Digital Footprint and Employment

Steve Thompson wrote "I’m developing a new course for seeking employment supported by digital tools and social media. This also gives some consideration to Digital Footprint, sometimes referred to as Net Rep (Reputation). 

(snip)

I’m going a different route entirely and I’m introducing participants to a whole clean slate where all their social media accounts are dedicated to one aim: finding a job more in his blog.

I commented

I like this. I much prefer evidence of what people have done (which I can ask deep questions about) rather than some certificate.

There's one tweak I'd suggest to what you've written. I'd like to shift the emphasis away from the old idea of "getting a job" (i.e. an "off the peg" employment opportunity) and direct it into something more fluid. I'd rather think in terms of "work opportunities" where work is effort that adds value of some kind, and is rewarded. Such work may be in a "traditional job" arrangement as an employee, but it may equally well be as part of an ad hoc team taking advantage of a short term opportunity to add value.

I see work within rapidly forming, high-trust, ad hoc teams as a likely way forward. Rather than education/training and then employment for most people, I anticipate something more agile as our 21st century lifestyle. I think we will be more likely to dance between learning and earning throughout our lives, and very probably our working and non-working times will have a different balance to the fixed patterns people have expected since the industrial revolution.

So "yes please" to your idea of work related digital footprints - but for "livelihoods" rather than "jobs".

Connecting with ideas of virtual academia

I liked Steve's post because if connects with my thoughts on higher education and alternative accreditation.

Earlier this year I shared some ideas about "virtual academia" compared to "established academia". I was comparing my own self-directed (largely peer-to-peer), demand-led, online, learning experiences with formal, supply-led, academic, online learning. (It was a chapter published in Teaching and Learning Online). 

I suggested that there were really only two things that my online learing lacked, compared to online learning in formal academia. I did not have anyone as my supervisor / director-of-studies / learning-partner - which was something I missed deeply. I did not have any kind of accreditation - which was of no particular consequence to me

Lack of accreditation could be more of an issue for people who are younger than me and at an early stage in their working lives. I argued that even for them it should not be of great consequence because digital footprints may become recognised as of greater value that final accreditation. That's why I appreciate Steve's digital footprint approach.