The fact that I write in the public domain has been bothering me lately. More importantly, the fact that I author confessions of my own thoughts under my full name, which also happens to be my domain’s url, has really been getting to me. It wouldn’t bother me so much if I worked for myself, but I’m in a position where I work for someone else, who can in turn use against me, that which I publicly write.
Working for someone else, of course, means that I must use discretion when writing so that my writings could never come back to haunt me. You would think that I’m protected by the freedom of speech, but the Constitution…what’s that these days?
I think the thoughts have become more of an issue now that I’m again studying for my Human Resources Certification Exam. The more case studies I read about how something that someone once said was linked to a legal case that resulting in paying severance, the more I reflect on the “what ifs” of my own postings. This is particularly scary because my career provides for upward mobility up into the executive level, that can easily be haulted pending some legal case. Specifically, I can be put into a position of high public interest, which means I am setting myself up to paint a cyberspace target of “Googlers” on my head.
A prime example of how my name can come is through research. For instance, the other day I was searching for last year’s award recipient for my organization’s Junior Human Resources Officer of Year award. I wanted to compare his accomplishments to my own to see if I would be a viable candidate. Last year’s recipient’s name was in every search result on the front page of Google. Wow.
I also recently searched for an old supervisor of mine. He, too, had his name on the first page of Google’s search results. Luckily, neither one of them were revealing their feelings on having children, dating, listening to rap, and divorces.
So, what if…
What if something I posted on this blog was found by someone who works for me? What if it gave them the impression that my postings are how I would make inter-office managerial and leadership decisions? It would be hard to argue that there is no link between what I publicly write and how I make decisions, right? Oftentimes there is no link, but I’m sure that something that I wrote, particularly when the posts were emotionally driven, gives someone enough fire power to start a legal battle. In the off-chance that a legal investigation develops about anything, my “reasonable doubt” and “substantiated evidence” is all over the Internet.
What if someone was considering me for a career position that leaves me in charge of my own organization? Surely, someone will Google my name to see if I have any public credentials. What if they came across a personal post of mine that they could use to discredit my ability to lead based purely on their perceptions received from my writings?
I can argue all day that this is not my problem and that people shouldn’t judge me from what I write, but who would I be kidding? This is the same unfortunate argument that comes up when discussing people’s names. My blog posts are not hidden, much like names are not hidden on a job application. I’ve been on the other side of conversations when people would try to guess someone’s ethnicity based purely on names. Sha’nika, anyone? Yep, you got it. Black person, whether we think so or not. Could be the sweetest person on earth, but the name, most would think, carries implications of ghetto negativity in and of itself. If people judge others based on their names, why wouldn’t someone judge me from what I write?
I like to think of myself as a realist, no matter how open-minded I am. So, my realist self understands that biases, prejudices, and stereotypes exists, and oftentimes theses characteristics are used to judge people prior to meeting them. By extension, I understand that someone stumbling across a blog post of mind that offends them, or can possibly offend someone else, leaves room for discussion my next career moves.
In summary, I think I am unintentionally setting myself up for failure. As I continue to progress further in my career, I have to be very sensitive to the things that I do and say. So even though it’s going to suck, I have to slowly wean myself from the public domain.
Disappearing from the Internet is going to be harder than I imagine, I’m certain of that. I have to figure out how I’m going to continue to write as I do, but in an anonymous manner.
What should be my pen name? What should I change my domain name to? I have already purchased, a while ago, personalfinancereflections.com, but I’m afraid that this domain name wouldn’t capture the tone of my postings. What do you think? Have fun and please provide me some feedback.
Search this Site:
Need help with your finances? CLICK ON THE IMAGE!!!
- Blogging (27)
- Business (12)
- Life (75)
- Money (232)
- My Personal Finance Book (21)
- Relationships (38)
- Reviews (16)
DisclaimerThe opinions expressed on this blog are mine and represent my views only. I have very strong opinions, but am also an open-minded individual. If you refute my view with supported, educated and well-argued points, I could very well change my opinion.