Back in the day (this is me talking, here, so I’m talking circa ~2007~), high school and college admissions counselors used to tell us “Whatever you do, make sure there are absolutely no photos of you drinking or at parties out there." Out there, of course, meaning the Internet. Now, instead of the simple Facebook that was available when I was applying to schools, there are even more options where social content lives, but this time, it impacts applying to jobs.
There are many fears of having your personal and professional life on the internet, but there are also many benefits to working as YoPros in the digital age. Take it from these Yo Pros, who have a few tips on using the digital age to your advantage.
1. You can choose work flexibility.
In the digital age (and even more as a result of the pandemic), there are countless opportunities to work remotely and have more flexible hours. Of course, this all depends on where you work, but Jason Kraemer, 28-year-old Cofounder of Flashpacker Co in Ontario, Canada, encourages you to consider choosing work flexibility and assessing your current job to determine if it will get you there. Jason has been able to take his work abroad (prior to the pandemic, when travel was more frequent) and it is all because he has the capability to work on his own schedule, thanks to the digital age.
2. There are jobs that were literally not possible without the Internet.
Take a look at any number of my interviews with YoPros…the majority of their jobs would not have been created without the little thing we call the Internet. Caroline Jennings, 26-year-old Founder of Word Of Web in Greenville, South Carolina, started a web design business, which clearly could not be run without, well, the Internet. Also in Greenville, Lindsey McMillion Stemann, created a business, McMillion Consulting, focused on helping you use LinkedIn, a digital platform, as a business tool. Of course, many could argue that all of my interviews could not do their jobs without the digital transformation. I certainly couldn't! We all use technology to make our lives – particularly our careers – run smoother, but this new age has also allowed many new jobs to come to the forefront, so be on the lookout for your next move that may not have been possible a few years ago.
3. You have the power to know how others see you.
Maggie Fachini, 30-year-old Enterprise Account Executive for LinkedIn in New York, says that one of the key takeaways from the book Expect To Win by Carla Harris is about adjectives. Adjectives used to describe you are important because all major decisions about your career are made when you’re not in the room. I’m using this as an example today because you have the power to show these adjectives more than anyone could ever do before. Use your LinkedIn profile as a tool to illustrate who you are and know what the adjectives used to describe you are. This is also another great reminder that your digital footprint is critical to maintain a level of professionalism.
Being a YoPro in the digital age can be tricky (no red solo cups in pics, my friends), but it is also incredibly beneficial. Use it to your advantage and you will stand out among others, I can promise you that.