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Your Blog and Your Career

Clicking through series of links this morning, I ended up coming across an article in "The Chronicle of Higher Education" regarding applying for jobs in academia and how reading applicants' weblogs had an impact on the hiring process. I'm not looking to work in academia, but this did hit on an issue I've wondered about: could what I've written here come back to haunt me professionally down the line?

I'm well aware that what you post to the Internet never really dies. Knowing that, I've deliberately avoided some subjects in this weblog and tried to minimize the comments I made on others, including work. But according to this article, even that might not be good enough for some potential employers:

Professor Shrill ran a strictly personal blog, which, to the author's credit, scrupulously avoided comment about the writer's current job, coworkers, or place of employment. But it's best for job seekers to leave their personal lives mostly out of the interview process.

It would never occur to the committee to ask what a candidate thinks about certain people's choice of fashion or body adornment, which countries we should invade, what should be done to drivers who refuse to get out of the passing lane, what constitutes a real man, or how the recovery process from one's childhood traumas is going. But since the applicant elaborated on many topics like those, we were all ears. And we were a little concerned.


...in truth, we did not disqualify any applicants based purely on their blogs. If the blog was a negative factor, it was one of many that killed a candidate's chances.

More often that not, however, the blog was a negative, and job seekers need to eliminate as many negatives as possible.

Well, Fiat Lux has been online for almost two years now, and judging on how much of my traffic comes from Google, even taking it down would not prevent people finding what I've blogged. If someone reads what I have to say here and decides not to hire me because I'm too opinionated, or because of my particular view on things, or because they think I'm a risk for what I might possibly say in the future .... well, that says more about their own issues than it does about mine.

I'd be lying if I said I didn't care whether this blog could affect my job prospects in the future. Of course I care. But since I can't de-Google myself, I'm damned already in some people's eyes. I might as well keep going on.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 10, 2005 12:03 PM.

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