Thursday, February 08, 2007

Pride and Blogging

So, after being told that I was letting pride cloud my judgment concerning my blog and my job search, I have taken some so(m)ber advice from a dear friend and elected to make my blog private for the time being.

Let me say that these are the reasons why I am making it private: My principled stand includes more than just me, my children and my family are those who might suffer most by my inability to obtain a job. I hope my friend won't mind that I post parts of his motivating email here (which kind of pissed me off until I realized the wisdom in what he was saying).

... (edited a bit)

Hey Mac,

I wholeheartedly agree with your principles vis-a-vis intellectual freedom and sharing "who you are" with others, and I even admire your courage in sticking to them--to a point. In this case, however, I think you are misguided and I am concerned that your pride may be getting in the way of your reason. Given the recent development you discuss on your blog, I strongly encourage you to take down your blog for the duration of your job search or at least protect it with a password or something. You are leaving far too much up to chance as long as you leave it up.

Someone will not get a sense of "who you are" unless they already know you OR they read a whole bunch of your blog entries (each individual blog is not the gateway into your soul). You can be moody and sometimes you even regret or retract what you say (like the details of your sex life). If someone happened to read your blog in a haphazard or mean-spirited way (or just glanced at the topics without reading further), you could easily be set up for a character assassination and all sorts of senseless prejudice: Morman fanatic, sex-obsessed, obese, southern traditionalist (=racist). This character assassination doesn't even have to come from all of the committee members; just one might be enough to do you in (if the other members didn't feel strongly about you). Moreover, you are not giving proper respect to the other side of the job hunt that your future colleagues are going through. They are looking at, I am sure, dozens if not a hundred reasonable candidates for these positions. They will use ANYTHING they can find to help them narrow down the pool of potentially stellar applicants. It's just not a good idea to plant questions in their heads at this point. You may be consoling yourself with the thought that "I wouldn't want to work with anyone who doesn't appreciate the REAL me" and that is true; but you are dealing with a process that devotes about a couple of hours to getting to know each candidate (if that). It is a much better approach I think to be in full control of the honest message that you want to communicate to your future colleagues and if you want to broadcast your leanings in your cover letter or if you want to ask them if they have a problem with you or anything else, then do it--but take control of it! I suspect that if they did have any biases (and they were sensible, decent people), they would quickly get over them once they got to know you. But you leave far too much up to chance by not trying to control your message more than you do.

That's good advice.

He's right. I was wrong. Let's hope the google cache clears out quickly, that I get a job offer tomorrow, and I can go back to saying whatever the hell I want to.

1 comment:

Ryan S. said...


Your decision is probably a wise decision. Providing for your family is the most nobel thing you can do- even above saying whatever the hell you want.

Remember- first you must infiltrate their system, then you can stick it to the man. Don't think of making your blog private as censorship, think of it as strategy.