What I realized a little while ago, with some dismay, was that if you're not going to work for someone else and sell whatever they're selling (a product, a service, a program), then you're going to have to sell yourself. I don't mean prostitution obviously and I don't even mean sell out, as in somehow lose credibility or legitimacy or integrity, I don't mean necessarily give up what mattered to you in order to make a name for yourself and/or a profit. But I do mean sell, promote, "brand" yourself to some degree, attract people to your shows or to your gallery openings or your massage table or to the bookstore to buy your book or sign up for your course or follow your twitter feed. You can work for a publisher and help sell books, or a government agency or nonprofit and help sell a program by writing grants. And that all seems somehow okay, and not obnoxious. At a publishing house, a content editor works on the text and jacket while the acquisitions editor has to pitch her books to the sales team, and both editors do less selling than members of the sales and marketing team, generally. And other jobs involve hardly any selling per se—teaching high school, serving coffee. The selling is mainly done by other people. But it's there. Someone is selling in order to uphold the structure that makes your job available, whether it's the principal, the coffee shop owner, or senator who keeps your programs funded. When you don't have someone else holding up that structure, you have to hold it up yourself. But there is something somehow dirtier about promoting yourself than about selling a product, even one we can all agree nobody needs, like knee-pads for toddlers. This presents a dilemma.
- Other Apps