• Christopher McPhillips

A Day in the Life of a Professional Bloggers

Updated: Apr 13, 2019

I had always enjoyed connecting with people and found the ways we do fascinating. I remember passing notes to a friend at school, and now we have the ability to experience ultra HD video calling.

With technology advancing all the time, the next steps and evolution in communications are just around the corner. Writing is a form of communication that will never fade into anonymity like note passing has. I never really thought, however, it would be a proper profession for me. I never pursued writing or journalism via an academic route, I did not seek an apprenticeship in the field. I do not even know if such a thing existed when I was between the ages of 16-25.

Where did I begin though and how did I get to where I am today? At high-school, I wanted to follow in my Dad’s footsteps in techy drawing as he called it, by the time the Standard Grade format replaced the O-levels it was called Graphic Communication. My Dad is the only person ever to gain a perfect mark for his O-level exam and growing up I wanted to aspire to achieve the same. I did not.

I was a good student where Graphic Communication was concerned, I loved the design process, the classic study, and the fact my teacher was the same one that taught my Dad was pretty cool. I did well in the class, but I clearly did not have nerve my Dad had, I achieved a 3 in Graphic Communication at Standard Grade level and a C at a Scottish Higher level.

Leaving high-school, I wanted to pursue a career in engineering and failing to achieve the grades required. I never made it to University. I applied to Edinburgh University, Heriot-Watt University, Napier University; Napier offered at the time an HND programme. I needed, if I remember correctly, 3x C’s. I did not make the grade, so I enrolled in an NC Electronic Engineering course at West Lothian College, the course was pretty good, it filled a massive knowledge gap that I had, I got to study one or two HNC classes, and I was now learning another form of communication.

When it was time to enrol in the HNC programme, I decided that I did not need to live up to my Dad’s name anymore. My path was mine to pave myself, my Dad was already proud of the fact that I had stayed on to 5th and 6th year a school and despite being only 17 at the time I took the bull by the horns and refused to accept that my end results at high-school were all I had in me. To that end, I started working at Sky in Livingston, West Lothian. Initially in the New Business department and later in the Cancellations department. I went from strength to strength becoming the youngest team manager at the time. Unfortunately for me, several years into this career I was made redundant. It wasn’t all doom and gloom; I left with a fantastic experience, new skills, confidence, and a more accurate reflection of the young man I was becoming. It wouldn’t be the last time I would set foot in Sky offices in Livingston.

Later down the line, I decided that my best career move would be to reinvigorate my CV with a Business Management course at Carnegie College (now Fife College). I left with more than a qualification; I became Student Vice-President and my communication skills we pushed to a new level and to a new audience. I met some great friends, and some still remain today. I actually had a chance to move from a Business Management course to the HND Acting & Performance. The college principal, Bill McIntosh, interviewed me for a scholarship but before the meeting, he found out or was informed that I took up acting as a hobby and even secured paid work in the 12 months before I applied to study at the college. He found this very interesting and our meeting became this merger talk of how we the people see the TV and Film industry and what goes on behind the scenes. I didn’t take him up on his offer to switch, but nonetheless, I had a wonderfully challenging time at Carnegie College.

Still focusing on communication, this time online communities and social media I took up a role at Sky as a Community Coordinator, working with customers and internal stakeholders on how to best utilise self-help and online knowledge to assist customers with everyday problems with their Sky accounts. Now is the time that I was exposed to writing uniquely. It was here that I finally realised that writing is powerful, helpful, and liberating when executed properly.

I left Sky to pursue further career development and landed a job with a small business called Wardman UK. Can you guess what they do? That’s right, they are a Telecoms and IT service provider. I started off in an entry-level position and with hard work and recognition of my previous experience and skills already attained I was able to progress to Training Coordinator, Project Lead, Customer Experience Manager, and Marketing Team Leader. I really got the chance to wear a lot of different hats, help develop better relationships amongst internal teams and with the clients. As Wardman UK is a B2B company, I was given the opportunity to work with and support heads of departments and managing directors. Something that I can say hand on heart I would have not been in the position to do had I stayed with Sky or moved to another corporate size company. That’s no dig at Sky and companies the size of them, the fact is it was an entirely different environment. Sky is big, strong, and ground-breaking. Opportunities to work at that level were minimal whereas Wardman UK is lean, fit and fast. I was afforded more opportunities in a smaller window of time.

What do I do now though? Now I am a certified Life Coach, Social Media Manager, and Professional Blogger. I decided that it was time for me to lay some more of those metaphorical paving stones to develop my personal journey to complete satisfaction and true meritocracy. I’m self-employed, now freelancing and already loving the freedom. I spent a lot of my life searching and yearning for security, not realising that I value myself well, I have skills and experience that others can benefit from. Kain Ramsay is an old college friend of mine from Carnegie College. I had taken his globally popular Life Coaching Certification course, one thing led to another and Kain became my first client.

I am currently writing articles, blogs, and workbooks to supplement his online courses on Udemy and prepare for a self-hosted learning platform with a massive knowledge management system. Kain has a lot of big plans coming this year and next so with my background in customer service, communications, customer experience and marketing including online communities and social media. I foresee Kain and I working together for a long time.

What is a typical day for me though? That is very fluid but mostly consists of an early rise at 4am to answer emails and catch up with folks on private Facebook groups, then a little after 09:00 I take my partner to work in Edinburgh. My primary focus currently is to review video content and prepare supporting materials in the forms of blogs, articles, and workbooks. This takes me up to mid-afternoon where I rest and enjoy some me time. I’ll pick up my partner and enjoy the rest of my evening with her. This is as typical as I can describe my day. This can be whisked around a little bit if I am meeting a client onsite or online via Skype. Meetings usually form around the job specs, idea generation, marketing, and delivery.

Due to the number of social media accounts that I manage, I dedicate a specific amount of time to each as agreed with the client. Social Media is fluid or should be if you want to do it correctly and as such my day can be quite fluid and varied from time to time depending on what I am working on.

Although I’m incredibly busy right now, I love that my risk in going self-employed is working out well so far. I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a pinch of fear, but I have complete faith in my ability, and I am not scared to dig in and work hard. Freelancing has already given me the chance to work in various parts of the country, working with very talented individuals and teams.

My development as a Life Coach is ongoing and only just recently added NLP Practitioner Certification to the new qualification list. This part is excellent, the real value though, is in the people that I will ultimately go to help. Kain is respected and celebrated on the international scene, I am in good hands as this part of my career develops.

If you’re thinking of a career as Life Coach, anything in Social Media, or to become a Blogger. You need to remember the following:

- Be open and honest.

- Always be authentic.

- Work hard and be disciplined.

- Be ready, the decisions that you make won’t make everyone happy.

Having an education is essential, so don’t short yourself in that department. Stick in at high school, go to college or university and drink it all in. It is a necessary foundation to have, and the life experience is priceless. A small example is that you learn to manage your finances better and you will probably create your first proper budget.

If you are like me and not academically gifted, that’s okay. I’m proof that you don’t need to be. Work experience is valued just as much, and in specific scenarios preferred. You don’t need to be academically gifted or successful to be self-employed. You need to make sure that you have the above qualities as a foundation and you can build your rock in the field you want to master.

Another piece of advice I would offer is that you commit to updating your CV every 6 months with achievements gained, even if they are small. Your CV should form part of your own CPD and not brought out every time you are about to start applying for jobs. Your CV reflects you. You spend most of your time awake working, learning every day, and achieving something all the time. The least you could do is visit your CV every 6 months to keep it in order.

Thanks for stopping by.

#blogger #blogging #communications #careers #education #workexperience #selfemployed

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