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.
Wow, it’s already been three months since the first U-Turn blog was posted. And I feel like we are just getting started. Given that readership in the early days on Blogger (where this blog started) was a paltry 3-5 readers a day, I figure that many of you have not read some of the early blogs…and a couple of them were worth reading.
So here is my list of the top twelve posts since we started three months ago:
Good news! I’ve found nearly all of the posts from 2007 that were lost is the Great Database Debacle. I was searching the Internet for any sources that might have copies of my old posts, and I remembered that Google will often cache websites that they crawl. Sure enough, I checked Google and found nearly all of my webpages cached. With a little cut and paste, I was able to recover nearly all of my original posts. There are probably only a half dozen I could not find.
So, over the next day or two I will be entering in all of the old posts. However, I may not be able to recover all of the comments. Thanks Google, you made one blogger really happy!
[Editor's Note: All of the recovered posts have been added to the site. However, nearly a dozen previous posts were not found. I believe I will be able to recovered some additional comments that were salvaged from my database backup. Those should be added in the next couple days.]
[Update (Jan. 21, 2008): All posts have been fully recovered from a backup that I did not even remember having. Life is grand!]
It seems that every blogger I know is posting their blogging goals for 2008. Well, I’m not one to break tradition. But before I give you the goals for 2008, I want to give you a brief history of the blog and the final numbers for 2007. BTW, if you are not a numbers person (like me), you can stop reading after the history:
History of U-Turn Ahead:
October 21, 2007 – I decide to start work on some Internet projects as a second source of income. One idea is for a blog about making a career change.
November 11, 2007 – I purchase the domains uturnahead.com and u-turnahead.com.
November 12 ,2007 – I register for a Blogger account, create a blog in about an hour and publish my first post at uturnahead.blogspot.com.
November 13, 2007 – I placed Google Ads on the U-Turn blog.
November 14, 2007 – I made my first penny (29 cents to be exact) from the blog. Okay, it was a mis-click that I made, but an honest mistake. Sorry Google.
December 5-7, 2007 – After averaging only 3 visitors a day (and those still include my own visits!), I have an unexpected three day spike of 22, 65 and 36 daily visitors. Nearly all were referred from Google Blogger, so I think my site was in the rotation of random site visits. Oh, on December 5th I finally got Google Analytics to stop counting the visits I made to the blog.
December 18, 2007 – I begin work on moving the blog over to the UTurnAhead.com domain. I complete the “five minute install” of WordPress in just under three hours due to multiple problems with my GoDaddy hosting setup.
December 23, 2007 – I begin posting U-Turn content on the Blogger page and the new domain. I expect to do this for a couple weeks.
December 25, 2007 – A couple weeks, a couple days, what’s the difference? I make my last post on Blogger and inform the readers (average of 4 a day) that the blog has officially moved to UTurnAhead.com.
December 29, 2007 – I begin submitting my blogs to several online social networks and I see a tremendous increase in readership! I finish the last three days of 2007 with daily visits of 150, 55 and 185. I am now averaging 60 unique visitors a day since moving to my own domain. That’s a 1500% increase in one week.
Final Stats for 2007 (with 2008 goals in parenthesis):
Visitors: 638 (60,000)
Subscribers: 7 (900)
Revenue: $3.28 ($2,500.00)
Technorati Authorities: 2 (200)
Technorati Rank: 2,910,025 (<20,000)
Google PageRank: N/A (5/10 or better)
Google Search Rank for “midlife career change”: >200 (<20)
% Visitors Subscribing: 1.10% (1.50%)
Average Post Per Day: .65 (1 a day)
FINAL GOAL: Improve quality of career change content!
So, what do you think? Any comments on the Technorati and Google goals? Those were hard to determine. Well, as you can see, I have my work cut out for me. Of course, I only had the blog up for seven weeks in 2007, so don’t let the huge increases fool you. I will let you know how I am doing throughout the year.
First, let me apologize for the lack of daily posts over the past several weeks. Of course, if you are reading this blog, then you are already in on the surprise…We are about to enter a new year, and changes are all I can think about. And the big change this week is the new look and location for the U-Turn Ahead Blog. Over the next couple weeks I will be moving my blog off the Blogger system and over to this new location. I love Blogger, then why am I making the move?
I have big plans for U-Turn Ahead and those plans require more functionality than I can get from the Blogger site. Here I am using WordPress blog software with the i3Theme from MangoOrange.com. I’ve tweaked this theme a little, but have more changes in store. By using WordPress and hosting this blog independently, I will be able to offer much more to my readers.
Also, I want to make this change before I get a larger following. The blog at uturnahead.blogspot.com is only getting a few readers each day, so making the change now will have less negative impact then if I make the change some time later.
For the next few weeks I will be posting the same content on both blogs. However, early in January I will be stopping work on the other blog and all posts will be at this new location.
So, welcome to our new home and keep reading. 2007 was just a warm up. Expect a lot from U-Turn in 2008.
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!
I just call it charting a new course. This is the beginning of a new journey, but the destination is still not known. I am now 44 years old and growing weary of my career and current lifepath. Don’t get me wrong, thus far, I have chosen the path I am on and my life has been wonderful. I have a wife and two sons to share my love, friends and relationships that add richness to my life. I have no worries about material things. Yes, in most ways, life is good.
But, it’s time for a change. A change that is both radical and meaningful. I am about to change my life by changing my career. No, I’m not going to quit my job next week and try professional poker (as fun as that sounds), but I’m going to start down a path that will completely overhaul how I make a living.
For the past 22+ years I have been a social worker, nonprofit manager, and for most of that time, a director of social service organizations. Sure, it’s been meaningful work; challenging and fulfilling. But now it’s time for a change. Not a small turn down another path…it’s time for a U Turn!
This blog will follow that journey. So buckle up, I like to take my turns fast and sharp.
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