site, where they get a little more personal and share a more subjective view-point.
Using Your Blog For Your Patients
I have a family medicine buddy who works at a concierge medical office in Los Angeles. He uses his blog to create posts to which he refers his patients, mostly to obtain more details regarding a certain diagnosis.
He refers his obese patients to specific diet links he has on there.
He outlines his management or after-care for a specific disease process.
There is no conflict of interest because he isn’t advertising anything on his site and not selling anything or profiting directly from the content.
Using Your Blog For Colleagues
I work at a huge medical group and always thought about creating a blog that focuses on my particular medical group, the finances, the income, the leadership, the retirement packages, how to hack the system better etc.
I would keep the name quite vague and definitely keep my name out of it, but I think it would be really helpful for new clinicians or those who want the inside scoop.
Using Your Blog To Build Your Reputation
Having an online presence is going to be a big part of job applications in the future. If you are able to show that you have a good reputation online, that you are active in your field and that you maintain your skills then you are far more likely to get a particular job over another person.
This kind of blog would probably be specialty specific, talking about the field you are in, the trends you are noticing, new advances, things you’ve learned, specific patient cases you can discuss. Essentially showing to a potential employer that you are knee-deep in it, competent at what you do and eager to learn.
It’s good to show interactions with colleagues. I recommend sending personal invites to specialists you respect and have them either comment on your posts or write guest-posts.
If you are a dermatologist and know someone who is well-known for their work with psoriatic patients, you could have them write a guest post regarding new technology or advances in regards to managing psoriasis.
Using Your Blog To Change Careers
This is less commonly done but think about how you would pursue an alternate career, or a side-career. How could your blog act as a springboard to help you boost your way into another field?
You could explore your interest in, let’s say, welding. You get yourself a shitty little MIG-welder and start practicing, laying down booger-welds trying to butt 2 pieces of metal together.
Then you go on forums, sift through a ton of useless information, watch a bunch of crappy YouTube videos until you realize that it’s better to take a local community course or buy a good DVD on the topic.
Then you get pretty good at it, you advance to TIG-welding and stick-welding and learn brazing for smaller projects.
Along the way you realize that you’re really good at it, and you can finally turn a profit from your skills by selling stuff you’ve made with your welding skills on Etsy or wherever.
So, you might as well start your blog on the topic and outline your progress. You can post your own videos and start your own podcast on your website. You can dispel myths and lay out the great resources you have come across. You would demonstrate the work you’ve done, how others can learn faster without going through the low-yield information that’s online.
What better way for you to show a future employer or business partner that you went from laying down boogers to designing beautiful industrial bedframes. It showcases your passion, your present skills and that you are able to organize things.
Using Your Blog To Make Money
There are so many ways these days to make money from your blog, I thought I would spend the last few paragraphs mentioning these in case you like writing or creating digital content.
Target A Very SPECIFIC Audience
If you only write for mothers who have children with celiac disease then you will have a smaller audience but a much easier way to market to them.
You can attend meeting and post your site on various celiac disease forums to get your name out there and create traffic to your site.
You can then sell advertising to companies who market products for this patient population. Advertising reimburses you in many different ways, you can research that topic online yourself if interested.
You can then fill the site with plenty of medical content to keep the customers coming back. If a certain product is truly useful for patients you could incorporate it into your post.
Sell To Your Audience
You might be an ENT doctor who is really good at procedures, possibly with your own office and camera equipment.
You could record videos of your procedures and sell them to colleagues online. Either you can make your audience other ENT’s or you could create content geared towards primary care doctors.
If you are an orthopedist, you could also write content geared towards medical students who want to ace their orthopedic rotation. On this site you can constantly post interesting cases and pearls that keep eager med students coming back. You could review good books and study material etc.
The nice thing about digital content is that once you create it, you can sell it as often as you can market it and it will keep making you money as long as the information stays relevant.
Product Specific Website
Take the AccuVein device, which sells for a little under $5k. It’s a product that can help a lot of nurses and doctors who are trying to start difficult IV’s.
If you create a website focusing only on this product you could create enough traffic to your website that you could make a decent income from the product manufacturer alone.
If you can get your site to come up as one of the top searches when people search for this product you could make quite a lot of money. In order to do so you likely would hire someone who specializes in getting your website up the ranks.
You wouldn’t be limited to advertising only this product, you can review similar products, advertise other products needed by the same audience etc.
Mass Audience, Mass Advertising
This is my least favorite type of site because the content is usually shit, the advertising is excessive and repeat customers are rare.
A good example would be if you searched for “How to invest my 401k”. Usually the same old shitty websites come up on the first page of your search engine, the sites that paid the most amount of money to their programming team to get their site on the first page. They are big names, no doubt, but they have so little content it’s pathetic.
Once you click on the site there is so much advertising and so little deep content that you usually will close the site. The main purpose of such sites is to get your eyes to view an advertised product.
For this kind of site you would need a broad audience, such as medical student, family medicine doctors or even better, any doctor or any professional in healthcare.