Thursday, May 19, 2011

As we were driving today, I told Terrance about the History Repeats post. I was piecing together my logic, and emphasizing my clever turns of phrase when he sighed...Deeply.

"You are never going to get a job", he says.

"But, But - What?", I sputter.

"You are never going to be hired because any search committee is going to google you and when they find the blogs, they will want nothing to do with you."

"So you want me to lie? You want me to not be honest?"

My defenses are growing. The wall is going up and the metal door is coming down.

"You can be as honest as you want after you get hired. But if you write about History Textbooks and political influence, there is going to be at least one person on every committee who won't like you. And that means No Job."

I am silent. I am angry. I am hurt and worried that I have done something wrong and bad that will hurt me and our family by my inability to be employed.

Intersecting with this is my inability to even get interviewed for most positions and the few that I have interviewed have sent the "No thanks" letter.  I have been unemployed for 18 months now.

"Maybe he is right" says the small doubtful voice in my head. "If people know you, they won't like you. Shut up. Be a good girl and get the job then you can revert to being you."

I doubt everything.

14 Baleful Regards:

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said...

Regarding the statement, "If people know you, they won't like you. Shut up. Be a good girl and get the job then you can revert to being you." I have to disagree - what you write on your blog is not 100% YOU, it is a snapshot of you, which can change a little, given the day, given the mood, given the subject.

You do bring up VERY valid points about how much we share on our blogs and to what extent this can affect future job positions.

Don't let the insecurities take over, Dawn. Seriously.

Dawn said...

Thanks Kelli - I think his fear is that anything I write that is viewed as Not middle of the road or super happy will be a ding against me in hiring.

My instinct that the if someone doesn't like what I write here, then honestly - do they really want me working for them?

But this is a terrible feeling, and one I didn't expect.

julia said...

I loved that post, and posted it to my facebook, where a few of my good girlfriends commented that they loved it too.
I think you are an amazing writer, and we are so eerily similar, it freaks me out sometimes. The main difference is that you are so much more eloquent in putting into words the things I am thinking.
I hope you get a job, but regardless, really appreciate your thoughts.


elizabeth said...

I hate the feeling of being restricted by someone's view of me. Why do I have to shut up and follow the party line in order to get a job? Why must I fit into a preconceived box?
I'm good at what I do & love what I do (teach 5th grade). In the words of Paolo Freire, I want my students to know education..."becomes the practice of freedom, the means by
which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover
how to participate in the transformation of their world."

Mitzi Green said...

to be honest--i don't know if any potential employer is going to go to the trouble of "googling" you. and if they do, i doubt your blogs are going to be their sole basis for either hiring/not hiring you. and if it is--i don't think you want that job, anyway. i would prefer to think any potential employer who DID google you and DID read would be more interested in your ability to convey a message articulately than what the actual message is. you're not exactly inciting riots--you're blogging about people who are down on intellectualism as it relates to early childhood education. could it be (and i may be way off base here and feel free to tell me if so) he is, as a black man, used to smiling and keeping his mouth shut other than to say "yessir" and "nosir" and "anything you say sir" in an effort to not raise any eyebrows and draw attention to himself that could put him in a negative frame. honestly i think his concern says less about his opinion of you and more about his opinion of "them." of course, i also understand why you would take it the other way (i likely would, as well). i'm just trying to offer you the perspective of an uninterested third party. :)

miss selene said...

i was told the same thing by a prof for different reasons. he said i would never find a "real" job in a career unless i conformed to what is considered "normal" because apparently people with blue hair and facial piercings cannot work as professionals.

i say ha ha ha ha to him. i say the same thing to Terrance. the doubt will eat at you but you will find a job. i know you will!

Dawn said...

I keep coming back to this, wondering why it is niggling at me so.

Some is that Terrance has never understood why I blog, and has certainly never read any of my blogs. He views it as exhibitionism and as such, it is distasteful to him.

He can't stop me. But he can make me feel bad.

And I don't think he says these things to exclusively make me feel bad. He sees it as "telling me the truth".

Some is that it is just difficult for me to reconcile something that I view as integrated into who I am as something that He views as being Bad and harmful to us as a family.

Mitzi Green said...

that is one advantage to having married a writer--at least he understands the need to create and put it out there for all the world to see.

but really--does HE think you're "bad," or do YOU think he thinks you're bad, because you're wired for self-sabotage?

Dawn said...

Perhaps some of both.

I know he doesn't value the blog(s), and has always viewed them as dangerous and potentially harmful to US, as a family.

I interpret that as him not liking an essential piece of Me...and then extrapolate that into a continual dismissal of some essential "dawn-ness", which he has never really "gotten".

Laura said...

I think he is both right and wrong. I think it's true that you will probably be googled by hiring committees. As a previous manager, I ALWAYS googled applicants I was considering. But I think he's wrong that this blog is going to stop you from getting a job. As someone who doesn't know you at all in real life, but only through this blog, I can say that you come across as passionate & smart & kind. In fact, you've been blogging for so long, it shows you are confident and true to yourself. These are *really* good qualities. I would think this blog would only be perceived as verification of anything good a hiring committee guesses about you from your application. I doubt you are going to actually consider censoring yourself on here, but thought I'd throw that out there for reassurance. :)

Anonymous said...

"He can't stop me. But he can make me feel bad."

I strongly disagree. No one can MAKE you feel anything. You can choose to feel something else. Indignant. Pissed off. Determined. Vindictive. Apathetic. Surprised. Disbelieving. Compassionate.

But bad? No. He does NOT have the power to make you feel that. Only you do.

Anonymous said...

Dawn, for what it's worth, I have been reading for 2+ years and absolutely LOVE your writing. You are gifted, talented and your writing is honest and real.

I am in a mgmt role and recently did a search for a potential candidate for an open position in my dept. I found his private blog, in which he was extremely opinionated and out spoken. I did not agree with a lot of his opinions and found some of what he said to be in direct conflict with my beliefs. I still hired him, and each day I am glad for it. He is a fantastic employee, an asset to the company and I dearly enjoy our debates and conflicts.

I just wanted you to know that.

Unknown said...

I think Terrance is both right and wrong. What you write online can keep you from getting hired. I was also unemployed for 18 months and had several interviews that ended with promises of job offers that never materialized. I did have to wonder if my years of blogging, tweeting, and commenting were harming my job search. But then I called a local attorney and asked for an informational interview. He and the secretaries read my blog and twitter feed and even though it wasn't a job interview, he asked me to come work with him within 5 minutes of our meeting. He hadn't seen my resume or anything about me as a professional.

Dawn said...

I have continued to think on this topic , and even brought it up with my therapist last week.

In the end, if a person doesn't like who I am HERE, then it really doesn't bode well for a productive working relationship - regardless.

I like to think that I am pretty well integrated, in so much as my voice here is representative of my personality - more personally, but occasionally professionally too.

This issue goes far back into our relationship - mine and Terrance's, and reflects some basic differences of opinion and personality.

When I am feeling fragile, I tend to be more susceptible to his criticism - particularly if I feel as if I am trying to build a bridge of communication, and he takes it as a opportunity to offer advice that is not wanted.

Patterns that are 20 years deep are terribly hard to dissect and then change.

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