Social media is a lucrative field for people who are just joining the job market, looking for a career change, or better yet, building on a long-standing career. While social media is still very new, it is now a pivotal aspect of every business. Everyone knows it's here, and we all need to participate in one way or another. It touches just about every aspect of a business from marketing to operations. Given this overlap, the big question is not simply how to build a career in social media, but how to incorporate social media into the career of your dreams. I will address both with tips for determining if social media is the right career for you, how to use social media to build any career, and how to leverage it on the job hunt.
Just a few years ago, hiring a full-time social media person was unheard of. Today, companies are building full-on social media departments within their corporate structure. These teams can range from one person to more than ten people. They can also incorporate editorial managers, bloggers, designers, social "media planners" who manage paid advertising, community managers, and coordinators. While large companies can afford the dedicated expenditure, most cannot, and this is why many choose to outsource to agencies or contractors. This can save the cost of a permanent full-time employee and elevate the level of expertise through people who specialize in the practice. Before you dive into a social media career, do some exploration to find your niche and determine if it's right for you.