Title directly from the wisdom of Becky.
I went to Puerto Rico last week. Just me with my husband, on a work trip. Lucky, lucky us. Many thanks to my amazing guest posters - give it up for them.
The trip gave me lots of writing prompts. Two of them - tonight and tomorrow - involve the same woman. Let's call her Matilda. Both of these events occurred on a trip that our group took to explore the rainforest.
Which is something that I'll write about later this week. Let's stick to the bus trip.
On the way there, I was chatting with someone about my job. My freelance/social media job.
Let me explain.
I review products. Sometimes for pay. Sometimes for product, if it happens to be a product I like and I like to share those products with you guys. Sometimes I write reviews for services, and get paid for those. I work hard to do a good job for these blog posts, so that I can continue to be offered good stuff. Like my Frigidaire washer and dryer. Like my Tempurpedic mattress. Like junkets to Ford and Stouffers, a long term partnership with V8 and several trips to promote products from nutrition plans to Ninja Blenders.
I freelance for a couple of companies. I run the CafeMom blog for Hallmark (just renewed for a second year), completed the Gatorade project for them, and have just signed to run another project for them. I get paid for those blog posts. I worked for DietsInReview for three years. I got paid for that. (But lost that job, just so we are clear.)
I was hired to represent Invisalign.
I write for Redbook.
Point is, I get paid to write. And Tweet. And Facebook, and keep my eyes on the blogosphere.
I was discussing my job, and explaining what I do to someone who doesn't really get the Internet. I most definitely wasn't trying to pimp myself out, but we were on a trip for people in the President's Council (top 50 IN THE US) - and I'd be a liar if I didn't want to look somewhat as if I was a person of consequence.
Sue me. I've worked hard to try to make some money at this gig and the accolades are often few and far between. I most empahtically was NOT bragging, not making myself out to be anything more than I am - in fact, my husband piped in a few times to expand my responsibilites - he truly is my #1 fan.
Matilda popped into the conversation. "What is it you do again?" Deal #1 - she knew perfectly well, as I've known this woman for years. She's older than I am, and I happen to know that the company she works for doesn't really get social media. It's cool - Social Media is new and to companies that are slow adapters, run by people who are change resistant - Social Media is foreign.
I explained, once again, that I am a freelance writer who also does Social Media.
"That's not a real job," she scoffed. "It's just that little blog you write. Nothing real."
And I was so flummoxed by this comment that I was literally speechless.
I know. Write the date down, because it rarely happens. I've replayed this conversation about 24156 times in my head. I can see her wide open unblinking stare, the tilt of her head, the flip of her hand. And how she completely cut me to the quick in front of an entire group of people.
Fortune 500 companies get Social Media. People are hired every day to write blogs, tweet, Facebook, etc. And when I wrote it on my Facebook page, my friends of course jumped to my defense. If they aren't real jobs, may we go back to bed? Can we ditch work and go for coffee? One friend reminded me that the IRS very much considers this real work - and yup, I pay the taxes to prove that.
Becki said it best. Once upon a time, stagecoach driver was a real job and airline pilot wasn't. Things change...so sad for the people who can't change with them.
Society changes. Jobs change. People need to change with them.
And keep their damned mouths shut if they have nothing nice to say. Listen to what your mama said, all those years ago.