I dropped off my daughter at preschool the other day and went to speak with the Director about a concern I was having in my daughter’s classroom. Somewhere in that conversation, the Director asked me, “Do you work or are you at home with the kids?” I replied, “Yes I work. Actually, I work from home.”
That response lead to her asking, “Oh, really? That’s great. What do you do?”
I responded with, “I’m an Adjunct Professor.”
As the words flew out of my mouth, I sank in my chair. And then the disappointment set in.
As many of you know, I was an avid Adjunct Professor for many years. I had a lucrative career, a stable job and a steady income – and then, I gave birth to my second child and fell in love with blogging.
Apparently, I wasn’t ready to tell the Director exactly what I do now in fear of her judging me; that the title of “blogger” just isn’t as established or well known as “Adjunct Professor” – or one in the eyes and minds of others doesn’t equate to as a “real job.” Honestly, I just wasn’t up for explaining what I do since blogging, at this point, still needs an explanation. What exactly would I tell her?
Yes, I blog. I tweet. I facebook. I bring creative campaigns and brand messaging to a whole new breed of consumers. I YouTube. I consult. I write. I develop business and marketing strategies. And the list goes on. Oh and yes, I get paid for doing those things. In essence, I make a living blogging in the social media space, so how exactly do I translate this job title to people who do NOT fully understand this world?
I don’t know about you, but I actually cringe at the thought of explaining what I do to even some family members and close friends. Bottom line? Those that are not active in this world simply DON’T. GET. IT. Moreover, they certainly don’t view this blogging thing as leading to a “real” job.
As a blogger, the personal issue for me has really become – why do I continue to hold back when I am asked that question, “What do you do for a living?” After tons and tons of soul searching upon that conversation with the Director, I’ve since realized that the longer I remain silent, the longer I am simply adding to the rhetoric that blogging and social media do not equate to a “real” job – and for me, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
As a business owner, aren’t I a wonderful role model for my children? Doesn’t this prove that I can dare to dream and make things happen with continued dedication and hard work? Doesn’t this show my daughter that I can be a good mommy AND follow some of my own dreams, too? Doesn’t it show my son that mommy is fully capable of starting her own business and able to contribute to the family income and still use her education, skills and experience?
So why do I continue to listen to the preconceived notions from others who don’t fully understand what I do and who define what a “real” job, is for me and what is not?
Although one job may be much more stable than another and granted, when you freelance, there is much more risk involved since you never really know when that next paycheck is going to come in or where it’s going to come from, that should not make me any less of an employee (whether I am self-employed or work for someone else).
I have been one of the lucky ones to have found a way to make this whole thing work – and I’ve never worked harder at something in my entire life EVERY SINGLE STEP OF THE WAY. Nothing has been handed to me and every opportunity I acted on has been EARNED, just like any other job.
Blogging is the reason I’ve been able to see my babies grow up.
I have this blog to thank for being able to attend Kindergarten parades, birthday parties and story time at school. It’s because of THIS job that I am my own boss and I make my own rules and I punch my own clock – and guess what? I still bring home a paycheck.
In an industry where there really aren’t any concrete benchmarks, I think we need a call to action especially since our blogs currently serve as our virtual online resumes. And in a space where more and more women are finding creative ways to earn income from home, it’s about time that we took some credit for what we’ve established.
So let me be the first to tell the world that I *do* have a real job – it’s called Theta Mom.® It’s my own brand that’s the face of my own company – MY VERY OWN COMPANY and THAT is the REAL JOB that continues to put food on the table for my family.
And at this point in my life, I wouldn’t have it any other way. So maybe it’s about time I started to let the world know, too.