TikTok has become a platform where working people go in search of career guidance – at least in the United States. While this use may seem marginal, some young people are putting the career advice they find on the social network into practice in real life.
These are the findings of a survey conducted by the job website ResumeBuilder of 1,000 full-time American workers aged between 21 and 40. Half of all respondents search TikTok more or less frequently for career advice.
However, members of Generation Z are more inclined than millennials to use the platform as an online resource for the world of work.
This finding is not entirely surprising, given that the platform is packed with videos addressing professional issues. Internet users can find tips on how to negotiate their salary, ask for a promotion, manage relations with their superiors, or speak up for their rights.
This advice, however, is usually not delivered not by a company’s representatives or union delegates but by a handful of so-called specialised influencers. Some are followed by thousands or even millions of users on the platform.
While some of these influencers work in human resources or recruitment, others draw on their own professional experience as a basis for their posts. But that doesn’t stop young people from taking their opinions seriously: two-thirds of those surveyed say they are trusting or somewhat trusting of the career advice they find on TikTok.
In fact, 21% say they have put this advice into practice since joining the workforce.
The rise of ‘workfluencers’
Once again, the latest entrants to the job market are more likely to trust the information they come across on TikTok than their older counterparts. Four in 10 Gen Z-ers have made career decisions based on videos they’ve seen on the app, compared with 31% of younger millennials.
On the whole, young professionals seem satisfied with the work-related posts they view on the social network, and the vast majority (88%) even say these have had a positive impact on their lives. Only 2% say they have been detrimental.
As such, it’s hardly surprising that a small proportion of those surveyed (11%) occasionally pay for the services of “workfluencers” or work-focused influencers, sometimes spending hundreds of dollars to benefit from individual coaching sessions or online training.
While it’s tempting to see TikTok as a source brimming with infallible tips on the professional world, caution is the watchword when it comes to this content.
“There can be great advice on TikTok if you understand who is providing the information,” ResumeBuilder said. “Research the background of creators. Although some are really good at marketing or repackaging advice they saw from experienced professionals, it doesn’t mean they themselves have the background or experience.”