The use of social media to look fo work

Use of Social Networks for work

The use of social networks for work

I was at dinner with some friends yesterday evening and someone asked if the rest of us used Facebook…

I’m not joking: we are professionals from the north of Italy in our 50s who have our own businesses or work for big companies. We don’t all use Facebook. We don’t have children. Could that be the reason? Perhaps not, because Facebook was something children used years ago, but nowadays the situation is more varied and is constantly evolving so Facebook isn’t always a 15 year old’s first choice.

One of the uses of social media is the analysis it enables us to make of the labour market. LinkedIn was created as a professional networking instrument but now many people erroneously consider it to be a network for finding work. There are many people who fail to update their profile when they move to a new job and no longer use the website, especially if they have become staunch networkers in the meantime. Yes, I said networkers, not jobseekers.

In any case, even if you restrict yourselves to LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter (we should at least add Instagram to the list, I know), you need to give some consideration to how you use these social networks and what impact they have on the way you work.

This is described quite well in an article from some while back that I recommend you read - Are you prepared for social media in the workplace?

Let’s take a look at some of the suggestions in this article.

1.      Firstly, a general consideration: we are all unique. Whereas there used to be a distinction between private life and professional life, that division is increasingly slender nowadays. Some people working in the digital sector - in the new professions - have realised this and have learned to live with it, while others have not, but they’ll have to catch up because that’s the direction the world is moving in. 

2.       Whether you’re looking for a job or just want to be presentable in the labour market, social reputation is a reality.

What to do? The basic suggestions are rather helpful:

There are privacy settings. Use them. Use them also when it comes to publication options: not always "everyone", but rather groups of acquaintances/friends or direct messages.

If you really want to say something personal to somebody, a telephone call or a letter is even better. Is there any comparison between a love letter or a conversation, rather than words that will linger on the internet forever?

Use different accounts for different purposes.

The article still suggests you separate your professional and personal spheres.

Having a private Facebook account for your friends and a professional page for your freelance work is advisable.

Be selective in your connections depending on the type of social media platform. And, in general, make connections or make friend requests to people you know.

For example, what sense is there in being connected on LinkedIn to people you don’t know? LinkedIn states this, but its users don’t seem to have understood. If I see that you have a connection with someone I’m interested in, I might ask you to introduce that person to me, so what good is it when I find out that you don’t even know them? And what does it say about you as networker? You just end up losing your reputation and credibility which is precisely the opposite of what that social media platform was created for!  

The web is permanent and open.  This means that the things you post won’t go away and by hook or by crook they end up finding their way to … the wrong person.

So it’s best not to take extreme positions and don’t express strong opinions in a small number of words because you might be misunderstood …

Check tags where you appear. Don’t forget, there’s probably a reason you receive a notification.

About the author
Cristina Gianotti
For more than fifteen years Cristina Gianotti has been working in Coaching - Career, Executive and Business Coaching – supporting managers, professionals and entrepreneurs that are interested in investing in themselves and their own professional development. She comes from a management consulting, management and entrepreneurial background. In 2016 she published her fisrt book "E' facile cambiare lavoro se sai come fare" (It is easy to change job if knowing how) with bookabook. In 2018 the second one "Connecting Dots: il networking questo sconosciuto" (Connetting dots: the unknow professional networking").

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