As someone born in the late 70’s who enjoys technology, I feel comfortable with the technological changes since the internet. Most of my life I have been the person that friends and coworker would ask about technology. Yet, increasingly I sometimes find myself in a familiar world that I understand, that I watched develop and helped usher into existence, but every now and then the connection gets maxed out, theres a bug, a glitch and the connection begins to feel strained.
I know it, and all of it’s devices, I watched the stitching of our upgraded societal fabric as it was sewed, but it’s not mine completely. Does that make sense? You make it and you were there, it’s of you, but its not you? There are things that we do and expectations that we shoulder, which sound normal, and even simple…heck they were major updgrades at the time, but they don’t feel normal. And simple isn’t synonymous with easy.
One of those current glitches in my system is the expectation to continually define yourself in your social and online bios. Like a professional selfie marking every turn of your life. It seems easy when you do it for your corporate job and you take for granted the shorthand that buzz words offer and the allure of just keeping inside the box.
But as modern professionals in early and mid life, we rarely have job tracks and long term career paths anymore, instead we collect a series of side hustles, hobbies, investments and pet projects. As one of my favorite podcasters, Chase Jarvis, says: we’re all hyphens or become hyphens.
Our resumes are less like a history and chronology and more like a high school letter jacket, replete with patches from our sports and clubs. Hi, I’m a Copywriting — Mindset — Entrepreneurial — Yoga — Website — Coach on YouTube — Currently Driving for Lyft. I laugh when I write it, but I know several sucessful people that would identify with that description.
To make it even harder, we are physically limited by a draconian fascination with character counts because it looks better and messes up the aesthetic of a profile page if there are too many words. If that’s not anxiety ridden enough, we’re limited mentally by the fact that we no longer read unless its a list. Crap I forgot to do numbers…are you still there?… oh, well, good now I can say whatever I want without worrying what you think.
So my questions as I look at my current mediocre social media bio attemps and contemplate greatness are:
1 — When do you make your newest hyphen official? I mean can it be a soft launch, a MVP (minimum viable product) where it sits like a wallflower, showing up, but trying not to call attention to itself, somewhere mid-list until you get hired for that skill or get featured for it on HuffPo Yoga. Do you start a whole new insta account for that hyphenation of yourself? Really put a full launch behind it and fly it proud?
2 — Are there too many hyphens? Can you become professionally promiscuous, a fallen, tragic overly active hyphenator that should be more descreet and learn to keep a quarter between your hyphens, as not to develop a reputation? I mean really, wasn't he just a Home Brewer and now he’s a Crossfit Supplement Expert?
3 — Which hyphen comes first? Do you lead with your strength or lead with your pivot, the job you want to be hired for next? If I am really trying to show who I am and lead with my values, I should probably start with Father and Husband…or Husband and Father, that sounds better, plus my wife will like to know she’s still my first hyphen, while those other hyphens don’t “really” matter.
4 — Is this freeing or a new career track with it’s own politics and false promise?
So, there you have it. My first act as a Husband — Father — Writer — Entrepreneur — Procrastinator — Copywriter — Photographer — Technology Consultant — Cancer Survior — Fundraiser — Brand Manager. What you may not have realized is that this piece was create through a ninja-like productiviy redirect turning my procrastination from my simple task today of: “Write Social Bios” into my other task…”Write 1 hour every day and publish 3 times a week”. .500 is a good average right?
If you’ve read this far, you deserve to know that this is an excercise in personal development that has several starting points that reshaped my life over the last 4 years, and has currenlty landed me in Madrid, Spain with my family after saying adios to Houston, TX after 20+ years. It’s step 1 of a greater dream for me and my family and the initial acts of doing what I love instead of what I should.
I know, you’re thinking “just dont quit your day job”… too late. I hope to see you around for part 2. If you want to get to know me more you can visit the company I started with my wife in 2016 www.cheekydaysbox.com and visit my online photography portfolio. See you at least 3 times this week, per my goals!