On Working At SXSW & Online Life Colliding With Offline
Back in 2006(7)? one of my bosses called me into his office to warn me about blogging.
Apparently someone had submitted a “tip” that I was talking about my job on my blog. Luckily, I wasn’t an idiot and what I had written was purely factual and easily found in an existing press release…
All this to say that part of what I love about the workplace slowly evolving to embrace social media
is that I am no longer atypical in that regard. What I’ve been doing since 2006 isn’t that special anymore.
A lot of people tweet for their jobs. This wasn’t always the case, now it’s practically mandatory for anyone working in media. Many people (in addition to traditional media skills) blog, create podcasts, livestream and lifestream – all for their 9 to … 10? 12? he-he.
The plus side of all this evolution is that my colleagues are developing new skill sets at an astounding pace. The bad news is that often these increased abilities don’t automatically translate into promotions or raises – you’re just expected to do more shit for the same amount of money. What was once good enough, is no longer.
This is (in part) why I promote my content, maintain a web site and use social media as a career-developing tool. I know what I am worth and I refuse to be a slave. Life is not a bitch — life is MY bitch, and all of my skills ARE worth a fair rate. I won’t take anything less.
It takes constant vigilance to remain competitive in this crazy economy, but there are some bright spots:
Sometimes my social media projects for work overlap into my real life and end up unintentionally benefiting someone else in the process. I recently made a promo video (for fun – and self promotion, obvs) about
my experience working for Uncensored Interview at SXSW.
It’s just a short little video about my weird clown issues. But it’s also more than that: it showcases what I can shoot in the middle of a crazy work schedule (using a crappy flipcam) and then edit in between a ton of other things, plus it brings more visibility to my employers. I made it for myself to share with friends and family, but it ends up benefiting UI too.
It even helps the people featured in the video – I’ve used it to assist one of them to make a job connect.
Yup, my little flipcam vid about my trip in Austin turned into a “video interview” for someone else. That’s the thing about social media, you may have an intention for your creation out the gate, but ultimately it will become something else. Sometimes that “something else” is in your control and sometimes it’s not. In this case, it all turned out OK.
I thought this post was going to be about how funny I thought it was that companies now encourage their employees to be brand ambassadors, but it turned into me revealing how cognizant I am of every little choice I make, online and offline.
I don’t always do the right thing and I’m not Nostradamus, but I know for damn sure that the worst thing you (freelancer/staff employee/unemployed) can do right now is bury your head in the sand, ignore the warning sirens and refuse to evolve. Change is scary but it’s never going to go away.
Whether it’s taking that one class or asking someone to help you with something, just dive in. You won’t know what can happen until you give life permission to surprise you.