David Jackson

Digital jobs of the future: Social networking worker

Next in an occasional series looking at emerging digital employment opportunities. Social networking is a great way to reconnect with old friends and stay in touch with your posse. But while it can deepen relationships, it can also cause its own unique set of social issues.

For example, women experiencing fertility issues used to be able to avoid situations where there would be babies and baby talk; but now they're bombarded with detailed descriptions, corny quotes and hordes of photos of burping babies on their Facebook news feed.

To cope with psychological issues created by social networking, the Fast Future report predicts there will be an increasing role for ‘digital social workers', professionals who will combine social work and counselling skills with a deep understanding of the dynamics of social networks and best practice strategies for surviving in a connected world.

Skills required for digital social workers are a combination of those needed for psychology and social work - empathy, listening skills, practicality - along with the technical skills and experience gained from extensive personal involvement in social networking. Maybe someone who's currently excelling in a customer service job in the digital sector?

A typical digital social worker will work with employees who may feel bullied or marginalized by internal and external social communities, as well as helping their bosses determine how to counter negative portrayals across social networks and develop active strategies to positively engage and share in the virtual world.

Digital social workers in private practice will help their clients deal with the trauma and stress created by trying to keep up with discussions and communications received across the wide range of networking platforms, especially if they don't want to share their personal thoughts and actions.

They'll also spend a good deal of time attending to their own social networks, which will help them better understand client issues (and fulfill their desire for connection). Ironically, that will include a fair bit of face-to-face networking!

So if you're a Facebook and Twitter addict, the glue that holds your various networks together, who knows - you could turn that into a career.



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David Jackson S2M - A Fresh Approach David Jackson
Company: S2M - A Fresh Approach
Position: CEO
David is CEO, Principal Talent Broker at S2M. Prior to forming S2M with Samantha Watts, David was Managing Director of Global Job Network Pty Limited, a boutique Executive Search firm. Subsequent to this, David was a founding member of Parker Bridge Australia Recruitment Read David's full bio

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