I’m tired of ‘experts.’ Experts do not impress me. Experts are getting on my nerves.
My whole life I’ve been fed bull-shit by ‘experts.’ Individuals completely out of touch with my life and my identity spouting unsolicited and baseless “insights” about ME and my generation.
It seems that everybody with a computer and a contact at a prominent magazine/newspaper/talk show/blog is an expert and all the experts have something positively sensational to share.
Like, for instance, the millennial generation is lazy or apathetic. Like Gen-Y has a collective bad attitude. Like we think so highly of ourselves that we’ll never get jobs or succeed because we don’t understand what it means to be humble. Like we’re ruining our future employability by posting too much crap online.
Now, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Some millennials are, in fact, super lazy. Some millenials live in their parents basement and smoke a lot of weed out of a bong they made by welding together their four 8th place trophies. Some millenials think they’re soooo super-duper awesome sauce that they feel no shame in using phrases like super-duper awesome sauce. (Guilty.) Some millenials aren’t so great.
Some of us suck. Some of us don’t. In that sense, how much do we vary from the general population? By, like, .00001% in that we have a few less sucky people.
I could go on and on and on about my frustration with the media’s representation of youth and young people but I won’t… not tonight anyway.
Instead I’d like to address a very specific ‘expert’ concern:
“You’re ruining your future by posting so much crap on the internet.”
To address this, I’ve drafted a letter to any and all future employers… Let me know what you think.
Dear Future Prospective Employers,
So here we are. You googled “Carina Kolodny” and stumbled upon this… among many other things, I’m sure. That’s the trouble with having a name like “Carina Kolodny” instead of a name like “Jane Smith”, nobody can wonder is that, THAT Carina Kolodny? It’s definitely me, me. I’m the only one.
I’ve grown up in the internet age with older, wiser people always telling me to be very enterprising about what I put out to the World Wide Web. I’ve followed their guidance in some respects. You won’t find any inebriated photos of me; you won’t find any pics of me topless or beer-bonging at Spring Break. (Mostly because I don’t drink often and I’m definitely not a party girl.)
It would, however, be dishonest to say that you wouldn’t (or won’t) find anything interesting. My internet persona is by no means vanilla… then again, neither am I.
No, future prospective employer, there is plenty to see in the google world of ‘Carina Kolodny.’ Maybe I’ll save you some leg work and go through the highlights.
You will discover:
–That I’m known by many as the ‘Vagina Warrior’
–That I’ve written a lot about safe sex
–That in these articles I’ve actually acknowledged that I’VE HAD sex. (Shocking, I know.)
–That I’m all about girl-power… and sometimes girl power means writing about the merits of female masturbation.
–That I’m a fierce LGBT advocate and am pictured holding a protest sign that is anything but politically correct.
So, wonderful potential employer, if I didn’t put ‘vagina warrior’ in my cover letter, I apologize for not being more up front. So much for full disclosure… but <500 words doesn’t offer a lot of time to wax poetic about my activism or my feelings on vagina rights.
If any of this comes up in our next interview (assuming you’re giving me one), it would be easy to write off my internet footprint. “I was young,” I could say. “I didn’t know any better.”
That is, of course, a bald-faced lie. I was young (still am depending on when you read this) but I did know better. I was hyper-aware that everything I put on the internet would follow me around like a digital shadow. There is no escaping it—I can’t erase the internet.
But by that same token, I can’t erase my past. I could be dishonest and re-write it to better serve my resume but would that really better serve my career? My future? Would it be better to pretend that I am anything other than what I am?
I am bold and fierce and outspoken. I’m an unapologetic feminist with a quick wit and a whole lot of chutzpa.
If you decide not to hire me because my status as a ‘vagina warrior’ makes you uncomfortable or doesn’t jive with your company’s ideals, I totally get it. I’m not offended and I won’t hold it against you… because, frankly, I probably wouldn’t do very well at your company. If who I am, WHO I REALLY AM, isn’t right for your company then I’m willing to bet that your company isn’t right for me.
I understand discretion; I understand the merits of keeping a low profile. But for me personally, it’s more important to use my voice than to be cautiously silent. It’s more important to stand up for what I believe in than to slide below the radar. It’s more important to be ME than to be strategically ambiguous. To all the people who tell me that I’m limiting my future opportunities, I’d like to point out that I’m actually just weeding out the places that I wouldn’t have done well at anyway. I’m acknowledging that I’m a real person and not just a LinkedIn profile.
So, future prospective employer, it comes back to you. I’m the author of an article titled “International Masturbation Month.” I’m also hard-working, creative, a team player and have a breadth of strengths and experiences… and I strongly and unapologetically stand up for what I believe in.
Carina M. Kolodny