If you are a young person today you are probably on some form of social media or another. This ease of connectivity to your friends and the world around you is a great tool, allowing you to share your thoughts and ideas. Social media has even been used to effect change in a way that simply wasn’t possible before, with movements springing up online to address important issues such as climate change. However, the picture that social media paints isn’t always accurate, and it may even be distorting how you view your own career goals.
A fairly common stereotype of young people is that they are not willing to put in the hard work and build towards success – that young people expect immediate success, whether that is a promotion or even the successful launch of their own business!
Of course, this stereotype is not totally true, but there is an argument to say that the immediacy of social media and the connectivity afforded by mobile phones has created a generation who not used to having to wait. Whether this is true or not is a matter of opinion, but the power of Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram may leave many young people feeling like they are being left behind.
A lot of social media is based around showing yourself in a positive light – so of course you will be happy to tell the world about the job you landed, that course you were accepted on, and that promotion you received. But if everyone is doing this it creates a distorted picture where everyone seems to be having success. This can be disconcerting for those who are still looking for a job, waiting to hear back about a course, or have not progressed in their career yet.
Before we go further, it is important to note that social media is not a bad thing, and that there are plenty of great careers in social media as it becomes an increasingly important part of modern business. Indeed, your social media skills could prove to be a great boon when it comes to finding work, with many companies having whole departments dedicated to social media marketing and outreach.
However, it is also important not to get too carried away with what you see on social media. It is sometimes worth thinking why someone has posted something as much as what they have actually written.
Watching social media and expecting to keep pace with everything that is on there – without the setbacks that are often absent from social media – is unrealistic. When you choose a career (we have some help on how to choose a career right here) you then need to take time to learn the ropes. This can take years, for example if you are taking an apprenticeship, but it is far better to learn properly and build a solid skills set to take forward with you.
Even those people who looked like they had overnight success usually spent time perfecting their craft, building up their knowledge, and learning from their mistakes. Don’ believe the one-sided hype of social media. Give yourself time to achieve your goals, and don’t worry if you seem to be slightly behind your peers in getting your career underway.
Taking the right steps can take time, but it is time well invested. If you are unsure what to do with yourself, why not get some inspiration right here on NotGoingToUni?