For all the countless hours I have spent writing posts online, very seldom have I done so in a highly public fashion. My disposition is a very private one, and for recognition I have always trusted in the merit of my work. What I have come to realize over the past two years on the academic job market, however, is that–given how overcrowded academia is, relative to the number of open jobs–I will need actively to show the merit of my work, and not just anticipate it being discovered on its own.
This public display is an uncomfortable task, to me. Most of my online writing has been either under pseudonyms or shared only with close acquaintances: it is far easier to rant and rave when no one knows who you really are, or knowing who you are, already knows the gist of what, and how, you think. It is also far easier to get away with saying things that would likely result in termination; universities are touchy about everything, these days, and my opinions are often controversial.
So I find myself facing a dilemma: do I maintain a squeaky-clean, inoffensive blog which lacks the vigor of my thought, or do I risk continued unemployment by forceful statement of what I truly think? There is probably an escape… but it is likely that I will impale myself, regularly, on the latter horn. The fact of the matter is, I would rather remain honest than become employed, if the two should be mutually exclusive, and rely on the display of my work’s merit rather than a falsified ability to fit a profile.