Now let me take a selfie
From the personal stand point of a young professional, confidence is a rough topic.
Being in a generation where social media has an unavoidable presence, it is so easy see where your fit is. You can shoot your thoughts somewhere into the world wide web and see them gain traction. You can create a community based on interests or strengthen your already-existing community by sharing information and posting pictures. It’s a world where we know where we belong and we can actually measure the impacts we are having (referring to likes, comments, etc.)
This doesn’t mean that you have to have a huge following in order to feel like you belong. You may only have a few close friends that you enjoy sharing your interests or accomplishments with. Even so, you are able to watch your thoughts and ideas gain traction within an open or closed group, which makes you feel heard and understood.
Another way this social media buzz is helpful to us twenty-something’s is just plain communication. It’s easy to know where your friends are, see what they’re eating, and engage in the exchange of unattractive selfies.
This makes us tech-savvy millennials confident because we just know what is going on in the brains of our peers, and that is a really good feeling.
Now let’s tackle this confidence issue from a young professional’s point of view. We graduate from college or high school and are job hunting. We are thrown out of the box in which we knew where we fit and we are put into this world where we have no idea what employers or even co-workers think about us.
We have the confidence to post pictures on Instagram twice a week, knowing that people will be interested, but it’s almost impossible to muster up personal strength to go into a new workplace, confident that you are qualified to be there.
This begs the question: Is social media indirectly hurting our professional tenacity?
Employers can’t hit a “like” button. They can’t look through weeks of a newsfeed in order to gauge whether or not they are interested in you, and they shouldn’t have to! You have one chance to impress them and you can’t do it by laying in bed while posting a cool picture of that hike you went on two weeks ago.
As a recent college graduate, I am finding that the more I network in real life, the more I see what qualities I should be displaying to employers. It’s definitely uncomfortable, but as I meet new professionals and listen to their advice, I begin to feel slightly more assured about my personal presentation.
I love social media because I think it is a great way to brand yourself. But honestly, it doesn’t matter how strong your online brand is if you do not have the confidence to communicate it through your personal interactions in the professional world.