This is the 100th post of my blog and so by way of a “celebration” I thought I would take this opportunity to reflect on what I get out of blogging and why I hope to keep going with it.
Space to think away from work
One of the things I feel I benefit most from blogging is the space to think. The desire to write a post or so a week concentrates my mind and makes me develop thoughts which I wouldn’t otherwise. Next to that I find the actual process of trying to get thoughts down a powerful way to develop my own understanding and my views. Often i find when it comes to writing my thoughts are a lot more vague than they could have been and that it is through writing that I get them focussed and into more of a precise form.
Space to reflect on practice
One of the particular ways I think I benefit from the general space to think that I describe above is through thinking about practice. Whether that is directly through my own ideals and methods of delivery or more broadly about the social climate careers guidance currently exists in the blog gives me space to think through what I am doing. It the midst of delivery it is not always easy to step back and see the wood from the trees so I have found it vital to have the space to ask these “what am I doing” and “what am I dealing with” type questions. The challenge as I have found is making links back to my actual practice and changing in light of my thoughts.
Space to experiment
Linked to this as well as thinking about what I am currently doing I have found a benefit in thinking about what I could be doing in effect making the blog a place to experiment, have a disciplined space to develop ideas fully and then receive feedback from others. Some of my bits of practice I am most proud of came out of blog posts. This links in with my professional identity which is very much something I work with and develop as it is with anything else.
Calling card for networking
Moving on to how the blog has been more useful to me I have been surprised by how often someone I’ve never met come sup to me at a conference and says “are you Tom Staunton? I read your blog.” I think mainly this shows how small the careers guidance community actually is. This extension of the blog beyond the web is very interesting. I find having it has helped me meet people I wouldn’t have done otherwise and make use of conversations better. Apart from anything else people feel like they know me and so conversation tends to move quicker on to matter that interest us both as a result.
Space to converse
I think the thing I find most exciting and have benefited most from is when people take the time to comment on my posts. It is this dialog and feedback that I most value so thank you very much for those who do it, it means a lot! Being able to learn form others, get recommendations from others, disagree with others I have found to be a positive and enriching experience.
That said I feel at times that careers development blogging is a bit of a lonely place. Maybe I’m missing out on what others write but there are not that many people writing about the practice of careers work and it underpinning theory. There are LOTS of blogs on how to develop your career but they take quite an instrumental/ 7-steps-to-heaven. I aspire to discuss the theory and practice of careers delivery and there are not that many people doing that. Particularly when I look at the number of very dynamic, theoretical yet practical education blogs it leaves me a bit surprised there aren’t more careers advisers writing more. But maybe that’s me and I’m missing out on all the good stuff…
Just by way of conclusion I thought I would post my favorite 6 posts which I have written. Here they are in no particular order.
- Why Should Careers Advisers Care About Sussex Uni’s Student Protests?
- Towards A Narrative Approach To Careers Interviewing
- 10 Things Careers Education Could Cover And Doesn’t
- 5 Problems with Gove’s inspirational career role models plan
- Careers Development and Rhizomes
- Creativity as a Model for Careers