The Time is Now and the Place is Here
DeAnna Lynn Englezos, Intern, L.A.
The popular social networking site, Facebook, has begun to inundate blogs, career columns, tech articles and lunch-break conversations. What was once a place where college students went to “link-up” and stay-connected with past and current friends, while expressing their uniqueness through photos, interests, music and occupational status, has now become a highly trafficked site for working professionals.
This means that not only can anyone join the popular social network (once restricted to college students, providing what, in hindsight, feels like a comfort-zone), but professionals are now being encouraged to switch from outdated business networking sites, like LinkedIn, to join Facebook, according to Jeff Pulver’s article, Confessions of a LinkedIn Dropout
Facebook is well-organized and easy-to-navigate. The site even contains user-friendly features that are a busy professional’s dream, including similar interests groups, invitation settings for gatherings/special events, advertisements, announcement and notification settings, nationwide networking and helpful birthday reminders. With theses accommodating features to aid in organizing their daily lives and more, who wouldn’t want to join and network?
However, with the new “no network” option, virtually anyone can become a member. College students are finding a newly presented need to hike up the privacy settings on their personal profiles and constantly monitor in what ways they express their identity. Especially as they embark on professional journeys, more and more college students are being cautioned away from “expressing themselves” too much. After all, this new tap into social networking sites has given potential employers a one-up as they are now widely previewing profiles to use during the hiring process rather than the conventional resume, cover letter and interview. Prospective employers can find out where students like to vacation, their favorite movies, the “quote they live by” and their friends’ comments on Facebook’s “Wall” posting feature where friends can publicly comment.
As professionals are finding a variety of new reasons to join Facebook, the site is evolving into a business networking site rather than its original use for social networking; keeping old and new friends connected in cyberspace. As a college student, social butterfly, and public relations pre-professional, I value what I am able to learn and absorb from my surroundings, co-workers and experiences. While I’ve grown to appreciate that advice is a form of nostalgia, there is one piece of advice that I have received repeatedly as I begin to enter the “working world” – “not to mix business with pleasure.”
A co-worker of mine at Fusion recently shared with me his mother’s favorite quote: “the time is now and the place is here.” As this applies, it’s time for us young pre-professionals to clean up our profiles because who knows, the next post on my Facebook wall may just be a job offer.