When I joined Twitter, I made a conscious decision to not use or be associated with my real name. I wanted to say whatever I wanted without fear that it would in some way jeopardize my job, which was doing public relations for technology and entertainment companies, some of which entailed social media strategy.
So I used a handle that I've had online for years. But if you googled it, you could find out all kinds of things about me that were associated with my real name. Blogs I've had, comments I've made on other blogs, old message board postings, etc. Stuff going back to my early twenties, which is now kind of a long time ago, and a lot of which was just dumb and naive.
So then I changed my handle to Jane Donuts. Jane Donuts was a relatively fresh alter ego I'd developed for a creative writing/blogging project that eventually became my current blog, and I liked the name - it made me laugh - so it stuck. And now four years later, I follow and have about four hundred followers. It's not a huge number, but it's not insignificant either when you consider these are mostly people and companies that share my interests - namely music, books, writing, technology and media.
And now I find myself with a little dilemma. I'm in the midst of a career change and am applying to jobs that are heavier on the writing and social media, many of which require the applicant to show they have some skills in those worlds.
So what do I do? Do I just throw Jane Donuts the twitter feed and Jane Donuts the blog out there? If I do that, I should probably go back and look at anything I've said that could be considered offensive, and delete it. But then that would be compromising what I set out to do when I started these things, which was just to use them as an outlet for things I was thinking about or feeling.
I'm leaning toward just saying screw it, and citing them in my job search. I'm not exactly running for president. But if you have any thoughts on this matter, let me know.