About 6 months into working at my first healthcare IT position, I started my first blog about EMR software. I’d been working in technology, but knew nothing about healthcare beyond my own visits to the doctors office. Plus, EMR was so new (and yes, it was called EMR back then and not EHR) that everyone was trying to figure it out. With that in mind, I started a blog sharing what I learned about EMR. Although, in the back of my mind, I also thought that having a website with my experience and knowledge of EMR would be valuable to my future career.
What I didn’t know was that my EMR and EHR blogging would become my future career, but that’s a story for another day. However, I was right that having a blog that showed my experience and expertise with EMR would be a great way to get another job.
For example, I received a message on the contact page on my blog from the hiring manager at a large hospital system with approximately 100 ambulatory clinics and growing quickly (it would be interesting to know how many they have today). The message was great because it toed the HR line as she subtly invited me to apply for an EMR job she was trying to hire. She essentially told me that she had an EMR position that HR was having a hard time filling (my previous post reminded me of this story) and based on my blog, she thought I might be a good fit for my skills.
I thought the position looked interesting and so I applied. I flew out for the interview, was even offered the job, but after a lot of thought about the job and where I wanted to take my career I chose to not take the position. However, it illustrated to me the power of blogging about my career. It was an amazing way for me to differentiate myself from other people. Plus, they literally came to me asking me to apply for a job.
While I can’t guarantee that people will start offering you jobs if you start blogging, being able to list your blog on your resume is also a really interesting way to differentiate yourself from other candidates. It shows a certain amount of entrepreneurialism that many hiring managers will like. Plus, if it’s well written, then it’s a great showcase of your true knowledge and expertise. Not to mention, it illustrates how you think about problems and evaluate solutions.
It’s also worth warning you of some of the risks of blogging. Some employers won’t like that you’re blogging and will be afraid that you’ll say something bad on your blog about them. I’ve found this concern easily resolved with a discussion of what I blog about. Instead of blogging about individuals or companies, I keep my blog posts about general topics that could apply to anyone, anywhere.
Another concern I’ve often heard comes from balancing the time spent blogging with the day job. I’ve found this easily resolved by explaining that all the blogging happens after hours on nights and weekends and not during the work day. This usually works in most organizations, but it’s definitely worth checking the company’s social media policy to make sure you’re in compliance.
While blogging about your career and expertise isn’t for everyone, there is a lot of value in blogging even if you don’t leverage it as a way to find or get a job. In order to write about something, you need to have a deep knowledge of that topic. This often requires doing extra research on the topic. It always includes making sure that you have a clear understanding of the topic in your own head. This type of learning and clarity is incredibly powerful and will help make you a better employee and also will show through in the interview process.
Obviously, I’m a biased fan of blogging and the power of blogging. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the power of blogging for your career.