Recently Fast Company published an article that seemed related to career planning. They asked if twenty-somethings and college students would trade off financial rewards to get more freedom to use Facebook on the job. Read the article here. The respondents insisted that Facebook access and social media were more important than money. The article said:
“More than half of the college students surveyed indicated that if an employer banned access to networks like Facebook at work, “they would either not accept a job offer from them or would join and find a way to circumvent.”
The problem is that career planning doesn’t work this way. It’s hard to know what we would say when confronted with those choices in reality, especially during tough times.
I’d like to see the question asked differently, limiting the respondents to people who actually had a job. I would ask, “Have you ever turned down a job because of limited social media access? Have you ever had to choose between two jobs: higher pay + no facebook vs. lower pay + facebook?”
The truth is, people are notoriously poor at predicting their own future behavior. That’s why criminal trials get so bizarre when jurors are asked to imagine themselves in specific situations. Unless we’re prepared (the way airline crews prepare for crashes), we usually don’t know.
On the other hand, the article goes on to note that younger people often want to meld their work and home lives, with shallower boundaries. They want to use company-issued devices for personal business. They want to work from home. In other words, they want to be freelancers with benefits.
Ultimately, we’ll probably see fewer jobs and more opportunities to earn income as freelancers. We can see that health care as a company benefit doesn’t work anymore.