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Comics Fandom on the Job

A column article, Mission: Professional by: Steven Savage

Comics Bulletin helps my career.

"But wait," you say, "Steve, you're a Project Manager! That means you work in organization and planning. Oh, also you're probably boring. So how does this help?"

And me, I'd say you'd be surprised. Also I'm not boring, I am just interesting in a different way that's very statistics-oriented. It also involves my beloved Gantt charts.

But, anyway, going on, if you like me write or work on a comics-related projects and hobbies, you can use it in a non-comics related career. I certainly do, and as noted, I'm a guy who actually has discussed his love of Gantt charts in public.

So, here's a quick guide to the ways to use that comics blogging/site experience on a job search or when seeking a promotion or other opportunities at work - that isn't comics-related. Your work on your website or blog is a testimony to:

Your Writing Ability: Know how it seems everyone can think they can write, and when it comes down to it a lot of people can't - or shouldn't? A blog or review site is blatant, obvious testimony that you can - and that's a valuable skill indeed. Many professions involve writing and communication, and you've got obvious testimony to your ability to do it.

Your Organizational Ability: Much like writing, it's nice to have testimony to your organizational skills and being able to run a site, work on a site, post regularly to a blog, and so on is important. You can send people to a website and point out what you do - and if there's a technical component, so much the better. In fact . . .

Your Technical Ability: If you work on a site's code, well . . . you've got a working element of your portfolio sitting online. This is not only a good way to show your skills, it can show diversity of skills, and an ability to learn.

Your Commitment: Run a site for two years? Five years? Ten years? Your online efforts show you stick with things. It shows your ability to make a commitment.

Your Having a Life: You've probably had a few people comment your interesting comics and such means you should "get a life," though in the age of geek chic that seems to be changing. Whatever people think your ability to work outside of work shows that, essentially, you're a regular human being. That's pretty important since let's face it, it shows you're human and able to connect with people (and lets face it on a job interview if you don't say you have a life, people will assume you're BS-ing and acting like work is 100% your life).

Your Pop-Awareness: Depending on your job, or hopeful job, being pop-aware can be very useful. You may work in marketing, or have to understand certain demographics. You may need to understand various subcultures - and comics subculture may be one. Or you may simply need a good grasp of popular phenomena. Congrats - you've already got this.

So don't diss your comics-related hobbies. They say a lot of good things about you if you let them.

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