While I have had this blog up for a few weeks, I have yet to complete the “About the Author” profile that WordPress sets up for each of the blogs on the site. In a small amount of space, I need to sum up why my readers should take me seriously as a writer on careers and relationships and, most importantly, give them a reason to keep reading.
It’s easier said than done.
I could use my profession and say “marketing executive,” but that by no means makes me qualified to write this blog. After seven years in the business it should mean, however, that I could easily create a quick tagline or blurb. It should be as simple as, “Elissa: I’m lovin’ it.” or “Elissa’s Blog: Just do it.” Or perhaps “Elissa: Snap, Crackle, Pop.” (I actually kind of like that one.)
When you’re reading something, you would like to think that the writer is an expert on the subject.
So I ask, “How exactly does one become and expert on careers and relationships?”
It’s not like we can major in either of the two in college. I’d love to find a university where course matter includes Success, Dealing with Burnout, Relocating, Dating, Commitment, and Sharing a Bathroom with a Boy.
When it comes to career, we would all take advice from people like Oprah or The Donald. But there are so many columns, books, speeches and seminars given by other people, so-called “experts.” Who are these people, and unless they have “CEO” or “President” in their title, why should we listen to them? They convey that they could walk into any interview and get the job. I’d really like to put them to the test.
I’m not really offering career advice, but I can share insight from my experience. That’s seven years of interviews, managerial reviews, client meetings, Board presentations, and the ever-so-delightful work happy hours. I have had the successes of promotions and window offices, as well as the frustration of unemployment and countless unreturned calls from HR offices.
When you study something for seven years, you should have an advanced degree, right? So, let’s say I have an Experiential Degree in Careers. It’s my EDC.
Just like careers, a lot of people write about relationships, but again, why are they experts?
Is there a certain number of relationships you have to be in, or a length of time that you can make one last? If I were an expert, would it mean that I would know how to keep one from failing? Am I not an expert on relationships until I get married and prove that I can make one last indefinitely? After all, when Thomas Edison was surrounded by darkness and broken glass, did anyone call him an inventor?
With relationships, this is a far more complicated degree. It’s like med school, giving an in-depth examination of the head and heart.
The subject of relationships requires not just my experience, but also a panel of experts: my girlfriends.
Currently, I have girlfriends that are happily married, delightfully single, hoping for a ring, saying “I love you,” excited for a first date, newly-weds and never-gonna weds.
We really can write our own book. That’s what experts do, right? The chapters would be titled Joe, Andy, Mo, Scott, Jim, Anthony, Brian, Dean, Andrew, Ben, Tom, Nick, Dave, Yusif, Ian, and then an entire chapter dedicated to fizzled first dates, casual hookups and guys who came and went before I could even catch their names. We’ve seen everything from weddings and honeymoons, and falling head over heels in love, to broken engagements, cheating and lies, or unreturned calls after a few lovely dates.
With my panel of experts and our years of studying and field research, I think it’s fair to say that we have established our credibility on this topic.
While I have my self-given EDC and seat on a prestigious panel, I still don’t think I will ever call myself an “expert” on careers and relationships. And that’s OK. I’m not writing a textbook.
I’m someone who has had ups and downs on both sides. Through it all, I’m still optimistic that I can be successful at both. I’ve learned that nothing worth fighting for comes without a fight. So while I might not offer advice and step-by-step procedural guidelines, I can simply offer hope and strength that comes from experience. (It would also be nice if that hope and strength translated into increased web traffic.)
So as I reach the end of this column, this is what I came up with:
About the Author: Elissa writes about her experiences with her career and relationships and the difficulty in keeping the balance, especially while wearing 4-inch heels.