November 7, 2011
According to a recent report by Cisco, one in three college students and young professionals ranked the Internet as important as food, air and water. These under-30 folks don’t have a working memory of Life Before. Like television, it’s just always been there.
But it goes deeper than that. Two-thirds of colleges students admitted they’d ask about a company’s social media policies during a job interview. The sticky question “What will this position pay?” has been replaced with “What are your thoughts on Facebook during work hours?” Fifty-six percent wouldn’t even consider a job offer that banned social media. Wow.
And it appears the next generation is willing to forgo a higher salary for more flexibility. One in three prefer mobility, social media freedom and device flexibility over more pay.
Give me Facebook. Or give me death.
Forty-one percent of those companies surveyed claimed they used attractive social media policies and device flexibility to attract new talent. Four in five college students want the freedom to choose the device they get to use.
As a freelancer, I work with several computers, an iPhone and even a GPS. I’m just as saddled with devices as the next person. And I’ve never considered the restrictions others may have who work in an office setting. It appears the next generation prefers a work-at-home solution. Three in five believe they have the right to work remotely.
Corporate learning and development professionals could benefit from this intelligence as they devise training programs for the next generation. These are exciting times full of possibility.
If given a choice, how would you prefer to work? Remotely? In an office setting? A combination of both?
April 17, 2011
Diane Johnson and I are in the same age bracket so for those of you who don’t remember when there was no Internet, you may snicker at the following stretch. But believe you me, when it comes to persistence, Diane Johnson has it all.
Recently charged with establishing a Facebook fan page for her $10 million heavy client, she was reminded of the time she was challenged to kill a snake her daughters had found in the garden.
“I’m a divorced mom of two. There was nobody else who could do it,” she remembers, wanting not to harm the snake, but knowing her dog might get hurt if they tussled. So, shovel in hand, she muscled through the scariest day of her life, whacking the snake with her garden tool until it slipped into eternal slumber.
“That was the scariest day of my life…until the moment I had to set up my client’s Facebook page.” Once again she was stretched beyond her perceived limits, literally learning the ropes by doing it. She learned:
- You need 25 fans to register a username.
- Her client didn’t have 25 fans.
- She had to come up with a marketing email requesting people to get them to ‘like’ their existing page.
- She even had her daughter ‘like’ it. Her daughter asked Diane to tell her when they hit 26 fans so she could unlike it—she didn’t want her friends to see that on her Facebook page.
- Then once she obtained the fan count, the username registration process was a whole new can of worms she had to untangle.
And she did. While her learning curve was steep, she carries a new confidence about her. “I did it. I really did it!”
Soon after, another client made the same request of her. And you know what? She said, “No problem!” Only this time she meant it!
January 13, 2011
“Never write anything down that you wouldn’t be proud to show a nun,” my mother once advised me. Curious advice for a then seven-year-old, but she saw the sparks of my word-smithing passion early.
To divulge or not to divulge. That is the question in our Web 2.0 lives.
Lately I have been fascinated with the concept of our digital selves as social media and the notion of transparency continue to shape the public relations industry (of which I am a part). We reveal what seem to be our deepest secrets (I prefer dark chocolate) and stay in touch with people via Facebook that we haven’t seen in twenty-five years. We create a false sense of familiarity, as if we really know what’s going on with the other person, only to be shocked when we see that person in the flesh to realize all is not well in the State of Denmark.
In truth, through our online self-branding management efforts, we develop a pseudo-reality for ourselves and, along with it, pseudo-selves.
Roaming about as the avatars of our own creation, we have reached a Brave New World of information exchange at the highest (and lowest) level. But much of what gets
belched broadcast out onto the Internet has the life of a match. It fizzles out of existence as quickly as it was written. All the while we self-soothe, thinking someone might be listening or care what we write. We yearn for connection and get it in some way ~ oftentimes through people we don’t know. We meet on a virtual plane for a passing moment at a cross-section in time that can be instanteneous or time-controlled, should we choose not to respond just yet.
I have ambivalent feelings about the very medium that has granted me much of the freedom to pursue my life’s work. The Internet is more powerful than most of us realize.
Despite its influence (or perhaps because of it) transparency and authenticity are great challenges in today’s 24/7 world. As a human race, we may be more connected than ever before, but our digital existence is merely a part of our greater selves.
Will our children realize there is a parallel universe beyond the screen? I am optimistic that they will.
January 11, 2010