Those of you who follow me on TWITTER or LinkedIn will probably remember my mentioning a couple of weeks ago that I had been laid-off from my full-time job. The sharp drop in crude oil pricing has left lots of good people in and around the oil patch out of work. Now I don’t cover a lot of personal stuff in this blog, but I am mentioning this because my current job search may have an effect on the continuation of this blog.
The Blog and Employers
My last two employers both knew about the existence of this blog and my sometimes adversarial relationship with a couple of government agencies. I knew that a number of employers would object to having one of their employees publicly criticizing agencies that the company would have to deal with so I was very upfront with both employers about the blog. Neither objected to me continuing the blog as long as my association with them was not connected with the blog in any way. That was the reason for my employer being listed as “Unnamed Chemical Company” on my LinkedIn profile for the last two years.
I realized that if they had objected to my continuing the blog that I would have had to decide between paying the bills and continuing to write about chemical safety and security issues. Needless to say keeping a roof over the wife’s head would take precedence.
As I start the job search process again, I know that this issue will have to be discussed with any potential employer. Again, if forced to choose, I know which way that I would have to jump.
Making the Blog Pay
Now I certainly think that I have been providing a valuable service to both the government and industry (and yes even some advocacy groups) over the years with this blog. This isn’t just my ego talking (though it does come into play) as I have been told this by a number of readers from a wide variety of backgrounds over the last seven plus years of writing this blog.
As I have mentioned on a number of occasions I am a bit of a chemical safety and security preacher. I enjoy what I am doing and I really want to continue being a voice of reason and concern in this field. As such I would like to take this opportunity to officially expand my job search to include looking for someway to make the Chemical Facility Security News my official ‘keeping a roof overhead’ job.
Now, I don’t think that there is enough readership associated with this blog to make attempting to make it a subscription service workable. I don’t know exactly how many readers I have, but it certainly isn’t large enough (even if they were all willing to pay for the service) to pay a salary and the associated overhead of running a subscription web site.
There have been a number of organizations over the last seven years that have tried to make a go of maintaining a chemical security/safety web site blog. The only ones that are still around are blogs run by commercial organizations with the blog and associated web sites supporting that organization’s operations.
One of the things that has made my blog popular is the fact that I am not shilling for anyone; my views are my opinions, not fettered by any commercial agenda. I would like to maintain that editorial independence if I can. So essentially selling this blog to some commercial enterprise is probably something that I would only consider as a last resort.
Another possible option is to obtain some sort of grant (federal or corporate) money for continuing the blog. I’m not sure how to find such stuff, but I’ll start looking through the internet. If anyone is aware of such grant type funding, please let me know.
Separate Freelance Operation
Another option (and probably the most likely) is to hire my pen out to others. I have done this for a couple of different sites over the years; sometimes for pay, sometimes just for exposure. At this point, however, I think that I need to do it for pay. If anyone knows of a website or periodical that needs chemical security or safety content please put them in contact with me.
I have tried this in the past, but most freelance writers starve. I am in a bit better position as I attempt this now since I have an already (narrowly) established reputation. I’ll be contacting various editors that I have come in contact with in the last couple of years, letting them know that my services are generally available. If anyone is aware of any corporate interests in need of writing services in this field, please let me know or provide them with my contact information.
Still Looking for Process Chemist Job
While writing this blog full time is what I really like to do, I am not going to stop looking for a process chemist position. I really do enjoy that work as well and would be a valuable asset to any chemical manufacturing facility that would employ me. If anyone knows of any such opportunities please let me know.