Sunday, January 13, 2013

To Blog or Not to Blog, That is the Question

I recently had a conversation with someone about what I post here and how that might affect my ability to get different jobs in the future.  Part of that conversation revolved around a generational difference, and partially personality difference.  Do I realize a potential employer could read my blog and make decisions about me based on that?  Yes.  Am I concerned about that? No.

Most of the comments I receive, either publicly or privately about my blog posts retaining to work and life are positive.  Despite my never ending bout with impostor syndrome, there are many people who value the work I can accomplish and the insight I can provide to solve problems.  Those people often share my views regarding what is "broken" in the workplace in general, and some have even tried to recruit me for other positions DESPITE my blog postings.  Why?  They are of the opinion that most of the problems I encounter are fixable and they would rather have the use of my abilities then have another person walk away to find another job.

There are also many posts I consider writing that never make it here and probably never will.  Through self-discovery, I think I have discovered the origins of my impostor syndrome, but blogging about that might make me seem spiteful to a portion of the (small) audience that reads this blog.  Part of me really wants to share those details so other's don't make the same mistakes, but at the very least I cannot due so here at this time.  If I do ever share that story with the world, it will be through another venue such as an anonymous contribution blog.

So where do I draw the line?  Why do I blog at all?

I blog because it is therapeutic for me.  It lets me get out my thoughts and is a lot cheaper than therapy, lol. By writing it in a public venue rather than keeping a personal journal offline, it also allows me to make connections to both people I know, and don't know, on a deeper level.  It may even help someone else who is going through a rough time if they stumble across my blog and see that I have gone through similar troubles in the past.  The drawing of the line is what is difficult.

I generally try not to call out specific people, just actions and ideas.  While specific people may have triggered the blog post to occur, I am generally addressing the concept and not the person because through observation I believe many people in that same position would take similar action due to the norms of society.  The "Stormed Out of My Performance Review" and "Modern Amish" blog posts were inspired by the actions of a particular person, but both blog posts can at least partially apply to many people I have worked with or for in the past.  My "Facebook, Land of the Free, Home of the Stupid" blog post was about the specific posting of one individual on Facebook, but also addressed why posts such as that are problematic as a whole both in the global view of American's and the fact it provides propaganda material to extremists.

There are times when writing a blog post really only can be related to the actions or words of a single person.  This is what is preventing me from writing my "Origins of my Impostor Syndrome" blog post.  At the heart of it, I think it is rooted in the actions of one person and there isn't any way to abstract those actions so that the identity of the person isn't known.  Many, MANY times, I have come very close to writing blog posts about those actions, but in this venue, attributable to me, I think it would cause more difficulty than any positive result of getting it out of my system.

As a closing thought I will leave you with this.  My blog is just but a glimpse into who I am.  Those who are able to get to know me in person know this.  You are free to make whatever decisions you wish about me from these posts, because  I know I have made similar decisions about people who post items that I perceive to be completely insane or ignorant. If you do end up meeting me in person, just remember that you don't know me.  You only know a portion of me.

1 comment:

Tad Callin said...

As a manager with hiring responsibilities, I may be in the minority, but I consider blogs like this to be a huge plus for a prospective employee.

If I am intrigued enough by an application or resume to seek out your blog, it is because I want to know what kind of person you are. And I'm not looking for more inscrutable introverts or robots who toe the company line without questioning. I want to see what problems you struggle with and how you handle them.

I also can tell from your writing that you edit yourself heavily for the sake of propriety; sparing the feelings and privacy of others, and not violating workplace restrictions on what you can say are important habits to cultivate, and your blog shows that you can already do that.

I am sure that for a lot of people reading this comment, that sounds creepy. "I wouldn't want my future boss psycho-analyzing me" is a perfectly valid response - but it also shapes your online behavior to think about it, doesn't it? I behave the way I do on social media with the constant thought in the back of my head: my mom is my Facebook friend.

Maybe more people should think that way when they are at work?