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Digital Darwinism and the Impact on the Career Coaching Profession


Digital Darwinism

Brian Solis, new media expert and best selling author, has observed what he refers to as Digital Darwinism, when society and technology evolve faster than the ability to adapt. Certainly, businesses are struggling to adapt but what about Career Professionals?

Social Media has Changed Everything

Web 2.0, social media, mobile technologies, and the ability to analyze massive amounts of new data to discover new correlations, patterns, and insights have fundamentally changed business.  Certainly, these examples have had a huge impact on society as evidenced by the growing amount of people who have access to the internet, engage on social media platforms, and make decisions based on their circles of influence online.  Businesses now have listening command centers to monitor social media channels and jobs such as Community Manager and Social Media Specialist now exist when they didn’t just a few years ago. Consider how consumers now make decisions when searching product reviews on Yelp, Amazon, or Trip Advisor or when they toss up a question on Twitter or Facebook asking for others’ opinions.

Have Career Professionals Been Able to Keep up with the Pace of Change?

Employment Screening Services (ESR) listed social media background screening as the 3rd top trend for 2012 on their list of 10.  Data from multiple surveys from SHRM and Jobvite show a rise in employer use of social media in their recruiting strategies.  LinkedIn is the most referenced social media platform among career professionals when discussing social media’s impact on career development but it is merely representative of a growing number of new tools from infographic resume tools to sites like Glassdoor that allow people to share their experience interviewing with companies.  The boom in technology has disrupted “normal” protocols in hiring, job search, recruiting, employer research, employment screening, personal branding, and a number of other aspects of career development.  How does Digital Darwinism effect the career professional?  Have career professionals adapted or is society and technology moving too fast?  Please share your thoughts.

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  • Robert, as usual you put forth a very thought provoking perspective. In our career center we have obtained copies of Dan Schawbel’s “Me 2.0: 4 steps to Building Your Future” to share with students. Unfortunately I fear that the concept of reading may be passe with today’s college students as well.

    As a new professional in the field, one of the things that I struggle with is determining which technologies are a hype which will soon pass, and which are trend-changing technologies to be embraced.

    • Hello Maryam,

      Thanks for contributing to the discussion. Dan Schawbel is one of my favorites – good choice! The struggle you describe isn’t just for new professionals – it’s for everyone and I think that’s the point Brian makes when he describes Digital Darwinism. With the speed at which society and technology is changing, I see career professionals needing to be early adopters of new technology as a part of continuous research. We need to develop our own solid understanding of how tools can be useful and applied to career development. Many tools are simply hype because there is a focus on the latest and greatest publishing platform such as….Pinterest which everyone is talking about right now. I think focusing on the tools is only important in that we should familiarize ourselves with potential new ways of advancing our brands and engaging with new communities but the tool itself is never the secret to career advancement – it’s how we use these new tools. The tools will continue to change but our strategies will be fairly consistent. Your comment just inspired another blog idea….thanks! I’ll be blogging soon 🙂

  • You’ve presented some very thought-provoking points indeed. I think it has become somewhat difficult for career professionals, since there are so many technological aspects that need to be learned and mastered now. But if they are getting left behind, I think that is only a temporary state, as people always find a way to adapt eventually.

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