The Risk of Social Media Success
[This post has been edited to remove all the “story” of the firing. But the content is still true. If you’re going to hire a digital marketer, please Google them. I’m proud of what’ I’ve accomplished in both my digital marketing career, as well as my blog about parenting as a single dad. I think the two things go together nicely, some people obviously do not.]
My LinkedIn Profile.
Yesterday, after exactly one day on the job, I was fired for my published work on The Huffington Post. I suppose if my "other" blog had not gotten syndicated by The Huffington Post I would still have my job today. It seems someone inside the company felt a positive divorce and coparenting blog was not in keeping with the brand of the company. Sure, but I’m just a marketing director. My personal blog, while emotional and confessional at times, is not a poor reflection on my work as a marketer.
Be that as it may, Texas being an "at will" state, they have every right to fire me for anything they want to. Still, I find it amazing that in the seven weeks we’ve been navigating the hiring process nobody googled me. Being the number one news site on the web, my Huffpo link comes up first. Then Twitter, then Linkedin, then The Good Men Project, another controversial site. My marketing blog, this blog, comes up below the images section. But that’s really a result of my success on these other sites that have huge traffic.
The brutal irony is on of my best posts ever, a post that gave me an internal high-five when I finished it, was about telling my son about this new job. He said he was proud of me. And that stunned me. And sure, I reflect back on my relationship with my father, and how we never really had the time to understand each other since he died when I was 20.
So you (employer or potential employer) go find my Huffington Post work. BOOM. Then you jump quickly to The Good Men Project and the actual blog. BOOM BOOM. And if you don’t put any of it in context, you might get the impression that I’m struggling with a difficult divorce. Except that’s not it at all. I am celebrating the transformation that has occurred due to my divorce. I am celebrating my ability to be a great dad, in spite of all the obstacles in my path. It’s not easy being a single parent, dad or mom. And it’s not easy to get over the divorce and simply put things back together in a 100% positive way.
I know that what I am writing and the "work" I am doing in the positive coparenting space is of critical importance to my life. As I am recovering and reviving all the parts of my life that may have been compromised both during the marriage and as a result of the divorce, I am showing the way for thousands of others.
And that’s the rub. Last month my personal blog got over 68,000 reads. And I’ve been holding back on publishing the first Whole Parent book because of this career thing. But it’s just that success that is going to make the switch possible for me. Perhaps not today, unless Arianna calls and says she’s ready to make me a paid editor…
It’s right there at the top of my background on LinkedIn. And while I don’t make a big deal about it, I’m more proud of those accomplishments than any successful promotional program I’ve launched. We launch our kids into the world and we do the best we can to support and nurture them. And in today’s negative climate, I think we need positive parenting posts, even if the parents are divorced.
The most important work I have is being a great parent. Everything else I do is in support of that goal.
- John McElhenney on The Huffington Post
- John McElhenney on The Good Men Project
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