Finding The Dream Job

The clock is steadily ticking away the months, weeks, days and hours, and my return to the UK draws ever closer with each juddering turn of the minute hand. I’m doing my homework. Property rental. Mobile phone deals. Bicycle prices. Utility and food costs. And jobs.

Finding a job is priority number one. Without a job, all the other plans are a little bit by the by. My past experience is in retail management. I’m reasonably good at it. I’m looking in that direction. It’s not the direction my dream job lies, however.

My dream job? Well that would be the position of Online Community Manager at the British Museum. All of my passions – writing, photography, technology, history, content production – brought together seamlessly working for the finest institution in the world. It’s by far and away my favourite museum in the world, and the second most visited globally, after the Louvre in Paris.

The job of an Online Community Manager? To maintain the museum’s blog, producing content, driving conversations, attracting traffic and integrating it with social media such as Flickr, Twitter and Facebook. Maintaining those sites concurrently. The possibilities are endless. Not just video, photographic and written content, but material designed to take advantage of modern media consumption devices. That being podcasts, apps and similar products.

Sadly, this job, to the best of my knowledge, doesn’t exist. It should. Whilst looking at job vacancies at the British Museum, I had a look at their new media efforts. It seems to me that sometime last year, someone thought it would be a good idea to bring the vast history of the British museum into the digital age. But lacked the energy, resources and / or time to really make a go of it.

The British Museum blog contains a paltry total of six posts. Five from April of this year, and one in September. The number of comments on each post ranges from 0 to 5. That’s a pretty half hearted effort. Their Flickr stream doesn’t fare an awful lot better, with just 500 photos uploaded, three groups and view numbers on images that are lower than I get on my own account.

Perhaps there isn’t an audience out there? There is. Little more effort has gone into their Facebook and Twitter accounts, but they can boast more than 55,000 fans for the former and nearly 30,000 followers for the latter. With a bit of effort those figures could be massively increased. There is so much untapped potential.

I am absolutely, 100% certain that I could do a great job for them. The crux of the matter would be how much I’d cost them. Wages, paid holidays, National Insurance payments, extra HR costs associated with a new employee. It’d all add up to a tidy sum, I’m sure. But I’ve given it some thought. I’d cost them nothing. I’ll bring the money to them.

Blogs with high volume, quality traffic attract advertising and sponsorship revenue. I know how much some of the A-list bloggers squeeze from sponsors. I wouldn’t need to generate A-list blogger traffic to cover my costs though. And there is a multitude of ways to monetise, in a professional and coherent manner, this sort of online presence. Besides, for the job of my dreams? I’d be cheap!

Could I really do the job? The blog posts that they have published are well within my blogging capabilities. I have no relevant university degree, which I’m sure the current contributors possess, although I am planning to embark on an OU degree in History or History and Humanities when I return to the UK, regardless of what job I do find – studying for interest, fun and personal satisfaction is more important than vocational need at my age.

I do though have passion for the subject, the intelligence to research properly, the imagination to find appealing topics and the ability to tell a story that’s interesting and informative. I like to think so anyway! If there is one thing a blogger should be, it is a story teller.

I do have seven years of blogging experience. But, sadly, I think The Mexile could be my own worst enemy, were I to put it forward as a work sample. It’s a personal blog. Impromptu rants. Slivers of information. The occasional story. Rushed. And only very rarely proof read. I blast through posts, tappety tap on the keyboard, and hit that publish button without a second thought.

I enjoy doing it, and enjoy reading back on posts now and again. It is a diary of my life. But not a professional contribution to the literary world. Not by a long shot. But it was never meant to be ‘professional’. I do understand the concept of professional however. I have a vision of where the British Museum blog and social media account could go and how they can be developed.

But as I say, no such role exists, as far as I know. But there it is anyway, my dream job.It’s a little frustrating. I can see the potential. I’m not sure anyone else does. Maybe I’ll write to them, enclosing my CV and outline my ideas to see if I get a reaction. I have very little to lose, bar my time. I’ll be applying for as many jobs as possible after Christmas, with the hope of lining up some interviews for when I arrive back in London.

Job hunting is going to be a big part of my life, starting in about two months. This post here is the start of my blogged job hunting story. I’m looking forward to new challenges, but I’ll a little concerned too. The economy isn’t good, and it is most definitely not a job seekers market at present. But one should try to be optimistic. Crossed fingers. Dotted i’s and crossed t’s as well. Little details make big impressions, especially when not done quite correctly.

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  • The job! I guess it’s a problem we all face. I’m 61 next month and would love to retire. I’ve been an Optician for 38 years and enough is enough. Add to all this the changing workplace. Expectations are pretty wild these days. Employers know things are soft and they use this to their full advantage.
    I hope you don’t have to take the retail job. Educate and apply to as many companies and institutions as possible. You only need one to start! Can you not extend your contract and stay in Mexico or are you “Mexicoed out”?
    If it makes you feel any better, my daughter double majored in communications, has her degree, and is writing for a company. She said she thinks she’s bet on the wrong horse. The whole writing communication thing is terribly undervalued by industry in general. That said, educate them and go for your dream.
    And keep writing!

    • I have noticed in Mexico that an awful lot of students all go for the same select bunch of degrees. It does pay sometimes to be different.

      I can extend my contract any time I want – one of the joys of being self-employed! But me and SWMBO always planned to go to the UK when she’s finished her degree. That time is at hand.

      I’d like to retire in Mexico one day though. Not thought about it yourself? Check out some Merida property prices. You can live a lot better for a lot less in parts of Mexico.

      • Never gave retirement in Mexico a lot of thought. Healthcare might be an issue. I would love to learn the language.
        I know the UK is your home. You might consider Canada although I have no idea of our immigration policies as of late.

      • Healthcare probably would be the last of your worries. There’s plenty of excellent hospitals, and I’d wager you’d get better coverage for less in Mexico.

        I suspect Canada would tell me where to go, and it wouldn’t be inside their borders!!!

  • Gary,

    I think you are on your way. This site is proof positive that you can write and put a blog/website together and run it (more then a lot of people). Always let the employer know this so that they can take a look at it and they will see what your interests and talents are. (Plus this site will/can vouch for you not being in prison.) Perhaps do a mock up of the site you are/have been planning for them.

    Good win for Liverpool this weekend.

    • I think I’d be forced to link to it in some way, and yes it is proof of a more moral lifestyle, albeit marginal!

      I’m not sure I’d call it a good win. Scraping past relegation contenders isn’t what Liverpool should be doing. But three points is three points.

      Hodgson will be gone soon. Sooner the better.

  • Gary, I also wonder if my blog posts will ultimately become a detriment at some point in my life. Although I only recently found yours, I really enjoy it. Hope you continue to write, no matter the location nor occupation.

    • I think it’s safe to say that when you put your life out there for all and sundry to read and judge, you’ll always get one or two people at least who choose to look at it negatively. The more personal you go, the more open you are. Such is life. I think I’ve been reading your blog a while, and I don’t remember anything too tawdry or scandalous. You need to try harder! 🙂

      I’m sure I’ll keep on blogging. Especially once I land and have a spell of funemployment to keep myself occupied!

  • Ever since you mentioned that you were headed home, I’ve been wondering about what work you’d be doing back home. It’s a question a lot of us teaching abroad for longer periods often think about.

    I think I would have a lot of difficulty trying to fit myself back into the Canadian workplace. When I’ve pondered the options, few were ever appealing to me (not that I’ve ever given any serious thought to actually moving back – just theorizing). Ultimately, I would probably try doing something on my own, self-employed.

    • I guess most of us would slip back into what we were doing before, whether we like it or not! Familiarity drags us back, the experience makes it possible.

      I’m hoping my stay in Mexico will be viewed in a positive light by potential employers. But employer opinions, I suspect, may vary. Not least because ‘I’ve been abroad for 6 years’ is often job applicant slang for ‘I had an unfortunate run in with the law after holding up a bank and have been staying in state sponsored accommodation for the last six years, courtesy of Her Majesty’.

      I’m often tempted by the thought of doing something on my own, but I find the assurance of a steady pay packet from an employer, and the uncertainty of any pay packet at all from self employment, tends to lead me to play it safe. I should be more daring and adventurous. Maybe one day.

  • Seriously? You should definitely try to get the British Museum to create that job. However, in order to do that, you basically need two things. First, a well thought-out and presented business plan. How much revenue you could generate, how many additional visitors you might be able to bring in, etc. Of course you won’t be able to provide much that’s concrete, but if you can find any kind of analogy, etc, then you should be able to quantify some of the benefits.

    The second thing you need is a hearing for your plan. That will require some social networking to find someone in the museum who could get you a hearing from a decision-maker. That’s probably the tougher part.

    But ridiculous? I think your idea is terrific. And if the British Museum doesn’t want you, you should try to get some other hallowed old institution in London to create this position for you.

    Alas, you are now looking for a job in the UK into the teeth of the austerity cuts. Good Luck! You’ll need it.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where such a job sounds like tons of fun.

    • I am doing the research. The more I think of it, the more ideas I think of that would make such a position worthwhile and economically viable. Looking around at other museums online community efforts, it’s pretty clear that the BM is lagging behind. I’m sure I could come up with a persuasive business plan. But as you say, the hard part would be getting someone to pay any attention to it.

      And the austerity cuts….not good news.

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