I’ve made it work for over two years now — advancing a corporate career and growing a blog. But something’s different this time around. To be perfectly honest, on most days I feel like I just can’t do both. Not the way each job deserves to be managed, anyway. Here’s how things have been going since I took on a new social media manager job and how I’ve still managed to keep blogging.
The New Job
Ever since picking up a new full-time job in June, I’ve reverted from freelancing/blogging full-time back to the 9-5 (in reality, more like 7-6) life of a corporate employee. In case you didn’t know, this is the life I previously knew for seven years — I am a veteran at it. The commute, the meetings, the onboarding process as a new employee, getting to know people and building new relationships…I’ve been there and done all that.
Coming Back to Work This Time
Yet still, coming back to work was SO HARD this time. Much harder than I’d anticipated. I couldn’t shake off the doubts I had about why I came back to work. I couldn’t ignore my anxieties about only publishing one post a month (my record in the last two months). I couldn’t stop feeling the guilt of not being able to tend to more chores around the house and leaving them mostly to my husband. And truthfully, I couldn’t help but reminisce about the days when I did things all according to my own schedule.
The New Job — Why I Love It
Despite all the inner demons, I’m going into the fourth month of this social media manager role at the new company. I started to realize I actually really like this job. There are a few things that are quite rare about this company and this job that keeps me fully engaged:
- Highly visible, impactful and clearly-defined projects that I’ve been spearheading.
- A really, really, really friendly and supportive environment — everyone is SO friendly and SO nice. I never knew this was possible in Corporate America. I think somehow I had the belief that being overly nice was detrimental to one’s own success in the corporate world. Oh, how wrong I was!
- I have an intern that I supervise now! It’s such a game-changing experience. It has given me next-level insight and self-reflection that I could never imagine before. More on this later!
What Keeps Me Going
Social psychologist Dan Pink has famously coined the trifecta that makes up motivation: autonomy, mastery, and purpose. When you have all three, you will not lack the motivation to do something that you choose to do. For both my blog and my job, I have the autonomy in the ways I do things, the necessary mastery to do a good job, and the purpose behind why I’m doing it. Hence, I am doing everything I can to keep up with both of them!
Strong motivation has everything to do with how I fit blogging into my life on top of the 9-5 hours. It’s what keeps me going. With all that said, what I struggle with the most right now are two things: 1) finding the time to sit down and write 2) keep up with social media. Here are the things I do that allow me to blog on top of having a full-time job and still keep my sanity:
1. Fully utilize my commute. Podcasts and audiobooks used to be my thing during the commute. But when I have an article to write, I try to play classical music on 50-minute drive home. Dvorak and Sibelius are my current faves. I’ve learned this kind of music is very conducive to organizing my thoughts and ideas.
2. Plan ahead. Then, plan ahead more. I thought I knew what I was doing when I did photo shoots in bulk, planned my Facebook posts ahead of time, and had about two or three topics laid out ahead of time at all times. But now, in addition to all of the above, I am planning my Instagram posts and working on content weeks ahead of time.
3. Accept that work doesn’t stop when I leave the office. After hours spent at work with my brain fully engaged and operating at peak capacity, I drive home, eat dinner, and crank up my brain capacity again for blogging. It’s my routine now. I have accepted it.
4. Adjust to a slower pace with my blogging process. At my peak, I was publishing five posts a month. Now I am grateful to publish just one. Now, I am not satisfied with this cadence and am working on ramping up. But for the time being, I try to make peace with what I can do.
5. Be even more selective in brands I work with. Working with brands is an essential part of a thriving blog — and it comes with many perks. One of the perks is that I get to try different products and brands. And if I like them, they serve as a good foundation for me to build content. But since I know I have a limited capacity to write, I have to limit the number of companies/products I work with.
6. Give up on perfection. Even when I was never that much a perfectionist to begin with. Compared to before, I have less time to do all of the things I wanted to do. My Instagram feed is not perfect anymore. My tweets are not always interactive/engaging anymore. I may not have a Facebook post scheduled every day anymore. But for a while, my objective will be to just keep the flow of content going…and not strive for perfection!
Jessica is the writer behind personal style blog Cubicle Chic. In her early twenties, she has contemplated many career paths, such as a novelist, a physician assistant, a research scientist, a court translator (English to Mandarin Chinese), and a clinical research specialist. Eventually, she found her passion in marketing communications for life science companies. She continues to cultivate her interest and skills in many other fields, such as writing, career development, and self-improvement, and hopes to help others do the same. Follow her on Twitter here.
Image via Unsplash