In today’s digital era, social media has evolved beyond entertainment to become a significant source of career guidance, notably for Gen Z and millennial users on TikTok. A recent survey of 1,000 full-time U.S. workers aged 21 to 40 shed light on intriguing trends revealing TikTok’s influence on the professional aspirations of its users.
The survey revealed a compelling trend: a substantial portion of Gen Z and millennial users turn to TikTok for invaluable career advice. It noted that 77% of Gen Z users, 59% of younger millennials (27-33 years old), and 54% of older millennials (34-40 years old) actively engage with the platform. Among them, a significant percentage—32% of Gen Z, 23% of younger millennials, and 25% of older millennials—frequently seek career counsel on TikTok.
What’s particularly striking is that over a third of those obtaining career insights from TikTok influencers confessed to making significant career decisions based on the information acquired. Among Gen Z users, this figure reached 41%, highlighting the platform’s substantial impact on their professional choices.
Overall, the survey underscored TikTok’s positive influence on career decisions, with a staggering 88% of users attributing a positive impact on their lives due to insights gained through the platform.
Experts in the field discussed this emerging trend. They noted the platform’s popularity among Gen Z, emphasizing their inclination to view social media as a space for connectivity and guidance, including career advice.
Additionally, social media analysts highlighted TikTok’s role as an alternative search engine, especially for younger users seeking unique and alternative solutions in seeking advice.
However, trust in advice disseminated through TikTok varies among different age groups. There’s a distinct trust variance between digital natives and millennials. While digital natives have inherent trust in online platforms due to their upbringing, millennials approach advice on these platforms more cautiously, given their experiences witnessing the evolution and pitfalls of social media.
The survey also raised concerns about the prevalence of misleading career-related information on TikTok. While users express trust in creators’ advice, a significant percentage encounters misleading information, with 25% reporting frequent encounters and 53% occasional exposure to misleading content.
Experts advise caution when consuming advice offered by TikTok creators. They emphasize the importance of verifying the backgrounds of those offering advice and critically assessing motivations behind the advice shared on these platforms.
While TikTok significantly influences the career decisions of its active users, experts caution against generalizing findings from surveys like this. They encourage a balanced approach, leveraging the platform’s potential for insights while exercising discretion and critical thinking.
As social media continues to evolve as a nexus for information exchange, TikTok stands as a testament to its burgeoning influence in navigating not just entertainment but also professional pathways for the younger workforce.