Many use TikTok for finding funny content and addictive dance trends. TikTok is known for creating trends that influence all areas of life for Gen-Z, Millennials, and Zillennials. While TikTok’s influence may be seen most easily in Gen-Z fashion and in Spotfy’s Viral Hits playlist, we may be overlooking one key aspect that is being affected – the professional world. It’s not uncommon to see TikTok accounts dedicated to different things. There are TikTok accounts dedicated to about anything you can think of from cats to mental health, so it’s not surprising that accounts dedicated to professional advice would pop up. Being that TikTok has so many younger users and such a wide reach, it’s likely that the advice being given on this app can influence the next generation entering the workforce.
History of career advising TikTok
Professional advice TikToks have been gaining influence fast since summer of last year. These accounts offer advice for beginners as well as for people who are a little bit more established in their careers. Advice for beginners covers topics like resume tips, cover letter tips, interview advice, and red-flags to look out for. For those who are a little bit more established, the advice is more about how to negotiate salary or ask for a raise. What makes this newsworthy is that people give out this advice for free on TikTok, making it more accessible than ever.
There are some accounts that have a large following because of the frequent and detailed content they post giving career advice. An example of this is David Paykin’s account @corporatelife, which in Aug. 2020. Since then his account has grown to having 747.7K followers. Similarly, @jackiecaves started gaining popularity for her advice as a former recruiter in may 2020, and she now has 128.7K followers. These accounts brand themselves as essentially professional helpers, giving advice to people that they definitely didn’t learn in a high school or college classroom.
Practical advice for younger generations
What may account for the immense popularity of these accounts is the younger audience on TIkTok, who are at a point in their life when this advice is especially helpful. According to WallaRoo, out of the estimated 80 million monthly active users in the United States, 60% are between the ages of 16-24. This means that many are starting their job searches for the first time and encountering their first workplace struggles. Whether it be for a part-time job at a local store, or a first foray into an entry-level full-time position, the process is full of confusion and anxiety for many. These accounts demystify the process of how people get jobs and how to present yourself as a professional. For example, a TikTok from @corporate life about interview questions brings insight to one of the most dreaded interview questions: Do you have any questions for us? “Your first question should always be ‘Have I answered all your questions?’ This gives you a second chance to answer all the questions you might not have answered as well as they had hoped,” says David Paykin in his TikTok.
These videos can be found on specific accounts or on hashtags such as #jobsearch or #careeradvice. Although many of the users on TikTok are Gen-Z, millennials, gen-x, and boomers have all come together to pool their years of experience and advice for those who need it. With the widespread accessibility of this advice, it’s likely that TikTok could become the #1 source of career advice for younger generations. It’s also likely that the advice on there will affect the job search patterns and professional mannerisms of this new workforce generation.
Elli Williams is a student at the University of California, Santa Barbara pursuing a B.A. in Film and Media studies as well as a Professional Writing Minor with an emphasis in Journalism. She is passionate about discussing the latest movies and TV shows. When not binging the latest release, she’s taking pictures, drawing, and planning her next adventure.