Promoting Professional Geekery #19: Flaunt It!

The best way to promote pride and awareness of professional geeks?  Well there's many debates that can be had, and I myself won't side with one way or another in order to encourage people.  But one of the more effective, in my highly biased but doubtlessly right opinion, is to basically "flaunt it."

No I'm not talking about wearing a T-shirt reading "I am a professional geek, bow before me" unless that's your thing and you have a good design.  I'm more talking about the fact that you go out of your way a bit to communicate you do what you love for a living and believe in it.  Not shoving it in people's face, but keeping in mind there are chances to promote the ideal.

Some of them MAY involve the obnoxious t-shirt and the shoving it in people's face, but I'd like to keep those the exceptions.

It's important people see proud, happy, healthy progeeks.  There's too much assumption you can't do what you love for a living.  There's too many negative ideas of basement-dwelling obsessives being the closest thing to professional geeks (not that there's anything wrong with that if it's your thing).  They need to see people who are progeeks.

They need to see you.  You're an example, a role model, a testimony.  Yes, I realize just how disturbing that is, but stick with me here.

Whenever people see functional (or at least functional enough) progeeks, even those who are just realizing their ambitions, they see that important idea manifest: you can do what you love for a living.  You can be that.

Here's how you "flaunt it" without overdoing it.  Unless you consider me to be overdoing it, to which I say "bow before my virtual t-shirt."

  • Mention it in your blog, site, posts, whatever.  Be proud of it.  Talk about your experiences.
  • Discuss it at cons as I've mentioned ad nauseum.  Show people it is possible.
  • Help out people professionally – to find their geeky careers.  They'll realize it's possible.
  • Geek out at work and be yourself – appropriately.  People should know you're a geek – just like they know who's a gamer, football enthusiast, foodie, spawn of the Deep Ones (it's the gills).  Be the reminder or example.
  • Stop repressing and start expressing.  Learn to catch yourself when you're harshing your own geek buzz when it's not needed.  Learn to let it out so people can see.
  • Be yourself.

You are the testimony, the reminder, the example.  Scary thought, but it's up to us to show people dreams are worth living, even if it's in ways you never expected.

Steven Savage