The Birth of BlueyedBC
Okay, so in the autumn of 2013, professionally, I was not in a very good place at all. I was unqualified, on to my 3rd BC job in less than 12 months and deeply lacking in confidence. My peer group networks were virtually non-existent because I hadn’t built it up yet and if I’m being honest I was quite angry and frustrated with the way things were going.
So I decided in my wisdom to pick up a pen and paper and write some of my thoughts down. It started by blaming virtually everyone else except myself for the recent challenges in my career. Once I started writing I found that I couldn’t stop…venting my frustrations became like an addiction to me. I had several difficult years of trying to make it as a professional post university with all this pent up feeling inside of me and I was rapidly running out of ink! It wasn’t long before my scribbles became small chapters in their own right and this is when I submitted my first (rather unfair) scathing review of my experience in the industry to Continuity Central who kindly released it to the BC world.
I couldn’t really tell you my initial motive for putting it out there in the first place (possibly sheer frustration) but I remember being quite surprised by the initial response it received. It came across to me as a combination of outrage and disappointment. One reader described it as a terrible indictment on the industry and many others suggested my experience was more than likely an isolated case. On the other hand I received personal messages of support from widely-known senior pros that now regularly mentor me. Likewise, I started to receive contact from fellow junior professionals sharing similar challenges. Despite this mixed response, it clearly highlighted a real absence of a junior professional voice in the online BC community.
I started to look at the various LinkedIn groups and various other forums but I personally couldn’t find what I was looking for. I really wanted to find an online platform where junior BC professionals could share experiences with one another and not the kind where they are simply making the right noises or trying to look good! I wanted to see a kind of online honesty box situation where my peers could pass on those stories from the industry of when they perhaps felt the pressure, made a mistake or how they figured something out. I could see real value in sharing these honest and easy-to-understand experiences for others to learn from them in their own development. All of this could be presented without fear of looking foolish in a safe environment away from the ego bashing exercise that often occurs in these main forums.
Thus the birth of the BlueyedBC Platform…
Development is Key
One very experienced gentleman who kindly reviewed my site a few months ago said to me:
“It’s interesting to see that you start off so angry and frustrated at the very beginning but become more calm and logical as you progress through each post. It’s great to see the obvious change in your development”
He was absolutely right. I know we have these half year/ end year reviews and performance objectives but most are born out of necessity. I mean how often do we really sit down and write out a well-thought out reflective piece on a fortnightly basis? For me, the real value of doing this is that I can now see how I reacted to the development as well as being able to witness my own journey. This will help me when I take on new challenges in the future.
I guess my point to this section is that sometimes you can feel like you’re not developing but if you were to look back in a year or so I imagine you would disagree. It also doesn’t hurt to keep a journal if you don’t already!
An Opportunity to say Thank You
If you can’t say it at Christmas…when can you say it?
I wanted to take the opportunity to thank a few people for their support and encouragement over the last year. At the very beginning I reached out to a number of senior professionals, namely Ken Simpson, Paul Kirvan and Denis Goulet (thanks guys) for their advice and I also contacted the BCI to find ways to develop (a big thank you to Andrew Scott). My mentor, colleagues and line manager were also incredibly supportive despite my relentless questioning. Many thanks should go to Thomas Croall, Lorna Anderson, Drew Gibson, Neil Mulvaney and Michael Nunn for giving me a constant stream of feedback!
Your support was all very much appreciated people so thank you!
BlueyedBC in Hindsight – 12 months on
The moment I released my first blog post, I made a promise to myself that I would give my writing 12 months of complete effort to see what happens. I am now at the end of these 12 months where I spent many evenings and weekends giving greater thought to my previous experiences and presenting them online (much to the displeasure of my partner!) and continued to boost my following through wider online involvement.
So… 12 months on and BlueyedBC has grown from strength to strength. The online platform now has around 30,000 words devoted to BC experiences from junior professionals. The BlogSpot has also received over 9000 internet hits worldwide, 400 followers on Twitter with a growing presence on Facebook and LinkedIn as well. I also went on to produce an E-Book via kindle which I’m delighted to say people have downloaded and hopefully enjoyed!
BlueyedBC – The Future
As I walked up to receive my recent BCI Global Award, after what can only be described as a crazy year of development, I received a text message from a close friend that simply said “That difficult second album”. He was suggesting that the biggest challenge for me now lies ahead and I couldn’t agree more. Exciting though!
Following a short break over the next few months to re-group mentally, I am looking to enhance this platform by inviting more contributors either directly or anonymously share their experiences. During the BCI World Exhibition I was approached countless times from fellow junior professionals who expressed a genuine desire to get something out there.
I’m also hoping to develop the BlogSpot into a full site with some help from some very technically gifted colleagues!
But most importantly, my most immediate target is to achieve my readership and following targets that I set at the beginning of this 12 month journey which are now within touching distance!
Thank you for reading and watch this space!