Now that I’ve moved from my old traditional day job to work as a blogger life couldn’t be better. We have a good balance, I get to be at home with the children and I finally feel like life and work take up the right amount of time each. But, there’s one thing that still always catches me off guard and makes me nervous about this career of mine.
When people ask ‘What do you do?’ I end up a stuttering wreck, blurting something out like ‘Oh, I, errrrr. I’m a … errrr…. a blogger’ and then swiftly change the subject. But, if they’re still listening they’ll usually say ‘Oh, you can get paid for that?!’
On our recent holiday I had conversations with probably half a dozen people and it’s always the same sort of thing – Have you been on one of these holidays before? Where are you from? What do you do? And I find it so hard to answer that simple question.
It’s not because I’m embarrassed or ashamed of it. It’s not that I don’t want to stand up and be counted as an ‘influencer’ – it’s that whenever it comes up in conversation I’m sure the people I’m speaking to won’t realise it’s a valid career option and will instead think I’m just typing out ‘Dear diary…’ posts when the children are in bed. It’s because I don’t think people will take it seriously and will brush it off as a hobby and pastime rather than a career.
But, until I start being assertive about blogging, until I start saying what I do with pride, keeping the conversation going and explaining more about it – how are other people ever going to see it as a legitimate job? How can I expect other people to respect what I do and understand it if I can’t even open up and talk about it to people I’ll probably never see again on holiday?
When I worked for a High Street bank I had no problem talking about my job and my job roles as I moved through the company. I was happy telling people I was a cashier or a Bank Manager later in my career. When I worked at Woolworths as a teenager I’d happily tell people where I worked and was so proud of managing the entertainment department and selling CDs.
But now, when I am self employed and do so many different things each day – writing, taking photos, using social media, admin… I find it so much harder to talk about what I do to people who haven’t been there from the start, people that haven’t seen me go from hobby blogger through to it being my career. When it comes up in conversation I find it awkward – and avoid the conversation where possible when really I should be embracing it.
Blogging as a career and making a living from a life online is a relatively new thing. It’s not something many people are aware of outside of the blogging circles. When I was little I wanted to be a lawyer, a criminal psychologist or a National Geographic photographer. I didn’t aspire to write the blog that I do now – because this world didn’t exist back then.
But now the whole digital world is so big and it has opened up so many opportunities that being a blogger is a legitimate career option when children are looking at their future. Our children could grow up to travel the world, documenting it online. They could be a fashion or beauty blogger or the next big Instagram sensation.
So, as much as people will know what a shop assistant is, what a doctor is and what a lawyer is they may not know what a digital influencer or career blogger is – and that needs to change. But, that change needs to start with me and everyone else that has no idea what to say when people ask what they do.
So next time someone asks what I do I’m going to say I’m a family lifestyle blogger, that I spend my working day online, writing, taking photos and promoting on social media. I’ll tell them that I love what I do, it lets me stay at home with the children and no two days are the same. I am going to stand up and be counted and in time that simple question won’t be hard to answer.