writing in your own voice

A good portion of the workforce has now had a taste of distributed work (I prefer this term to ‘remote work’ which has a connotation of a central location and a number of remote workplaces). And most people, for the most part would like to have an option to work away from the office, as reported in a recent Citi GPS Report“In fact a survey by Gallop has found that three in five U.S. workers who have been doing their jobs from home during the COVID-19 pandemic would prefer to continue to work remotely as much as possible, once restrictions have lifted.”

We are also seeing a number of bankruptcies and layoffs as a result of an impending recession in most countries. Changing employers and employment situations will affect a significant number of workers in the near future around the world. As organizations rise and fall at a faster rate, workers need to find some stability beyond the corporate walls.

Now that people are working online, it does become easier to connect online. But this is uncharted territory for those used to the comforts of a stable office environment. Therefore, from a distributed work perspective, where communications are mostly online, having an online pied à terre becomes important.

Ton Zylstra likens a personal blog to a person’s permanent avatar. Writing over time makes it impossible to hide one’s true personality. It’s a deep CV or business card — in a world of rapid change — a good place to ensure that your individual attributes are evident.

“Your blog is your avatar, not in the one-dimensional sense of a profile pic, but in the original sense of a god made flesh in terrestrial form, in the sense of Ultima IV, where your own ethics determined the outcome by presenting you dilemma’s with short and longterm consequences attached to your choices. Your blog is your avatar, a full representation of yourself, made manifest online in HTML texts. Whether you want it to be or not. Time makes it unavoidable.” —Ton Zylstra

What was once a requirement for freelancers working online is now necessary for knowledge workers, artisans, and pretty well anyone who wants to, or has to, stay physically removed from their employers or clients. I have likened a blog to social media’s home base but now it is almost every professional’s home base online. With blogs, individuals have control over their voice and are not subservient to the algorithmic overlords of consumer social media, like LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter.

Some may also find that having a blog becomes liberating, building a professional network external to their current employer. In return, companies get people who are much more connected to the world beyond the corporate firewall.

Image from Blaugh.com 2006 (no longer online)

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