Now let me make a little disclaimer first: I don't have the hard evidence that starting a blog got me a job at Google, but I have a strong feeling that it helped. And let me tell you why.
Let's break it down: what is Coding Blonde? (or what was it back in 2015 when I started it?)
It was a blog, something that I started out of passion for a cause that I believed in (Women in Tech) and was trying to develop from the ground up.
I was doing research about Women in Technology and trying to channel my creativity through the very first Blonde Dictionary posts and an interesting experimental format, Code Recipes (the goal there was to show how code works using an instruction manual we're all familiar with + because I love to cook and have always wanted to have a cooking blog. But I got confused by this format aaand was too impatient to take photos of all of the ingredients etc.).
I really enjoyed it and thought of different ways to grow and engage with my audience. Also, I was learning a lot - and not just about coding, but also about blogging and the whole world of new media and content creation.
However, unintentionally, I was signalling to the potential employers that I:
- Had a passion and wanted to do something for this particular cause
- Took initiative and was entrepreneurial
- Was creative and thought outside of the box
- Was curious and wasn't afraid to go out of my comfort zone
Now that we've covered what my blog represented, let's go into what the employer was looking for.
I've written a blog post on what Google looks for in a candidate, so I'm not going to go into too much detail on that. But the one thing I will talk about is the Googleyness factor.
What is Googleyness? No one can really define it. Even internally no one could ever give you an exact definition. I'd say it's a feeling on whether you will fit the company culture and values based on your personality and experience. Google and a lot of other companies are looking for people who are curious, who show initiative and are entrepreneurial. Charitable work or working for a cause are always a plus.
Do you see where I'm headed here?
By starting a blog I showed the world that I have those qualities, which, and I truly believe this, made me more employable.
Naturally I was very shy about it at first, but I made sure that I mentioned it during the interviews and put it on my CV and LinkedIn. And I know that it gave me brownie points during that interview process with Google. It probably wasn't the entire reason why I ended up getting the job (I worked hard to prepare for those interviews, really hard!), but it did contribute to their decision to hire me.
What are your thoughts on this? Do you have a similar story or experience? Let me know if the comments!