Matthew Gates 10m 2,458 #confessionsoftheprofessions
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Over A Million Words and 2,000 Confessions
6 years old is how old Confessions of the Professions will be on February 22, 2019. As an early birthday gift, we’ve upgraded our server to a dedicated host that can handle the requests of Confessions of the Professions with ease. Hopefully you’ve already started to notice the smooth loading times.
You. You did it. Really, you did it. We did it. I cannot take all the credit for it, because we did it. This stopped being “my website” long ago when I made the decision to start posting your confessions because You had stories to tell and no place for the world to see them. Sure, you could post on your social media, but it only went so far, and you were probably happy that your mom read it and a few of your friends “liked” it. But you wanted it to go further. Confessions of the Professions really wants that for you too. That is why it was created. For you. For me. For everyone. It is The People’s Website.
One thing about running a website, a semi-popular website, is that you must have patience for everything. From reading every email; to processing the confessions of contributors and making sure they all read well and look good; to dealing with the constant bouts of spam; to watching and trying to figure out how one day, a confession written three years ago could go viral overnight and somehow manage to attract 5,000 new visitors, to the next day, where the entire website receives less than a thousand visitors. Knowing the exact traffic of Confessions of the Professions is very far from cut and dry.
Having been around for quite some time, and using a series of traffic-monitoring tools, they all still seem to report different types of traffic and different amounts. There are days where Google Analytics seems off and in fact, very rarely does it ever seem “on”, while other tools seem slightly more steady. Some days, traffic makes me realize why I have worked so hard to keep this website going, while other days, I wonder why I keep it going. Then there are the emails of people reminding me just how much a confession helped them, or that they enjoyed reading a confession, or that they want to make a contribution and submit their own confession, or that they simply love the website itself, and it is those emails that keep me going.
There is a common theme among our contributors that I noticed when they email Confessions of the Professions: there are some people, as respectful as they are, who are daily contributors, over a half dozen contributions or more to the website, but still prefer to introduce themselves every single time, as if they are emailing me for the first time, rather than make it personal.
Confessions of the Professions remains a blog website. It is not run by a company, but an individual, the author of this 2000th confession. I am usually good at recognizing your names. I read and process every single confession that passes through this website and I can almost always recognize your name. Occasionally, I will get someone who contributes once or twice a year, who also does the same thing, in introducing themselves as if we have never spoken before. Sometimes, they even forget they had ever submitted a confession.
But as always, it is good to have you back and wanting to contribute more than once to the website. It is certainly appreciated as your unique perspective and confessions really are fascinating. Whether you contributors wish to make it personal or pretend we have never spoken before, either way is fine to me. I may not know you personally, but I do know your writing style and you are always welcome. Just be sure to wipe your feet on the outdoor mat before you enter!
In telling you this information, we–I try to be as transparent as possible. There would certainly be no reason to cover anything up or hide it away from visitors. After all, we are not the government or Area 51. We have nothing top secret going on in the background, except maybe an alien or a UFO confession waiting to go out, but that is about it. Our major secret that most of our visitors probably don’t know is that I spent so many years writing confessions that I have an abundance just waiting to be distributed, but to publish them all at once would certainly be overwhelming.
On top of that, weekly emails from contributors keep me busy doing many other things. Confessions of the Professions is not my day job nor is it my night job nor is it a full-time job nor is it part-time or even per diem. There is no payment for what I do. The reason I do what I do is because of passion for understanding why we get up and go to work everyday. In fact, I personally get up everyday, and I go to work, just like many of you, in an office, where I spend 8 to 9 hours a day, doing work for the company that I work for. Luckily, I only live about 5 to 10 minutes from where I work, so traffic is not bad at all.
But why do we all do it? Why do we all keep getting up and going to work every single day? Because we have to do it. No one else is going to pay our rents, our mortgages, our bills, etc. This is the way society was designed. The very problems we have are the problems we brought upon ourselves. Let that sink in. We exchange our labor for money which helps us acquire the things we get ourselves into or the things we want and need, including the fact that we do need to eat food everyday to sustain our lives, or take care of our children, who are dependent upon us for their young lives. We must do what we have to do because we are a society dependent on a money-for-labor system, and money buys things. By going to work, I constantly have new material to write to probably last for years to come.
When I began Confessions of the Professions with the intent of helping others, I was so interested in learning about what everyone is doing with their time on this Earth. If you started working young and then retire at the rightful age of retirement, anywhere between 62 – 67 and some work even longer, than that means you — the average person — works almost 100,000 hours in their lifetime. That is 21% of your waking hours for an average 76-year lifespan, or 35% over 50 years. That is a lot of time to be dedicated to work. What else would we actually be doing with that time if we didn’t work?
Depending on how much you worked in your lifetime, the money you made over the course of your lifetime, depending on the job you worked and your education, will determine the amount you will generally make. For non-college, most people will earn between $500,000 to $700,000 over the course of their lifetime. People with a college degree, usually between an Associates to a Bachelors will earn between $1,000,000 (1 million) and $1,500,000 (1.5 million). If you happen to increase your education level, usually to a Masters or Ph.D, you may increase your chances to at least $2,000,000 ($2 million) to $2,500,000 ($2.5 million). If you are a doctor, surgeon, lawyer, or judge in a specialized field, your chances for earnings are much greater, but so are the stress levels that you will inevitability face.
There are a few other careers that lead to making millions over time, such as becoming the CEO of a top Fortune 500 company. Actors and actresses, if they “make it”, also have the potential to earn millions per movie, however, the work can be stressful and even hard to obtain, and for the few hundred or so well-known actors, actresses, and top musicians that are famous, they did not become famous overnight, and have spent years taking on whatever work they could find before they eventually caught that “big role” or “big hit” that escalated their career. Those moments for most are quite rare and it could take decades or may not happen at all. For the remaining people, millions of wannabe famous actors and actresses, end up just taking small roles that never really lead them too far.
Confessions of the Professions is an obsession with the workforce, the workplace, and the workload. Most of us are born into the inevitable: we must get a job and go to work. There is no normal way out of this type of existence. This is the standard normal part of living and life itself. For many people, there is not even a choice in the type of work they do, while others have an abundance of choices, especially if they have a higher education. However, this is typically what you get with your “basic life”.
Everyone continues to have so much knowledge and information about the world of work. We are not a technology website. We are not a sales website. We are not a website that specializes in any particular topic. Yet everything we do as human beings is a topic to be covered. Therefore, we cover every topic from all walks of life and thus we are those types of websites. Life is interesting and fascinating from Your Point Of View. From my point of view. From Your perspective. From my perspective. There is no right or wrong in telling a story. There is a story to tell. This is the secret to our endless obsession with confessions of the workplace. The other part of this secret is that so many other people are just as fascinated and obsessed as we are.
By telling your story and sharing it and having others share it, we are continuously exposed. By just mentioning Confessions of the Professions, you are helping the entire community of people, every single contributor of this website, and there have been over a thousand of them. Is that crazy? There are some who even rely on this website to drive them new traffic or gain exposure themselves. By writing confessions, by reading confessions, by mentioning confessions, you are helping many people who would otherwise be unknown. That is the reason we exist and the reason why we continue to exist.
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You have a story to tell. We want to help you tell it. By gathering your friends, family, and following and having them visit your confession or referring them to other confessions, you are creating a community, our community. The community of all of us. The community that lets me know: regardless of what traffic is like, you confirm to me that you are reading, and because of that, you tell me to keep going. I have thought about ending my time working on this website, writing articles, accepting articles, but I know I cannot, because Your story needs to be told and it needs to be found on the Internet. You want us to help and by helping us, we will keep it going because you keep it going. The relationship is mutual and beneficial to us both. We keep going if you keep going.
This is what our traffic looked like for an entire two weeks one year:
You are seeing a traffic trend. The week after that, it settled back to its average visitor rate. Some weeks it goes viral, other weeks it is calm. We have no control over it. We do not even try to understand it anymore because tracking down the origination sources or understanding why it happened is a waste of time. Instead, we focus on producing or publishing quality articles that are interesting and fun to read, avoiding #fakenews at all costs. We appreciate all the traffic we get, even if our website traffic goes up and down, based on the trends.
Unemployment rates increase traffic. A sudden interest in becoming a web cam model or an undercover police officer increases traffic. Someone may submit an infographic or an article on a topic that is amazingly interesting. Research about the proper handshake technique or writing well or freelancing could easily cause something to go viral. One day, hundreds of people may have a sudden interest in aliens and the Blue Planet Project or maybe the next week, a whole bunch of people took up sewing and wanted to turn it into a business.
Confessions of the Professions holds a variety of different topics for everyone and has millions more to cover. We hope to get there someday! There are 2,000 confessions currently on this website, and depending on a trend, any single one of them can go viral tomorrow. We just don’t know what it will be like and for the weeks where traffic is down, there is no reason to be upset or even think that we have lost traffic. Our traffic is a reminder of the stock market: down one day and completely up the next.
That is how we have come to finally reach 2,000 confessions. We–I do not get upset over seeing that the website may have received only 1,000 visitors one day because the next, it may receive 4,000 or 10,000. It is somewhat stable, but it can be completely random at times and there is no method or prediction to the madness. There are many of you reading this who are daily visitors and I have never heard from you. You don’t email me, you don’t comment, you just find the information useful, and then you leave. That is perfectly normal and fine.
There are many others who share our confessions on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Reddit, etc., and you may or may not email me. That is fine too. Then there are plenty more of you who cross this website and completely fall in love with it, whether for its simplicity, or because you understand what we are trying to do: understand ourselves through the world of work. You send in your contributions, email me, and compliment the website. It is you, all of you, who love this website as much as I do, and that is the reason it continues.
We look forward to seeing you for the next milestone of 500 confessions and have no intentions of stopping anytime soon. This website has become my life and everyone who comes across it and sticks around becomes family. You are my family. Thank you for creating this wonderful community we all know as Confessions of the Professions.