A course correction (personal)

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I’ve been writing about jobs and careers for six years. While some of those years the writing wondered around, since the great recession, I’ve focused a lot more on straight-up how-to articles, series and products. Useful, especially for those looking for work and job success.

That focus, though, has been a little relentless, always on point, always focus, focus, focus. It is getting, for me, confining and then boring. The motivation to find one more way to say the same or similar things to what I already have already said just isn’t there anymore.

That doesn’t mean to say finding those words and taking those actions are not important. They are. But I need a little break from the relentless focus on how-to content. All. The. Time.

I’ve done a few things.

One, I blew away my emailing list. My 4,000 names are now down to zero. For those who follow “Internet business,” this is the equivalent of a death knell.

The truth of the matter is that I’ve grown disenchanted with the on-point how-to stuff and the first place to lose the motivation for writing that kind of stuff was to my newsletter subscribers. After a while, there’s only so many “5 ways to do X” articles to write about. I’d rather not tick off a bunch of people who graciously provided their email address to hear more from me. It’s a privilege and I don’t want to lose that privilege.

I’m sure I’ll restart a newsletter once I get a little more course correction done. I’ve just had this strong need to start over.

Two, I’ve opened up the site to a lot more guest posts. There is some really good writing coming into my email box (and some incredible crap, but that’s a different story). I think you should be exposed to that good writing — and shielded from the crappy stuff.

Three, I’ve been on the receiving end of a lot of infographics — those really long picture articles that have a ton of stats and research in them. I reject more than I accept. But the ones that I accept have some really good information in them with good research behind them.

Four, I’ve thought long and hard about expanding the site to include more areas of business — from management, to recruiting, to HR, to more general business information. And after thinking through that for a long time, I rejected those areas.

I write about the work done in cubicles. From what I can see, there are not a lot of sites around that have that specific focus. Most are focused on management (how to motivate the mortals in cubicles…), finding talent (to reach the corporation’s goals), or, when they do focus on employees, seem to concentrate on how to make us all happy working in our cubicles.

Very little, it seems, is about your work, your job, your career, and your insecurities about companies. And the writing around the “go get a promotion now” type stuff is remarkably naive if not downright dangerous to implement.

Net, I’m going to continue to focus on all of us who work in cubicles; it’s needed and hopefully appreciated.

Finally, I’m going to do more commentary around working in cubicles rather than how-to type articles. I think the how-to stuff will be done well, if not better (given where my head is at) by my guest contributors and it will serve you well. But I know I’ve been utterly cautious about commentary and haven’t let a lot of my opinion into my writing. Not that I’ll become a fire-breathing pundit, but not as academic, if you will, about what I write.

So, I’ll do some commentary about life in cubicles here. I’m also transforming my personal site (which is smack-dab in the middle of changing as I write this, so if you go there, don’t expect pretty…) into one where I can also express more of my interests in technology, renewable energy, and whatever else I fancy.

At a site like this one, you need to be more on-point; the audience expects to see stuff on landing a job, having job success and gaining employment security. That’s not the case with a personal site, so we’ll see where that takes me as I get that writing going. It really is a journey.

In any case, thanks for all of your continuing loyalty, readership, product purchasing, and good comments about Cube Rules. Despite where my head is at, Cube Rules is a labor of love. As someone in a Vanity Fair article today noted about Star Wars:

The truth is you can’t create great popular art without being invested in it emotionally.

Sail on.

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