If there’s one thing I’ve realized since getting into blogging about career stuff, it’s that there’s a lot of career related blogs out there. Case in point: this post, titled “100+ Career Blogs ALL Professionals MUST Read” (honestly, who has the time to read 100 blogs?). Unfortunately, most career blogs are pretty much the same. It’s one of the main reasons I try to avoid writing posts about “advice” – any advice I could possibly think about giving has most likely been written about many times over on another blog. I’m sure that, even in my attempts to come up with original subject matter, I’m failing horribly to produce content that no one else has touched upon.
I suppose my point is that most career blogs out there just don’t do much for me. Which is why it’s so nice when I find one that’s special.
The following sites are ones that I actually read. I may not always agree with their arguments, I may not always find them helpful, but I pretty much always read them, and each for their own reasons. Read on for my list (in no particular order) and why I think these blogs are worth checking out, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Career Transitions – Dr. Katharine Brooks (Psychology Today)
Dr. Brooks is kind of an all star in the career industry. In addition to authoring the excellent book, “You Majored in What? Mapping Your Path From Chaos To Career,” she is also an instructor and the director of Career Services for the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Texas in Austin. Bottom line: when it comes to career transitions, she knows what she’s talking about. At her blog, Dr. Brooks writes about all sorts of things, ranging from practical resume advice, to social media use for job seekers, to big questions like “Can You Really Do What You Love These Days?”
Careers Cafe – Liz Koblyk, Jo VanEvery, and Nicola Koper (University Affairs Magazine)
I would imagine it’s pretty difficult to keep up a career-related blog for academics that’s not, to put it bluntly, mind-numbingly boring (to a non-academic audience, anyway). Yet, that’s what this trio of writers from diverse backgrounds has been able to do. Liz Kobly’s down-to-earth tone suits her very practical career advice posts nicely, Jo VanEvery’s occasional doling out of hard truths about academic careers and lifestyles, and Nicola Koper’s personal stories from her perspective as a faculty member all complement each other nicely.
Careers – In Theory – David Winter
Beyond it’s clever title, this blog about career development theory has been on my reading list longer than any others in this post. The articles are written with an audience of professionals in the career industry in mind, and almost always focus on recent research findings in the field, with implications for career development theory highlighted. David has a straightforward and concise writing style, which – as a tangential and verbose writer – I also appreciate. If you like contemplating ideas and thinking about questions without easy answers, this is a blog for you. Bonus points for punny photo captions! (Note to David: please update your blog! I miss it!)
The Ground Floor – J. Maureen Henderson (Forbes)
Ms. Henderson’s short bio at Forbes says it all: “I write about early career issues. Pithily.” It’s a perfect description. Now, Forbes is a rather large publication. Many, many writers contribute content to the site, and it can be fairly overwhelming to find anything good as a result. Henderson became my favourite Forbes writer rather quickly, however, when I learned that she didn’t write posts about “The 10 Best Anything,” which if you’ve frequented Forbes, you know there’s an over-abundance of. What Henderson does write about, in her own pithy way, is interesting, thought provoking, and relevant issues targeted to an “early career” audience. It’s also clear that Henderson is a professional writer – she’s always done her research, and comes off as knowledgeable without being condescending. Though she may be guilty of a touch of sensationalism in her post titles, Henderson get’s bonus points for not being afraid to stir controversy (see “Are Your Parents Sabotaging Your Job Search?“).
While not a career blog per se, Dan Pink’s blog has been on my reading list ever since I read his manga book, The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You’ll Ever Need. On his blog, Dan writes about all sorts of things, including motivation, leadership, personal development, and the always popular “emotionally intelligent signage” series. If you’ve never read any of Dan Pink’s work, he’s very clever, funny, and easily digested.
The Ticker – Nick DeSantis, Xarissa Holdaway, et al. (Chronicle of Higher Education)
As you might expect from the Chronicle’s blog on “the biggest, newest, and weirdest in higher ed,” there are some pretty fascinating – and sometimes disturbing – headlines. I like to think of the ticker as a sort of lighter side of the higher education industry. In fact, The Chronicle used to have a blog (authored by Xarissa Holdaway) called Tweed that filled this role exactly, but for whatever reason it’s no longer being updated. Still, The Ticker has some pretty entertaining articles. Like Dan Pink, it’s not a blog specifically for career-related information, but it often gets around to this in less direct ways. For instance, this post about a university social media director resigning after someone discovered (through social media) that she had lied about graduating from university. Yeah, don’t do that.
Penelope Trunk might be on every list of “top career blogs” posted in the last 2 years. She’s so popular in the world of career blogs that, despite the fact that I read each of her posts, I was hesitant to include it here. The thing is, she’s popular because she does what she does well, and what she does is write honestly (very honestly) about her life. Often, her personal stories become vessels for worthwhile career advice (see “Interview Tip: How To Talk About Your Weakness“). Other times, they are a medium for her to convey her strong, controversial opinions. She’s a good example of someone who I don’t agree with on a lot of fronts (see “Blueprint For A Woman’s Life“), and who I don’t think I would even get along with, but I respect how unapologetic she is for being herself.
Make Believe For Real – Sabrina Ali
Speaking of people being unapologetic for being themselves, perhaps the one person I know who embodies this quality more than anyone is Sabrina Ali. She’s also the only person on this list that I actually know, so there’s that too. Upon first glance, Make Believe For Real might seem a bit, well, “airy-fairy.” There’s a lot of focus on words like bliss, passion, soul, true purpose, and the like, and sometimes stuff like that can be a bit much for me. The thing is, Sabrina is able to write about these things in a genuine, believable way. She oozes authenticity. You’ll also find lots of video interviews with interesting folks like Sean Aiken (he of the “one week job” project), and more posts about intentionality, inspiration, authenticity, and self-acceptance than you can shake a stick at.
*Cross-posted in Dave’s Diary at the Career Services Informer.