I’ve been away for a while because of some increased demands at my day job. I’ve missed the blogging and my online friends, but the break was actually a positive experience for me. I found some excitement at work and was able to refocus my thoughts about my Internet media projects. So, I hope you don’t mind if I share a bit about where I’m headed in my own career journey.
As any of my regular readers already know, I started kicking around the idea of a career change last year after some personal changes in my life. I started blogging about my journey as a way of gathering my thoughts and exploring possibilities. I quickly decided to take the safe route and use jobrepreneuing as my means of exploring a change in careers. For the uninitiated, jobrepreneuing is my word for exploring being an entrepreneur while keeping your day job. I wasn’t ready to take the full plunge and leave my regular employment, but I wanted to start doing something different…something that could lead to a new career.
In November I decided on a plan to focus my energies on Internet media. I was a frequent user of the Internet and loved the open ended possibilities. I have also been interested in design and technology for most of my life, so the fit just seemed right. This blog was the very first step into my new Internet media career.
The ideas came quickly, and I envisioned all sorts of ways to make money online. And, of course, I was reading blogs and websites that told me how easy it was to make thousands a month with just a few niche websites. But being a realist, I knew it would not be that easy…and it hasn’t been.
I now have four established blogs and am developing three non-blog websites. I recently completed a course at the local community college on Dreamweaver web design. I also invested in a one-year subscription at Lynda.com where I learn even more about web design and programming.
I not yet moved into the money making aspect of my new side career. Revenue is small from the few blogs that I have. I now view my blogging, not as a money making venture, but as a tool for learning and an outlet for creativity. The blogging has also been a venue for planning as I continue to work out my personal career change.
Finally, I must share that my day job experience has changed during the past several months. There is a renewed motivation and, dare I say, excitement at work resulting from a clearer mission for our organization. It was this new energy (and several major work projects) that kept me away from UTurn during the past month. The work has become valuable again.
So, I am continuing my path of jobprepreneuing and growing my Internet enterprises. I have no plans for leaving my current employment, nor do I want to drop my moonlighting work. Both career paths are exciting to me now. When the two conflict, I will put the day job at the top of the list. I owe that to my employer. But the Internet media work will dominate my evenings and weekends.
Be sure to drop in regularly as I will be adding posts much more frequently.
My regular readers are probably wondering if I’ve taken a vacation or leave of absence from the blogging world. The answers are no and no. Actually, work has been keeping me extremely busy. My day job has taken on a considerable number of projects in the past couple months and I’ve been working all or part of every day for the past two weeks. This coming Sunday will be my first day off in three weeks!
But all this work is a good thing. Well, maybe not the long hours. But having important work to do is what motivates me. And that formula is adding up to some real excitement at my job.
I’ve always been a believer that it’s not your employer’s job to motivate you. But it is their job to give you work that is valuable to the companies success. Everyone wants to feel that their work is meaningful and important. And I believe that most good workers find motivation increases as the significance of their work increases.
If you find yourself unmotivated at work or feeling bored, take a look at the work you are doing. Is it important? Does your employer or supervisor value what you produce? Find a job with important work to be done and you will find a career that is motivating.
So, I’m taking a break from the excitement at work to write this quick post. In a week or two I hope to be back to my normal writing pattern of two to three posts each week. Until then, why don’t you share with us what motivates you at work?
I know, it’s been too long between posts. For that I apologize. I have a personal goal of never more than two days without a post, but it was broken this week. I was at a conference of nonprofit organizations giving a presentation on using technology to improve communication and services. It was well received and a lot of fun to do.
So, it’s time to update you on what is happening in my own pursuit of a midlife career change. Several weeks ago I wrote about my decision to stay in my current job while pursuing business options on the side. I call this being a jobrepreneur, and I wrote about the advantages of this work arrangement in January. It is challenging to do both, but it’s actually given me a new motivation for my day job.
As part of the preparation for my conference workshop, I created a website on using technology in a nonprofit business. NPTechnology.org was originally going to just be a simple site for answering participant questions that could not be addressed during the conference. But in speaking with other nonprofit leaders, I saw there is a need for more information in this area. So, I’ve decided to make the site a regular part of my Internet publishing group, Coryan Media.
I’m continuing to operate and write for four websites/blogs, and have recently been adding advertising to each site, one at a time. I’m also working on a couple more sites, but I know that I will need help to manage all of this…so the new sites are getting little of my time.
My hope is that all of this work will lead me to some new midlife adventures. I want to keep my position as the nonprofit director, but I love the technology/Internet work as well. I will be finding ways to promote myself as a speaker/trainer to nonprofits on the use of technology. In the meantime, I’m having fun and making some extra change…in my life and in my pocket.
Here’s the deal, WAH(web)Mommy (who, by the way, has one of the coolest blog designs on the Net) was tagged to post seven weird facts about herself on her blog. I was enjoying reading them until I got to the bottom of the post. There I saw it…I was being tagged to write seven weird facts about myself.
Well, keeping with the career change theme of this blog, I’ve decided to post seven strange job related facts about myself.
1) I was a waiter for Olivia Newton-John and her date. To make it even stranger, the dinner was under a circus tent in the middle of the field on a horse farm. So let me explain…it was Anita Madden’s famous Kentucky Derby Party being held on her horse farm in Lexington, Kentucky. I was a waiter for the Marriot Hotel that was catering the dinner. Olivia and her date were the only guests at my table. That was 24 years ago and we both looked a lot hotter.
2) I was paid $20 to paint a 12 foot mural in a church Sunday school room. It was my senior year of high school, and I was really into art (paintings, drawing, ect.). The scene was a creek running through the countryside with trees, butterflies and a couple other animals. Was it good? Nope. I was really disappointed, but the church folk seemed to like it.
3) Two weeks after I got married, my wife and I moved into a group home to care for six troubled teenagers. And we are still together today! My wife and I…not the six boys. We worked in the home for a year. That work lead to me getting my Master’s in Social Work and a career in nonprofit administration.
4) When I was a teen, I worked as a bouncer at our county fair. Okay, this one needs some explaining. The main attraction at the county fair in Harrodsburg, Kentucky is the horse show. I got a job working in the reserved seating. I had to check a list of names to be sure no one without paid reserved seating was in the section. At the end of the week, I would make another $20-40 helping the carnies break down the rides. It was my one week summer job.
5) I once made a nearly $200 tip tending bar for a reception with the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Jeane Kirkpatrick. She was speaking to the Fort Worth, Texas Chamber of Commerce during her last year as ambassador, and I was assigned as the bartender for the reception before her speech. The tip was 15% of the bar tab for only about 40 guests. They liked to drink.
6) I created the term jobrepreneur to describe those of us who start a business while remaining employed. Jobrepreneuing is not so weird, but the word sure is. I first used it on this blog a couple months ago. I needed a word to describe what I was doing, but couldn’t find the right one. So, like any good wordsmith, I slammed two words together! BTW, did you know that Coryan is also a word smash? It combines the names of my sons, Cory and Ryan. My real name is Jim Lockwood.
And I’ve saved the best for last…
7) I once sold Avon products door-to-door. I was the second leading salesperson in our region despite being a 20 year old man selling in the housing projects. I had just graduated college and needed money for a car. This was the only work I could find in our small town. I sold five days a week for six months, even recruiting other moms to sell for me for a small commission.
It’s been a while since I updated you on my personal career change efforts. As regular readers know, I’ve chosen the jobrepreneur path; I will keep my current employment while starting a business. A large part of my strategy is to create opportunities for career change through the active development of several different websites. U-Turn Ahead was the first of those websites that I started last November.
In past updates I spoke about the website Listonga.com. I’ve actually stopped development of that site for a couple reasons. First, I am considering changing the platform from a self-designed website created in Dreamweaver to using WordPress. The effort to design a quality website with the minimal skills I have was proving to be too much.
The second reason for delaying work on Listonga is that I wanted to launch another blog that I had been developing. On January 1st I made my first post at SevenActions.com. Seven Actions is a blog about setting goals and taking action to change your life. It, like this blog, is the direct result of things that are occuring in my own life.
So, I now have two blogs in place, another in development, and two websites on the drawing board. I am considering this time a learning experience for me. It is also a test of my commitment and interest in web-based businesses. So far, my interest is not waining.
My plans to launch Listonga.com on January 1st are looking disappointing. The learning curve for good web design is tougher than I had anticipated, and my work has been slow. Just a few hours of work each night has not produced the results I was hoping for. The content is building too slowly to think I will be ready by January 1st. So now I’m considering a mid to late January launch (or possible later).
Also, I registered for a community college course on web design. It will be interesting. I’ve not taken a class that was graded since 1988! My son also registered for classes at the same time. Funny thing – he didn’t want to be in any class that I was in.
Got a lot of work in this weekend on the Listonga.com website. I worked on a really fun page (but not all that attractive) called Regularly Updated Lists. You should check it out. It has some fun links. There might be a couple that don’t work, but remember that you are peeking in on a site under development. I am still testing the links to see if they are available on an ongoing basis.
Be sure to check back and see how Listonga is developing. You can also read a bit more detail about my work on Listonga at my other blog. [Editor's Note: This blog is no longer active.] Also, let me know what you think by leaving a comment here or email me at email@example.com.
I spent last night registering this blog with 30-40 RSS feed websites. It took some time, but right now I am just too cheap to pay someone to do it for me. I also learned a bit and found a couple helpful websites.
I have also found myself not keeping up with everything at work. I’ve stopped putting in extra hours at work and focus all my spare time on the website development. I need to put some more energy back into work so that I have keeping that a priority. As long as I am employed, I need to give my employer the best I have. As a matter of fact, it’s and I am taking a break from an extra long work day. I have about another hour of work before I can head home. So, goodbye for today…and I’m back to work!
Well, the website is coming along. I’ve been designing templates for the pages and trying to work some on content. I completed a page today that you may find interesting. It’s called Current News Lists. I’m not nuts about the name, or the complete look of the page (needs some graphics). Nonetheless, I really like lists that are linked to on the page.
I’ve actually started making come small pocket change off the advertising on this blog. Nothing major, but it’s a start. (Google restricts me from sharing the specifics.) I’ve included Google Adsense advertising on the Listonga.com website and just a couple days ago added some Amazon.com advertising. I like the look of the Amazon ads, but we will have to see if they pay off. I may add some Amazon links to this blog. I can select the specific ads, so I might promote some of the books that I have read.
Be sure to follow the progress at Listonga.com. And, if you have ideas, comments or a suggestion for a list, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In my first update, I mentioned a website that I am developing, Listonga.com. The concept is for a website that gathers a vast variety of lists on nearly every topic and makes them available all on one site. Eventually visitors will be able to leave comments about lists, add lists, and maybe even discuss topics from the lists on a bulletin board. I want the site to be a place for learning, fun, and research. Topics will include everything from sports to self-help. The site will be supported by advertising revenue.
I recently started work on the Listonga website and it’s starting to take shape. I began by developing a mockup of the homepage using Microsoft Publisher. I saved the file as a JPEG which allowed me to use it as a template while creating the page in Abobe Dreamweaver. I still have a lot to learn about web development and the studying at Lynda.com continues. I have also applied at a local community college where I hope to take a class or two in web development.
I’ve decided to let the UTurnAhead blog readers follow my site creation process, but I am not promoting the site until it is fully functional. If you’d like to follow the progress, simply go to www.listonga.com and see the site in progress. As you will notice, there is a lot of work to be done. The logo is complete and the site is beginning to take shape. The goal is to have it ready for promotion on January 1, 2008. I also have a goal of having 100 lists on the site by that date. By the way, if you have a list idea or a comment on the site, feel free to leave a comment.
I hope that you will drop by Listonga.com every week or so to see my progress. It could be interesting to have a first hand glimpse of a website in development.
Well, Thanksgiving is over, and I am truly stuffed. I had two of the most amazing meals in the past couple days. And while enjoying the break, I’ve decided to add regular updates about my own career change journey that I will call Coryan Updates.
About a month ago I decided to begin the steps to changing my career. As I’ve explained in other posts, I decided to go the moonlighting path to starting a business of my own. I’ve choosen to create some websites that will earn revenue through advertising, memberships and possibly product sales.
I first generated a list of about 10-12 website ideas. I then went right to the Internet to search for available domain names. This turned out to be more of a challenge that I had expected. I used GoDaddy.com to research specific domain names and NameBoy.com to help generate new name ideas. After about three hours of work, I had a list of 20 available names that had (in my opinion) some potential for the website ideas I had generated. I then narrowed the list down and purchased six of the domains.
I then started this blog and another called Listonga. [Editor's Note: The blog is no longer active, so the link is now to the Listonga website.] The blogs were to help me develop two of my website ideas and to learn about web design and advertising. I also signed up at Lynda.com, an amazing website with video tutorials covering more than 100 software titles. I have been learning to use PhotoShop and DreamWeaver (web design software) by watching the videos. It’s been a lot to learn, but it’s enjoyable and necessary.
So now I have to put these new skills to use. I will talk more about that in my next update. Keep an eye out for Coryan Updates in the future. They will occur on occasion between the regular articles and information.
Hi, I'm Coryan. I want to welcome you to my blog about making a midlife career change. I started this blog because of my own midlife change, and I want to share my experiences and the lessons I've learned with others. More