He was referring to the fact that I blog a LOT of personal opinions â€“ even some stuff that is embarrassing. I mean, for crying out loud â€“ I show humanity here!
He asked the question in the context of my current quest for meaningful and fulfilling employment â€“ he was concerned that I am making it difficult to market myself. Especially he was concerned about my CoA and CoB post of two days ago. And in a sense, he was right â€“ I now know that both CoA and CoB read the post. I got reactions back from both of them. Guess which one gave me positive feedback, and which expressed concern?
But what he doesnâ€™t realize, at least not fully â€“ I am not just interviewing for a position. I am interviewing companies as well. And the company that understands and accepts the fact that I am human â€“ and that I have opinions that I cannot keep contained within the aspects of my job â€“ that to me, I am both defined by my job, and help define my employer through my work â€“ that is the company I want to work for. And if I am somehow â€œvettingâ€ them through my blog, then so be it. If they find this uncomfortable then they probably would not be happy with me anyway. And I probably would not be happy with them.
On this blog people can learn who I am â€“ what makes me tick, what I think is important, what enrages me, energizes me, and what I am willing to do to make a customer happy.
My friend disagrees.
He works for a fortune 500 company, and in his world, I probably would agree with him. In his world my honesty in my blog is probably a negative. My free sharing of feelings about everything from overbearing corporate entities, power-infused doltish police officers, employees that fail to measure up â€“ all of these things would be negatives when it came to working in his world.
But I do not have any interest in working in his world. I have tasted that world â€“ and while it treated me well for some time it eventually changed me. Into something I was less than pleased with. I started fitting the mold â€“ instead of questioning the questionable rules I started to enforce them â€“ almost blindly. I was assimilated.
It is no wonder I lost the luster for what I was doing.
And honestly â€“ my loss of focus on what was really important probably cost more people their jobs than just me. I lost the drive to â€œbuild beyond all elseâ€. I fell into the trap that most mid-level managers fall into â€“ I thought I was important. AND â€“ I needed my paycheck. I had grown accustomed to the power, and the salary. I forgot that the most important thing was building products, and teams, and bridges within the organization â€“ instead I played a defensive role for almost a year â€“ one that cost a lot in the totality of its failure.
But unlike a lot of mid-level managers – I learned from it. It took me a while. I stepped back for several years and reconsidered what I liked doing, and how that fit into what I am good at doing, and how I can get paid for doing things that I enjoy.
After an initial ambitious play at building something huge I settled down to build a few small successes. I needed to â€œget my groove onâ€. I needed to find my happy place and decide what I really wanted to do/be when I grew up.
I am lucky â€“ I had the opportunity – both with my family, financially, and most importantly emotionally and intellectually to just step back. To re-connect with the guy that made me successful in the first place. To remember what it felt like to build something significant.
I am not a perfect human being. Chances are I never will be.
What I am today is something better than what I was when I was winning awards â€“ I am complete â€“ intellectually and emotionally. Today I know what makes me happy. 5 years ago I always thought there was something more than what I was doing. But what I was doing was pretty cool â€“ and I didnâ€™t take the time to appreciate it because I was always more concerned about â€œwhat is nextâ€.
Today I know what is next. Build one great team. Then build the next. Nothing in my professional life has given me more sense of fulfillment, and nothing else ever will. I build teams, and I can live with that – rejoice in it, even.
And I donâ€™t regret [most] of my blog posts. I am who I am â€“ and part of me is someone that needs to share life experiences. For me.