How Social Media is Shaping the World of Work
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again; we’re living in the media age – and it’s not just millennials anymore! More and more of the Baby Boomers are getting connected and getting online. Look at Twitter; the fastest growing age group on Twitter is currently that of the real grownups, aged 55-64. In a world in which the President of the United States of America favours Twitter rants to press releases, how is social media shaping the world of work?
What happens on the internet, stays on the internet
…and this isn’t one of those “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” scenarios, this is a bad thing. Now that every Tom, Dick and Harry (and their grandparents too, it seems) is on social media, a potential employer can just check you out on Facebook, or follow you on Instagram and go through your history in order to get a feel for who you are. Too many photos of you half-naked on a table in a seedy bar on Facebook? REJECT pile. Vaguely, or blatantly, racist/homophobic/Islamophobic status update from 2005? (Yes, they’ll find it) REJECT pile. Terrible grammar or offensive photography on your Instagram page? REJECT pile.
Social media is making it easy for potential employers to weed out bad seeds, and those who they don’t think will make good ambassadors for their brand, before they even invite candidates for an interview.
Pro Tip: Clean up your social media presence as best you can, but accept that once it’s out there, you can’t take it back, you can only do damage control. Whether a photo was screen-grabbed by a rival, or forwarded to an acquaintance, anything you post on social media is ultimately inescapable; think twice before you post anything online.
…and everything is happening on the internet
From online shopping to head-hunting and job-searching, it’s all gone digital. Forgetting, for a moment, about the here and now, technology is the future – if you don’t get online now you’ll soon be left behind. Now that everything’s gone digital companies can use algorithms to sort CVs, they can advertise vacancies on their Facebook pages, host competitions for positions in the company through Instagram, or Snapchat. If you’re not online, you’re not a competitor in the growing global marketplace – and this goes for businesses as well:
While Facebook has long been the forerunner of social media marketing, it’s time to move on to Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram and the like, as Sponsored content on Facebook is coming to be considered more and more harshly, to be seen more and more as spam. Businesses need to get online, and onto the right platforms as soon as possible – companies need to begin paying attention to hiring those who can read and interpret correctly the cultural moment and market accordingly.
Ultimately, Social Media doesn’t turn a blind eye to errors, it magnifies them, and has turned every person and business on the platform into a kind of celebrity – we’re all living in the public eye, and we all need to curate our appearances accordingly. Because life in the media age means the world of work is changing (new jobs are being invented every day by companies just dying to stay relevant and keep up), and your employability hangs in the balance.