January 6, 2011 by Paul Richlovsky
Social networkers, pay attention!
Some may say you are wasting time on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, but there is a social policy foundation that disagrees. According to a recent article in The Obsever, a new study shows the strength of social networks is vital to landing jobs in the creative sector in the UK. So vital, in fact, that networks trump unpaid internships. Social networks also explain why well-off youths land more in-demand jobs than poor ones. In other (clichéd) words, it’s not what you know, but who you know.
The Social Market Foundation, an independent UK think tank, is reported to have shown that word-of-mouth recruitment highly affects the following creative industries:
The article buries the lede by waiting until the eighth paragraph to mention that young people need “a ladder of opportunities” starting at age five. This statement came from the chief executive (Paul Collard) of an organization that funded the report. In other words, the earlier you expose young children to creative pursuits and give them continuous opportunities to explore and advance, the more prepared they’ll be to land a creative job once they’re of working age.
So, go ahead with your Facebooking, tweeting, and especially LinkedIn-ing (or Brazen Careerist-ing, or Track-ing Ahead). After all, it may mean the difference between landing that plum job or minimum wage.