Keeping My Day Job

I’m a practitioner. An HR guy to the core. I’m not a writer or a speaker or an HR guru. I do HR and I do it well. Over the past year, I’ve tried to branch out and dip my toes in the “HR consulting” space, while trying to maintain a full-time job and a household. What I’ve learned is that I’m not great at multi-tasking. And neither are you. My writing got sloppy, my speaking engagements were sub-par, and my performance in my day job suffered. As I’ve taken some time to reflect, I’m going to limit the distractions and continue to focus on my day job.

I wrote a post, last week, about my role as a parent and the unnecessary stress professionals put on kids to focus on STEM courses. Traffic was good, feedback was mostly great, and it drove a lot of discussion. I took my time crafting the post and edited it on multiple draft forms between the WordPress app on my phone and my home computer. I finalized the post on my computer and published it.

Two days later, I went to my WordPress app in the airport to write a post as I was headed home. The “parent” post was opened in editing mode. I must have saved it, at that time, and overridden the published post. It wasn’t until I reviewed it again over the weekend that I realized what I had done. What was out there was something awful. It was my original draft I started after a morning run and riddled with errors, incomplete sentences, and on a third of what was the final draft. Most of my posts start that way.

I had to trash that post. I tried to find what was originally posted but was unable to recover it. I was proud of the original post and I was so disappointed that I lost it.

This is when I realized that my writing was not reflecting my best self. I’ve spent so much time and energy trying to get something out there for the sake of writing every day instead of being thoughtful and intentional in my writing. I was more worried about page views and retweets instead of the actual content.

I looked back at the posts where I took my time to lay out a purpose. I reread the ones where I spent more time researching and putting more effort versus the ones I banged out on my commute to work. I could tell the difference. My purpose for getting a post published was all wrong. Those sloppy posts don’t represent me well and I’m working toward making a better product.

In order to do that, I need to re-evaluate my “why.” I need to be able to write because I want to and not because what I think an HR blogger is supposed to do.

I’ll continue my day job as a solid HR professional. I have a few speaking engagements coming up and I want to be refreshed and ready for the SHRM annual conference right here in Chicago. I’ll still occasionally write about pancakes and running, but I’ll be more selective on my HR and workplace posts.

I’m engaged in some really interesting work and I want to be able to share the progress and outcomes. I just want to do it in a more thoughtful and presentable manner.

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