The Relationship between Social Media and Your Career

By Hacia Atherton

The Leap from 6 to 2 degrees of Separation and How It Can Benefit Your Career

The relationship between social media and your career

Is Connecting on Social Media Platforms That Important for Your Career?

“All knowledge is connected to all other knowledge. The fun is in making the connections” – Arthur Aufderheide

Being a millennial, social media is simply a way of life; it is a natural way for me to connect with people and communicate with friends and family. However, I never really put much thought into how social media could benefit my career, or using it to create a personal marketing strategy. I was having a session with my excellent executive coach, Melissa Lewis, when a light bulb moment happened. Social media, in particular, LinkedIn, is a fantastic way to show the professional world what my “value proposition” is.

It was such an eye-opening moment to realize that rather than just seeing what my friends are having for dinner, I can actually use social media to advance my career! Empowered with this revelation, and my love for learning, I started exploring the power of social media.

Feeling excited about my new project “Supercharge my career with the power of social media” I enrolled in the AIM LinkedIn Marketing Strategy Series presented by Jonathon Tanner from Social Media College. As I am an accountant, this decision may surprise you, as usually I am enrolling in Fringe Benefit Tax and accountant standard updates. However, I took the leap to learn something outside of my wheelhouse, and as a result, here I am writing this article!

So How Can Social Media Help Advance Your Career?

We all know the saying “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” and my new journey of actively making professional connections through LinkedIn has shown me the truth in this statement. Since joining the platform I have made some incredible connections with professionals all over the world, who have provided invaluable career advice.

I found one of the main benefits of networking through social media platforms is its unlimited reach. Within minutes you can make connections across the globe, and in industries, you did not even know existed. The knowledge I have gained from becoming more active on social medial is phenomenal and has allowed me to start developing a strong career strategy.

Another saying I like is “we don’t know what we don’t know”, and social media helps us resolve this dilemma through its remarkable algorithms. These algorithms could be compared to Adam Smith’s invisible hand theory, as they are the unseen forces that guide us to content and people we will find valuable. LinkedIn says it perfectly “[we] focus on providing a relevant feed that encourages members to engage with people and topics they value”. It is unbelievable and a little scary that social media knows what we want before we do, and sometimes it feels like the algorithms know me better than I know myself!

I am sure we’ve all been told before that first impressions count, as there are no second chances when it comes to first impressions – so always put your best virtual foot forward! In today’s highly competitive world, personal branding is something that makes you stand out from the crowd, and taking the time to have social media pages that gain attention in a sea of endless content is definitely an advantage.

By Cookie the Pom on Unsplash

Full disclosure; due to my realization of how essential a social media presence is to success, I have enlisted the incredible talents of a range of social media experts t to give my social media a little facelift across all the different platforms. For those who can understand the importance of a consistent and strong social media presence but don’t feel this sort of thing is in their wheelhouse, I highly recommend getting a professional in this space to support you.

To answer the question I posed at the start of this article; social media is a powerful tool that can be used to make you more visible in a very crowded market. Used properly, you can attract the right attention, and it can be very worthwhile to have someone stare at your profile for longer than a fleeting glance. If this all seems like it’s “just not my thing”, I would still highly recommend that you do a little bit of your own research into how social media works and how it can benefit your career and/or business. Feel free to reach out, as I am more than happy to point you in the direction of some fantastic books, articles, and courses I have come across in my social media exploration.

For the generation, before mine social media did not exist, and it was a lot harder to make connections. Millennials are bridging the gap between a world that was once governed by 6 degrees of separation, to now where we have 1st, 2nd, and 3rd level connections. Today a global community has been created where there are only 2 degrees of separation and making connections is just a mouse click away. When it comes to building a career, these 2 degrees bring incredible opportunities, so seize the day, and embrace social media!

© Copyright Hacia Atherton | Created by the team at Great Humans