Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Working 9-5 (And Keeping It Off The Blog)


I share my life somewhat indiscriminately on this blog.  You know about our visa frustrations, my approach to healthy living, and what I believe as well as what it means to be a Jewpiscopalian.  I share a lot, and you know me pretty well.

One thing I don't share is my career.  I used to, and you may remember reading posts from the first few years of Betsy Transatlantically's existence that revealed quite a bit about who I was from 9-5, but I don't anymore.  In fact, this past summer I scrubbed my archive of almost all posts regarding my professional life and I rarely mention it at all anymore on this blog.

I thought of this yesterday, when I posted an Instagram of my desk and deleted an inappropriate comment I'd left in response to Val's compliment .  The thing is, beyond little snapshots of my day - desk photos, all logos carefully hidden; selfies, when I'm dressed up for meetings or when I try out a new hairstyle; and packed snacks that make me feel terribly responsible - I learned the hard way that it isn't prudent for me to share my thoughts on what I do, where, or how.  Though I never specify (and never have specified) where I am employed, you could figure it out if you tried hard enough, and I do not speak for my employer on this blog nor do I have permission from my colleagues to blog about them either directly or indirectly.

I made my peace with that from a diplomatic standpoint, but it's still frustrating.  It's most obviously frustrating because I love sharing my life with you on this blog and my career is a huge part of my identity.  The secondary reason it's frustrating is because I love arts and culture and I wish I could share the best of what London and Washington have to offer but, given that I've worked at musical and theatrical organizations, performing arts venues, and cultural centers in both cities as well as in New York, I'm not sure how I'd do that while keeping my professional identity distinct from my blog identity.

Does that make sense?  I hope so.  Anyway, I know this was a post about something I can't post about, which is sort of pointless at the end of the day, but I wanted to explain it.  Thanks for reading.


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32 comments:

  1. I wish you would share more about your job because I'm sure it's something really interesting! I respect that you keep your career life off the blog, very respectful to the people you work with (and safer) because it's really hard when you love what you do. I worry about it constantly as a teacher (what if one of my kids finds my embarrassing outfit posts?!) but I can't imagine not blogging. Even if you don't get to talk about your job, you still have plenty of interesting thoughts to share!

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  2. I've always wondered what you do! But I completely understand. I had written some about my career on my blog at the beginning but after seeing how some bloggers wrote poorly about their careers, I made the choice to purposely leave my career off my blog. I don't mind sharing my general profession, but the fear of something I write being misconstrued or misinterpreted keeps me from sharing much else. I care way too much about my professional life to risk it.

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  3. I haven't shared much about my job either and while it can be a bit tricky leaving it completely off the blog at times I feel more comfortable that way. Your desk is lovely and organized by the way:)

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  4. I am not currently working so this is not a concern for me but with living in small town and Fredrik working at the hospital here when we are out we have to be careful what he says about work as you do not want someone in the corner thinking hey why is my nurse complaining about x,y, or z.

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  5. I do find what I do really interesting! it's such a huge part of my life and, because most of my organizations have a public side, they could be a huge part of YOUR cultural lives, too... but I'm just afraid the gray line is too wide :(

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  6. I do arts fundraising! (Check out this if you want a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the field: http://fundraisergrrl.tumblr.com/ ) I've seen some bloggers write things about their jobs and their behaviour while at work that, by all rights, should get them fired - it is a bit scary. I don't think I would ever be that irresponsible, but a former colleague did find my blog and complain about it to HR once!

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  7. haha why thank you! all the messy papers and things are on the other side of my computer :P

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  8. oh absolutely! I'd think that being a nurse/doctor or teacher would be the trickiest in terms of "client" confidentiality.

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  9. It makes complete sense! And in all honesty, I sometimes wish some bloggers would share less about their careers when it seems to invade in their coworkers/clients lives and privacy! But it must be hard to be such a woman of mystery ;) x

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  10. This all makes complete sense, though I do love to hear about people's 9-5, partly because I'm nosy, but partly because other jobs always fascinate me. There's so much cool stuff out there that people do that the rest of us hardly even realize is a job option (like my role as a managing editor of academic journals - most people don't know that's a "thing"). And your job/career sounds like a cool one...

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  11. Totally know where you're coming from. I haven't mentioned my specific job or workplace. I've just said I'm doing editing. My boss actually reads my blog sometimes, so it's not like I'm afraid of him finding out about it, but I don't think the great internet needs to know specifically what company I work for. I more don't want authors I connect with through work finding my blog. It just seems like it would be strange. Besides mentioning that I have a new job, I don't think I've talked about it on the blog at all, now that I think about it...

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  12. I think it make perfect sense and it's very respectful. If you are going to be a part of an organization that is not related to your blog and social media (i.e. you aren't in charge of promoting that company on social media) then it's best to keep it separate for all parties involved. You don't want to accidentally offend anyone, and it's good to not be "that girl" at work who's always sharing what's going on in the office. I think it's a good thing.

    I don't have to worry about it with my one job- for Milo and Molly promotion is key, but for my other job as a mom, I made it a priority to not share photos of my kids or share their real names online, and it's hard because they are so darned funny and cute, but luckily I have Casey to share and she's just as cute. I feel like the kids have never asked to be put online, and they don't understand what it is, so better to just keep them off of there for as long as I have control of it.

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  13. I understand, I'm in a very similar boat!

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  14. It's not just important, it's a legal issue for sure. And in a world of cache's, once you've put it out there, it's out there forever. We're constantly educating people at work about the gravity of it all... you either choose to identify yourself and then you are identified forever, or you choose to stay 100% out of it. The gray area is such a legal nightmare. So, yes, this is an important part of life to stay out of social for sure.

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  15. I am totally curious about what you do, mainly cause I used to work at a theatre/library/cultural institution that most people aren't even aware of in DC, and I wonder if our work places crossed paths. But it is nice to keep some part of your life for yourself and not your blog. I love blogging but there does need to be some part you don't share. It does make the blog more special for what you do choose to share, I think. (can you tell I'm bulk reading your posts? Sorry for the flood of comments haha!) x

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  16. I think it is good you differentiate the two. I think blogging about your work sounds like trouble waiting to happen. Of course, that all depends on where you work but better safe than sorry.

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  17. This is something I struggle with also. I do not share my place of work with my blog. At all. I have mentioned on rare occasion what field I work in (non-profit) and the cause that I work for (childhood cancer). I really don't understand how people openly share their work details, especially if they complain about their job a lot. I feel like it's like shooting yourself in the foot, professionally. I have zero desire for my blog to be affiliated with me in a professional sense. It's completely separate and will stay that way.

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  18. Since I work with a lot of clients as their copywriter or project manager, I have just one more reason not to blog under my real name or with my detailed location. I don't want my blog to come up when people google me to find my prior work.

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  19. i hide what i do too! a lot of my coworkers know i have a blog but i work in marketing for a rather well-known company in seattle and it's just better if my blog/shop is separate from the ol' day job. if someone really really needs to know, they can ask me. but other than that. nope.

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  20. other people's jobs fascinate me, too! and, honestly, my job fascinates me, too - I wish I could talk more about it because I get so jazzed about what I do! sorry to be a tease :(

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  21. two former bosses of mine read my blog! the first told me but a colleague caught the second with it up on our boss' computer and she minimized the screen quickly when she realized she'd been caught. haha!

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  22. TRUE, it definitely can be! it was hard when there were arts council cuts in the UK - I wanted to write about them so badly but my views were not my employer's official views!

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  23. well, I know who YOU are in real life and I just looked at your profile on LinkedIn so now you'll know who I am too :P

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  24. I know! you always hear horror stories - people who complain about their bosses on Facebook, forgetting that they're friends with their bosses, etc... you think we'd ALL know better by now.

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  25. it must be challenging though when your job is very social media / web-based, too, though! I'd get so confused.

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  26. well thank you :)

    I have NO idea what I'll do when I have kids - I mean, look at how many photos and stories I share about Charlie - but I totally respect how respectful you are of your children's privacy!

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  27. Yea, well, Charlie is just a handsome specimen. :) That's why a dog is great- I can share "family" stuff without showing everyone. It's me that decided to take on the Internet, not them, so there has to be somewhat of a line.

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  28. It's actually been a HUGE relief that pretty much...well...everyone at my office reads my blog. Last summer, one of the organizers for a business leadership group I'm part of shared my blog link after I wrote a post continuing one of our discussions, and BAM. It was kind of weird that my boss's boss came up and said he loved my blog, but at the same time, it's fun. It's just made me really REALLY aware that anyone can find anything I put online, and that I really need to be careful about how much I "out" myself, especially my sarcastic sense of humor!

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  29. Haha, I see you, I see you! I DM'd you on Twitter about it, fyi. If you had been at this job just 2 years ago, we may have crossed paths maybe!

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