It is that time in my life where I’m starting to look for jobs. While in 2016, this should be easier than ever (read: resources at our fingertips, literally), we are also faced with some hard challenges. For me, someone who is hoping to go into social media, the main challenge is do I proudly sing my social media usernames from the mountaintop or go all Hannah Montana on them until I lock down a job? In true Hannah fashion, I decided to look at 7 things, categorized by her songs because why not:
Part of me thinks my presence on social media is a part of me, it is a part of who I am and why should I be ashamed or have to hide that? Another part of me (the part that knows my parents dropped six figures on an education and don’t want me to end up working as an etsy shop owner which we all know is code for unemployed with a monogram machine) realizes that there might be things found on my social media sites that employers will not like, appreciate, or understand the way my 20-year old demographic of followers do.
Another side to the coin I am faced with is that many people “Adore You” on social media. As much as I want to be bashful (and I really am humble- I tweet what I think and for some reason y’all like it), people are coming up to me more and more saying “I love your twitter” or “you’re so funny.” So just as I tell employers my skills in areas like organization or communication, shouldn’t I share my personal social media skills?
As I previously mentioned, I want to work in social media ideally. I have watched my own social media sites (organically) grow over the years. While many of my followers are friends, family, and acquaintances, those people have told their friends, family, and acquaintances and shared with them what I share. I am not here saying I am some twitter famous, Instagram model promoting Skinny Tea like its my day job, but I do think I have a decent reach on social media and understanding of how to grow – obviously something essential if running someone else’s social media campaigns. But do I share this knowledge at the risk of an employer finding a few things they dislike?
There is (very possibly) the potential that a prospective employer would come across my social media accounts and it would be my own wrecking ball to a position. Social media is tricky, it is one of those things “you don’t know, until you try it” and sometimes jokes, comments, and content can be taken out of context, misinterpreted, and therefore leaving the author misrepresented. Especially in 2016 where content can be “trend-based,” an employer might not get a joke about The Bachelor or they might not appreciate your political-inspired quip. If that happens, social media could be a nail in your own coffin.
This Hannah song rings true in so many aspects of life, I genuinely think I remind myself of it nearly everyday. It is applicable in this case as well, I am far from “perfect” and my social media is far from perfect. From jokes that are too raunchy or just “under-performing” posts, an employer might see that and not be impressed. (Disclaimer: I do not post for performance, praise, or any other reason other than simply “it popped into my head and just maybe someone else might appreciate it”). But, nobody’s perfect and hopefully if that employer is someone I am interested in they can remember that, too.
It is 2016, the average person is spending around an hour and forty minutes per day on their average five social media accounts. Honestly that stat seems low to me, but it is undeniable. Social media has weaseled its way into nearly everyone’s life and it is everywhere we are from people we sit next to in class, coffee shops we visit, and organizations we are apart of: everyone is reliant on it. Now it’s not to say “just because everyone is doing it, you should too,” but I think people recognize its popularity and can understand the use of it especially among young people.
At the end of the day, I am not going to change my settings to super secret private mode or go all Taylor Swift and turn my Instagram into a pseudo-birthday announcement section of the New York Times. I do like to think I keep things pretty PG-13 as much as I can and I am going to continue to walk on the edge of caution. Perhaps after talking with a company and “getting a feel” for them, I might decide to disclose my account information. For the time being, if they can find it – good for them, I hope you do! And I hope you laugh because it is all in good fun and at the end of the day, my goal is to use humor to make people a little happier and realize taking life too seriously is overrated.