Its graduation time, and this means a flood of new people into the workforce. I have to admit, I am a bit tired of the negativity of a lot of the reports out right now, claiming that it will be hard for new graduates. Yes, the economy right now is tough, but, at the same time, the world around us is changing because of some very special skills that the younger generations in the workforce have a bit of a monopoly on.
In Egypt recently we saw a protest and revolution started and maintained via viral communication. Social media brought the people together and changed the face of Egypt, and it started a domino effect. We’ve seen this in small scale before, but this was the first time that the actions of the younger, involved generation caught the attention of the establishments that exist in stasis. If word that travels so quickly can ignite and spread under the noses of the ruling class, then this is something that everyone has to finally take notice of and grab by the horns – social media is here with force, and everyone needs to get on board, be left behind, or risk being overthrown.
I hope that doesn’t sound too drastic, but it is an important issue to note – Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, FourSquare, blogs, the pervasiveness of aps on tools starting with a lower-cased “i” – these things have changed how we interact and communicate and the speed with which we expect our information. Many businesses and institutions find themselves racing to catch-up, especially with the recent occurrences popping up on the nightly news precipitated by social media.
This is where you – recent graduate – have a special added value that you can bring to some of these companies and institutions. Your knowledge of and ability to master the varying aspects of social media with ease can not only give you a special “something” in the job application process, but it can sometimes even create opportunities for you.
Now here is the tricky part – how to get started and make this a niche for yourself. I recommend gravitating towards a small business and asking them what they are doing about social media. They may have no idea what you mean or how this could benefit them, and you will have to pitch them on this, but then offer to do this voluntarily. Dive in and do your best with it. Become a volunteer Social Media Manager, give yourself something extra on your resume, and start building up additional useful skills that you can bring into a new position. Not only are you doing something kind and helpful for a small business, but this will open up networking opportunities as well as give you that something extra. I promise – there are businesses out there who are hiring and, if they see that you can add this extra thing to their company, your ability to master social media becomes the sprinkles on top – the thing that makes you extra exciting to a hiring manager with vision. Now, more than ever, the fact that your finger is on the pulse of technology and communication is a huge benefit to you if you know how to leverage it and highlight it.