Hi Readers/Shazlings (Shaz’s darlings – it’s a term of endearment)
It’s been a while since I last blogged, but I promise I’ve been thinking about various things to write and share with you – which has led me to the issue addressed in this post.
Spring Semester at Grad school started about four weeks ago, alongside an internship at an amazing PR company that I honestly love working at. These two things alone have kept me extremely busy, but do not even begin to represent the challenges I have faced and been consumed with since we last “met”. A lot has happened: some good; some bad; some whose impact is yet to be determined – some that I have battled with for many years, and some that are newer items on my plate.
I sit here staring at the blinking cursor’s insertion point and asking myself, “To tell, or not to tell?” I don’t have an answer! As young professionals, born in an age of rapid technological advances we have to thoroughly think about the consequences of sharing too much information about ourselves to the general public and those unknown to us (for now). It’s well known that many HR Recruiters for firms scour the web, looking for potential dirt and almost hoping to find something juicy to enable them to discard a percentage of resumes from a towering heap. Why should my personal life be of any concern to my employer? Or rather, why should it not?
In trying to classify myself, I would say that I’m a public private person, which indeed sounds like an oxymoron. By this, I mean to say that I’m not your typical private person in that I do share various anecdotes and experiences in my personal life, but thus far haven’t taken the plunge to bare it all. I feel that there are benefits to sharing certain things with a wider-than-home audience, such as the notion of accountability, and the ability to find common interests that may not otherwise be known. However, with the fear looming that certain things that have been posted, re-tweeted or even “liked” could come back to haunt us, we find ourselves in a conundrum of deciding how much is “too much”.
One of the things about me that I will divulge to you now highlights the further complexity of the matter. I feel that I have been leading a dual-life for the past couple of years, mainly because I am pursuing two different career paths at the same time: on one hand, I’m a business professional, on the other I’m a professional dancer. Can you guess which one potentially raises red flags for the other? Actually, they both typically hinder my reputation for one another.
Now with that established, you can understand my frustration in determining how to simultaneously market myself in these very different realms (especially in terms of social media applications) without detracting from the authenticity and desirability of me as a professional in either application. The way one positions themselves online is paramount to a successful career and life, but how does one achieve this in two spheres?
Dancing Queen or PR Royalty?
I currently have three outlets on Facebook (including my page – strangers, please feel confident in “liking” it), a Twitter account, a website, a Youtube presence, this very blog, and a few other online accounts. The content of most of these has swayed between my different interests, but in order to maximize my potential I really need to up the ante for both. As I mentioned earlier, marketing yourself in Public Relations is very different from how you market yourself as a Performing Artist – something so miniscule as a profile picture makes a world of difference. My headshots in my dance portfolio are extremely different from those I’d chose to represent me on LinkedIn, but with a simple “Google Search” both things can be found.
Through all of this typing, I’m still trying to figure out how to garner the power of this unique relationship and hopefully develop it into a symbiotic one. I love being a hybrid of sorts (and I’m sure I’m not alone) but it certainly does raise challenges! There are so many stories in both fields of interest, and also from my personal life, that I would want to share online – perhaps I just need to take the plunge and air my laundry in public…or should I just leave it in the dryer?
Your comments, criticisms, questions and love are always welcome in the house of Shaz.