Today I dreamed about work
‘I love this place,’ I said to Nick a couple of months ago, while we were at a SydCSS meetup held at Campaign Monitor.
I was listening to the speakers and loved what they had to say, although a tiny part of me burst with the affinity I had for this company. I had used their product, I liked what the company did, I loved emails – from writing them, to replying to them, to having a clean inbox, to being interested in marketing, to building the damn things (the emails, that is).
But like falling in love, hilariously enough, you don’t realise it until it’s so close and that someone, or something, ticks all the boxes.
I’m in a position now where I have an online presence that is closely linked – if not daisy-chained, ha! – with my real life duties. It’s been like that for a while. I’ve been blogging for twelve years, as I mentioned in my previous post. Issues of censorship are no longer issues, and reading articles titled ‘Why You Should Not Blog About Work’ unsettle me – if not for their content, then for the reason they were written.
I’m a front-end developer, but a large amount of prominent and less prominent people in the technical/computer/internet (bit of a mishmash, eh) industry, in other similar roles, also maintain a blog. Some of them desire to have one, or struggle to start. Blogging has its fine lines, too, such as – where does it cross between personal and professional?
As someone who has loved writing and loved blogging and loved sharing everything, the ‘categorisation’ of blogs upsets me. I have not forgotten that Fiona encouraged me to both write and give a talk on blogging, its importance, and how it can benefit not only yourself, but others. One thing that I did mention to her was that every little bit of writing counts, and you just have to keep writing. The more you write, the more you develop. The more you become comfortable with your writing, the more you enjoy it, especially if you did not like it before. That said, I do blog about a variety of things, from health, to fashion, to music, to photography, to travel, and even love, relationships and my childhood.
It was only recently that I felt like writing about web development and things related to my career. I didn’t hide my blog from anyone. 1 Potential employers looked at my blog because it was (and kind of still is) the prime example of my work. I linked to it on my portfolio, on LinkedIn, Twitter, and other public profiles that anyone could see.
Other people start by writing professionally. For example on LinkedIn, or Medium. People write about things they have learned at work, processes they have used, or even tools, documentation, or online discussions. They later find comfort and support within their audience to write about more personal things or life events, even if it’s a few short sentences about marriage, birth of a child, or career transitions. It’s up to us to determine what we want to share and what we’re OK with.
Because of my online presence, people are most certainly going to find out where I work. And in this industry, being in the ‘public eye’ is not negative, it’s something to be aware of. It used to be so taboo to blog about work at all, when in reality, the only things that are off-limits are defaming the company you work for, and posting anything that breaches any company policies regarding disclosing sensitive company information. That is to say, you don’t hurt anyone by spreading something good about your workplace.
I suppose I didn’t even know what my dream job was until I actually got it.
Nervous as I was on my first day, it was a familiar feeling. How many times I muttered to myself, ‘I hope they like me’. I wouldn’t be here if they didn’t, right?
It must be the feeling of having the opportunity to work for a company you really love. You don’t want to disappoint, and you’re determined to do your best. That’s probably what had me on my nerves.
I am even more determined to get back on track with my web development posts, especially since I didn’t get much time to write while I was away. I blog partially because I want to share my knowledge and experience with others, and I hope to continue that for a long time to come.
I hope, too, that this post has enlightened at least somebody out there. Reach out if you’d like to ask me anything about blogging. I’d be thrilled to answer. :)
- Except perhaps my parents for a good while, but as I grew older I removed a fair bit of profanity and other things that may have offended them, and stopped writing about them to respect their privacy. My parents know that I blog and have read some of my blog. ↩
It’s great that you’ve linked your social media presence with your professional presence without a problem. You’re not a bad person at all and have nothing to hide. Employers will see that you like to share your experience and have a great taste for web design/development. However, there will always be people who will give criticism about it. “This is unprofessional because of X, Y, Z!” “Do you really want your employers to know what you did this past weekend?” — Well in your case, you’re a good girl ;).
I like to mention snippets about my work without mentioning where I work. You’ve developed with your blog and your blog has grown to something more than just a personal blog.. It’s pretty educational with your web dev talks! .. . . Or posts ;). Personally, I unlinked my “professional presence” to social media presence at the moment. I’m not ready for that kind of presence yet but maybe some day!
It’s not bad to be in the public eye. Looking forward to more of those web dev posts!
This post made me think about my own online presence. Currently, I only showed one person at work my personal blog, and I’ve mentioned it to a handful of other people, but I am not actively going around sharing it and encouraging people to read my personal blog. It’s not because I am hiding anything, but rather just keep it on the down-low because of the fact that we were supposed to “hide” ourselves online back then, and I guess that mentality still sticks.
I personally don’t have a problem with, say my co-workers, blogging and sharing their thoughts and whatnot. What they do in their own time is none of my business. However, I do believe that there is such a thing as TMI and over-sharing, so I guess you just gotta learn how to balance that. And of course, defaming your workplace/co-workers is not a good thing to do on social media of any sort, so that’s just something people have to be careful of. We all have our days where we need to vent, but there are other ways to channel that rather than on something public like social media.
In your case, I think it’s good you’ve linked this blog to your professional life. It’s a good way to share your webdev experiences, and by you writing and sharing your personal posts (fashion, travel, et cetera), we can see the person behind the machine, so to say, and that bit of personal touch just make you appear more human, more approachable :)