The Daily Post offered a few topics today, courtesy of Something for When You’re Bored. One of those topics was “something you regret not having done this year.” I already live with enough regret. It seems like I’m always saying “I should have done this” or “I shouldn’t have eaten that.” My therapist considers conditional verbs evil. I tend to agree, so I decided to put my own spin on it and give you something I don’t regret doing this past year.
I don’t regret not censoring my blog.
A few months ago, I applied for a job with a huge international company, a position paying a good bit more than I’m currently making and doing more of what I want to do. It was a contract job through a placement agency, and the two women with whom I interviewed were impressed with me — if I may be so bold as to brag on myself. The original recruiter told me I was the front runner; all I had to do was interview with the person to whom I would be reporting at the company. I interviewed with that woman and felt good about it, and she told me that she would have her decision made in the next couple of days.
I few days later I got an e-mail from the recruiter saying that the woman decided to go with another candidate.
I was rather dumbfounded. Had I really blown the last interview? Could the person who got the job walk on water? Because the recruiter had made it sound like it would take a feat like that for me to lose the postion.
I didn’t e-mail her back. I didn’t want to sound like some sobbing, desperate ex-girlfriend who can’t take a hint: “Just please tell me what it did… puh-lee-hee-heez.”
A couple of weeks later, I saw the position listed again, so this time, I decided I was going to at least call the recruiter to see if I can reapply. She answered the phone, and I inquired about the new listing.
“Oh yeah,” she said, “They do have another position, but they’re looking for someone with less experience than you had.” (Meaning, “They don’t want to pay as much this time.”)
“That’s fine,” I said. “I was just wondering.”
“But I will tell you something sort of off the record,” she said. “[Name of company] does a Google search of all potential employees, so just be aware of what you’re posting on social sites like Twitter or personal sites, things that you might not want potential employers to see.”
I was in mid-bite of my lunch, and I almost choked. I mean, I’d read articles about companies doing searches on employees or possible employees. In fact, at the school where I work, we advise students to watch out what they post, but some of them are probably dumb enough to post pictures of them getting drunk… or worse. (*shudder*)
And I know all about bloggers like Heather Armstrong, who’ve lost their jobs because of blogging about work. I credited myself for being smart enough to avoid mentioning where I worked and spouting names of those with whom I had problems, in the minimal times I even spoke about work. Apparently, I was still too naïve to think that someone would consider me too reckless to hire.
After ending the call, I had a twinge of self-doubt. Should I start posting privately? I have a friend who does so on Facebook, but I always try to convince him to go public because he is a hilarious writer. Should I take down the blog altogether? At that time, I was barely posting once a month.
It took me all of five minutes to decide, “Screw them!” I have never named the companies where I’ve worked nor the coworkers or bosses with whom I’ve had problems, but you know what? I have bad days at work. Some people get disgruntled with their jobs. What I’ve done is no different than what anonymous people can do at other sites that allow employees to rate the companies where they work. In fact, that’s even more damning than what I do.
The only change I made was to make my Twitter page private and take the address of this site off the profile page, and actually, I’ve kind of enjoyed being able to approve who follows me. No more annoying spammers.
I’m no longer naïve enough to think that this blog won’t cost me another potential job down the road, but I also believe in my writing.
And I’m not stopping that for anyone.