Thinking About Speaking Freely

Longtime Zuskateers know that one of the reasons I am feel able to speak so freely is that I am not currently employed. Thus, I do not fear an employer's displeasure with what I might have to say about the sorry state of affairs for women in science and engineering in educational, academic, and workplace settings.

But now and then I do of these days I suppose I will be in a position to go back to work. Though I blog as Zuska, my real name is right up there at the top of the page for anyone to see. To re-enter the workforce, I'll be a position of supplication, and any potential employer can Google my name and see what I've been up to. Will I then be sorry about being so outspoken?

So it was encouraging that, as I was browsing through xkcd webcomics late last night (a browse inspired by this post over at Dr. Isis's place), I came across one that spoke directly to me. It really gave me heart, even if it doesn't guarantee that anyone will ever want to hire me again. I share it here, for those of you who might be thinking similar thoughts about writing/blogging and being employable. (comic at original site here)

Old Faithful.JPG

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I can't tell you how often I wonder how the things I write will affect my educational career and eventually my professional career.

When I first decided to stop blogging anon, I was moving to Portland and building a business in home repair and remodeling. On several occasions, potential clients googled me and actually mentioned they had - probably close to half the folks I worked for. Only one of them decided not to hire me.

But that was Portland and I was the guy who was recommended by their friends - the guy who did exceptional work and had a solid rep to bank on.

Now I am on a very different professional journey and I do worry sometimes. There are even a few things that I have avoided writing about because of that. Being something of an asshole and occasionally inclined to over-reaction (usually later in the day when the meds have worn down) and becoming a raging asshole, I am concerned. At the same time, I figure that as many folks around these parts and other science blogs have decided to accept me in spite of that (a few I suspect because of that) is indicative of the possibility that my work will speak louder than my occasional propensity for being less than civil.

I still wish I was more free to write about a couple of things that I just can't right now...

I like to think I'd have turned down my present job if they'd answered differently when I asked about restrictions on online writing. Of course, my kids are all grown which lends a bit of freedom. Would I have done differently ten years ago?

Children, as Francis Bacon reminded us, are hostages to fortune.

By D. C. Sessions (not verified) on 24 May 2009 #permalink

Making the front page of your blog, twice!, makes me wonder. You know I luv your writing? I hope. But yes, I wonder whether the turds one leaves around the blogouphere follows one around.