Guest Post: Putting the Fear Aside

It’s a special day here at the blog.  A rare blog swap!  I’ve written a post entitled Playing Politics with Equality, which has been posted on the site of friend of the show and one man Wiki, Victorio Milian!

Victorio Milian is a creative and versatile Human Resources practitioner operating in the retail industry. Alongside this, he has been an active blogger for the past 3 years, writing about Human Resources and business trends at his self-titled blog

In his words:  “My career path demonstrates an ability to take on new and greater challenges, successfully manage multiple agendas, as well as work across divisions and with diverse populations. This is Human Resources at its best-to maximize the people potential of an organization in order to create and sustain value. In short, I like working with smart people to do smart things.”

He’s wicked smart, and it’s an honor to share space with him.  After this, go check out the rest of his work.  You’ll be glad you did.

Social media is a double-edged sword. It has allowed me to express my thoughts and opinions on a variety of subjects. It has given me fantastic opportunities to network, gain knowledge in different areas, collaborate with creative and intelligent individuals. The benefits have by far outweighed the drawbacks, most of which have to do with time. There simply isn’t enough of it; like anyone I often have to balance multiple priorities so I have had to make the appropriate sacrifices. In the end they have been worth it and I’m a better professional (and person) as a result.

Yet having this platform does come with a price, at least for me. When I first started getting involved in social media, I was scared. Yes, scared. As a practitioner working for a major retailer I was scared at how my then employer would perceive my tweets, blog posts, and other online activities. If they put the pieces together what type of image would they see of me? As the person who was directly responsible for crafting policy and procedures for the company, would they see my efforts as contradictory to that role?

And so I started off as an anonymous blogger. It was hard work maintaining a dual role, one where I couldn’t speak publicly about what I did. When I or someone else would slip up, I would get nervous, thinking that sooner or later someone would guess my secret. After a while I couldn’t do it anymore, and I came out. It was a relief, but the fear took a long time to go away, because I still didn’t discuss it at work. It wasn’t until a co-worker casually mentioned a blog post of mine that they liked that I truly began to relax.

Nowadays I’m a jet setting HR blogger (sarcasm alert!) but it wasn’t always that way. And now I face a different issue, one that’s still based on fear. I now have an established platform through which people read and enjoy my work. I have gained a measure of influence and most importantly to me, respect from my peers. Yet I find myself hesitating to write certain posts, or broadcast certain opinions, because I’m afraid.

I resigned from my previous company in September. Since then I, along with millions of others, have been searching for a role, an organization, a place to be a part of. I know that eventually I will land in the right role or, barring that, create for myself. As with any job search there has been plenty of ups-and-downs.Unfortunately, there’s been many incidents where I’ve had to honestly question people’s professionalism. I don’t ask for perfection; what I do ask for is sticking to your word, following-up, and above all else, acting like you understand that the candidate is a human being, and should be treated as such.

They seem like simple words, and yet I could say so much more. I could be quite specific, naming names, dates, and what was done exactly that warranted my claims of unprofessional behavior. And unlike the average job seeker, I have several thousand connections, online and off, that I could be telling my story to. And that’s where the fear lies. I fear some days I will just not care about my reputation, one that I’ve built over many years, and let as many people as possible know exactly why they shouldn’t consider working for XYZ organization, or why they should avoid working with a particular recruiter.

Instead…

I’m going to let it go. I am putting the fear aside, so that you may get a clearer picture of me. Not because I’m scared, but because I’m a professional. I will not allow fear nor anger to guide my decisions. If there’s something to be learned from this–it’s that your decisions help reinforce mine, to be better, to be that professional that people respect, not just for the position they occupy, but because they lead with integrity and honesty. That is who I am as a person. It is what I will continue to demand from those that want to do business with me.

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