Look at any new year’s resolutions list and securing the new year new job is often one of the main goals. Gone are the days of having to endure back breaking work, oppressive bosses and countless hours of drudgery because you can always get a new job. Disloyalty is no longer a sin in the work place. It has been replaced by individual employee empowerment. You hold the cards. Your destiny is in your hands. And if you spend the final moments of your festive break dreading the return to work, securing a new job could well be high on your agenda.
Is it the right move though?
Could it be that the festive break has brought such joy to your life that you just dread returning to work? Is the dread specifically related to your current job or just work in general? Will simply changing job deliver only temporary rest bite and you’ll feel the same in 12 months’ time anyway?
If after being brutally honest with yourself the last question resounds in a yes, then it won’t solve your problem.
What about all the people we hear about who love their jobs though?
LinkedIn is awash with people highly motivated for the new year during the early January period. Everyone seems to be raring to go, ready to make this year their best yet and exclaiming that they can’t wait to get back to business. Who can blame someone for being jealous of them? They sound like they love their jobs. But if more people than ever love their jobs, how comes more people than ever are changing their jobs? Something doesn’t quite fit.
Companies offer bonuses for staff to meet social media posting targets
Yes. You heard that right. If you didn’t realise that this was a thing, it is. In fact, some very large organisations will target their staff more so on social media postings than on the core duties of their job roles. I know people personally who work for multi-national corporations who get paid their bonuses solely on social media posting. It could be how much they love their job, how excited they are to serve their customers or how they enjoy playing a part in the company’s admirable charitable causes. Yet those same people do not even hold a job role related in any way to social media.
Interestingly, some of them are deeply unhappy in their jobs, but from their social media profiles you really wouldn’t know it. This then begs the question:
Why are companies paying bonuses for their staff to post on social media?
Surely spending a part of your day being paid to be on Facebook is a good thing, right? Who’d complain about that? In most companies if a manager caught you surfing Facebook during work hours, you’d get crucified. But in others, you get paid for this? Sign me up!
What’s the catch?
To answer this, let’s consider an anomaly that often accompanies bonuses for social media posts that goes otherwise unnoticed. Hidden in most company’s employee handbooks under “social media policy” you’ll find that it is typically gross misconduct if anything deemed negative is posted or shared relating to the company. And that companies reserve the right to monitor its staff’s social media profiles specifically for that purpose. This sounds reasonable enough, right?
But that does mean that the company could discipline and possibly fire you for posting or sharing anything bad about the firm. Pretty harsh. Yet on the other hand, they are offering you a bonus for posting about the firm on your social media profile. Hmm. So that means that you can only post positive things about the company and are actively incentivised to do so because otherwise you could get fired?
Winners and Losers
This may explain why many people who we connect with via social media following their applications to our jobs are posting contrastingly fantastic superlatives about their current employer. Yet clearly, they do not feel quite so positive about them.
It appears that social media is being used to manipulate the system. With an ever-increasing dependence on social media in everyday lives is a corruption of that system so surprising?
But the real losers out of this seem to be the legitimate job seekers who simply want to find a good or ideally great company to work for.
I wrote a post touching more on this subject: https://revorec.com/why-great-employer-branding-doesnt-always-mean-great-employer/
Like fake news, social media can be substantially manipulated to filter what others want us to see. The combination of company’s social media policies and their bonus offerings mean we see an overly positive stimuli from company’s social media output. If that is our core source of information digestion, no wonder we feel jealous of other people’s jobs. They seem to have these wonderful careers. And I’m sure some of them do. But not anywhere near as much as social media would have us believe.
Hidden in plain sight
How many companies advertise what it is like “working for us” online? Nearly everyone. But how many companies advertise what it is like “working for us” via television or radio? I don’t remember the last time I saw or heard a “working for us” advert via those mediums. Can you?
OFCOM and the ASA regulate what is on television and what is advertised on television between them. Who regulates Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter though? Themselves. If you are a company and want to say how amazing you are to work for and make unsubstantiated claims in a television advert, it wouldn’t get aired. But if you want to do that via social media you can. If you can persuade your own employees to validate it using the same medium, even better!
Consider that advertising via television and radio has become trusted in our subconscious because of that regulation, why wouldn’t we trust advertising via other respected mediums?
What is the impact on New Year New Job seekers?
If you find yourself in the position where you do indeed dread returning to work following the festive break it complicates this process. Because seeking a new job requires information gathering on potential employer’s suitability to your desires. If by simply advertising what you want to hear to suit your needs, they can attract you. But if you find that in a matter of months you feel the same and want to leave again, how genuine is the dream that they are selling?
My argument is that some companies have played the unregulated social media system and are playing a manipulation game on those seeking a new job. Yet, nobody out there seems to spot this phenomenon and no one in a position of power has done anything about it. In my opinion many companies are using a combination of their social media policies, bonus culture and the lack of social media regulation to corrupt the job seeking process. This leads legitimate job seekers into a false dream that they can secure a fantastic job with a great company regularly. The fact is though, that it just doesn’t work that way.
Most companies fall into the average employer status. There is nothing wrong with them. They are just average. That’s normal and nothing to be ashamed of. Sure, they should look to improve. But in reality, this is the majority of the market.
Job Hopping Habits
With this in mind I can sympathise with many job hoppers who spend every year switching job having been sold the dream, to find that yet again it’s the same old story. Middle. Average. Same old thing.
The habit of job hopping isn’t great for your CV though. The issue is that the companies who are actually the great ones to work for don’t like job hoppers. Think about it. Great employers will progress, develop and invest in you. If your track record say’s that you’ve had 4 jobs in 5 years will that fill them with confidence? Probably not. But by staying where you are, dreading work, will that help you either? Again, probably not.
Don’t fall into the New Year New Job habit of moving for moving’s sake. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. The employer branding campaigns are great advertising that is more art than scientific fact. Do your homework first. Be patient. Get a good recruiter. Bide your time if need be. There are great firms out there but trust me, they are just as they have always been, rare gems.
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External Links: http://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2018-07-20-social-media-manipulation-rising-globally-new-report-warns
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