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Career development vs. Personal development

June 18, 2009

I won’t lie; before this year, I didn’t really care at all about working or professional *anything*. Not even a part-time job during high school. I tried subscribing to the Wall Street Journal and New York Times in the fall semester at the advice of some teacher: the idea was to “keep up” with business things to impress other professionals.

I learned something: I hate newspapers. I hate going to a P.O. Box to read WSJs that are already half a day old by the time I get them…and I hate physically reading through newspapers, especially since I am utterly not interested in 80% of the articles.

Reading news articles online was better, but not by much. I just don’t like the traditional news structure, so slapping them on a webpage didn’t help.

I guess that’s not very helpful, and it didn’t make me feel great about looking forward to career things.

And then came spring semester. On some whim, I got this idea to get a twitter account. When I started, I had no idea what I was doing, and I didn’t like it. I didn’t have any friends on twitter, and my facebook did have my friends. Twitter actually got me to update my facebook status more, of all things.

Then I started following Re: The Auditors (actually, I think FM started following me first, because to be honest, I hadn’t heard of the site before)…but even though I am not interested in audit necessarily, I was intrigued by the concept. I used to be as much a philistine to blogs as to newpapers — I once thought blogs were an “indie” overrated fad…but Re: The Auditors kept me up-to-date while not being so completely white-washed and inauthentic (I wholly believe the stereotype of Millennials/Generation Y’ers craving authenticity…although I worry the term itself is losing itself) — as I’ve linked before, FM discusses the tough issues like layoffs, lawsuits, impropriety.

From there and from twitter (RTs and @replies are amazing for expanding horizons), I got into more related news and for the first time started to get a grasp on issues I probably should’ve been reading about a long time ago. And as I’ve written about on site, then I began recruiting and networking, and all of that information became critical.

It’s been great stuff for personal development, and I’ve started to plant what I think are the seeds for career development. But that’s just it…the two seem to be very different plants.

I’ve written about this in Navel-gazing: Blogging is one of the best things I don’t talk about.

While I can say that this blog, my tweeting, my facebook, and all the rest of the social media stuff has been great for me personally…there is a divide between how helpful this is to my online professional brand. In fact, a lot of this stuff actually becomes an actual liability. For example, even though I could say I learned a lot about dealing with social media in the past few months (attempting to implement new marketing tactics for Mormon Matters), I couldn’t put it on a resume, because the details would be killer. What’s my blog about? Oh, religion. Don’t put that on a resume. My twitter isn’t “bad,” but it isn’t differentiated enough to be a “public twitter”…I mean, it doesn’t help that I have a ridiculous name ( @subversiveasset, if you want to follow), but perhaps I’m just lazy, but I use my twitter account for everything. Smartphone news? I use it for that. For business stuff? I use it for that. For personal stuff? I use it for that. For blogs? I use it for that, and I don’t think that speaks well professionally.

It reminds me of an issue I have with Facebook. I don’t think I have anything incriminating on facebook (no drunk party pictures because — surprise! I don’t drink or party!), but at the time, my facebook account has a chronic identity crisis. Oh, I could use it to promote my blog or Mormon Matters…but…most of my facebook friends would not be fans of either — or perhaps even interested at all. So, I actually only selectively push blog entries here to my facebook page via NetworkedBlogs…and I realize that I’m really just providing a lot of noise on my friends’ feeds.

This very article in fact has an identity crisis, because it represents the crosspoints of several of my interests and worries (because heck yes, I can do that on my blog), but it also represents alienation for people who don’t share all of these interests and are looking for something else.

I dunno. I think I’ll figure this out.

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2 Comments
  1. Andrew, Don’t ever forget that these things – Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc – are tools. They are tools in service to your objective. If you have not clarified your objectives, then using these tools, or email, pen and paper or the phone is useless and potnetially damaging. They are merely communication tools, maybe marketing tools (personal or a product/service) ad for others a tool to express brand or personal vanity in service of ? Whatever….

    And yes, I followed you first. Because you had linked to my blog and then I realized you were on Twitter. I saw you had linked ot me because I use another tool, Statcounter, to help me see who is reading/linking to the blog and how they are finding me.

    fm 🙂

  2. Thanks for commenting; I understand that these are all just tools — means to an end. I’m just not quite ready to start separating and streamlining yet, I suppose

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