The 21st Century Workplace
The nature of the workplace is undergoing a rapid change. Books like The Four Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss or Never Get a Real Job by Scott Gerber are signs of the times. People are starting to look at the workplace, traditional workplace restriction and employment rules from a different perspective. This does not mean that you should pack up your things, grab your laptop and a satellite phone and move to Nepal just because you can. It means that, as in every aspect of life, the internet is changing the work environment. Employers are looking for employees through different mediums and for the first time individuals can market themselves to a universal audience. There is more fluidity, more flexibility and more creativity in the job market today than ever before. New careers that never existed are providing comfortable livelihoods for enterprising individuals.
Why a strong online presence is crucial
Not everybody will end up living the four-hour work week; many of us are just looking for a good 9-5 office job that will pay the bills and make us happy. The point is that even if this is all you want, a strong online presence is still necessary to land that job and to work your way up as a leader in your field. Employers are looking for employees who are passionate about their work. It is easy to fake passion about public relations or veterinary care in a job interview, but if you have an online history to prove your passion you’ll clearly come across as more genuine.
Interacting online on subjects related to your chosen career, through reading and sharing articles, following industry leaders on Twitter, and joining online forums in that field, is also the new way of building contacts and networking to help you land the job of your dreams. According to a survey done by Forbes magazine, only 23% of recently employed individuals landed their jobs through the traditional manner of responding to newspaper or online advertisements. Some people have even found it possible to bypass the employee stage as their strong online presence landed opportunities for successful self-employment.
How to build your online presence
There are countless online options and networking sites that help you to build your online presence. The more of those you join the better. There are, however, four non-negotiables when it comes to online presence.
- Blog or Website: it is quite affordable to buy and own your own domain name. Experts in the field recommend keeping it to your own name to make it easier for employers or colleagues to find you and know who you are. A blog needs, of course, to be regularly updated, but so does a website. It doesn’t matter whether you choose a website or a blog, both need to showcase your expertise and provide links to your social networking sites.
- Twitter: the easiest way to connect with leaders and followers in your field. This is fastest way to stay in the know and, if you tweet regularly, it’s a very effective way to make an impact and get people to notice you.
- Facebook: this tends to be more social then professional. Most people have a Facebook profile. The most important Facebook advice is to always remember your future employer will check out your page. Therefore, make sure your privacy settings are updated and keep the really scandalous photos and comments offline altogether.
- LinkedIn: Professional networking online. Keep your CV up on LinkedIn, join groups and generally get involved. It is a great networking site and employers do use it to find employees.
About the Author
This post was written by Natalie Simon, a Cape Town-based freelance writer. Natalie enjoys writing on a diverse range of topics, including the art of creating resumes and tracking down jobs online.