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BIG DATA (Big Brother) And Your Career

Posted October 8th, 2019 | Author: John G. Self

The young executive declared emphatically his deep understanding of all things digital.  Not a surprising statement from someone who grew up with a computer at his side in his early years and a hand-held device as his constant companion from high school to today.  He knows the devices inside and out and possesses impressive competency with a myriad of applications and web-based services, including, of course, games.


Conventional wisdom suggests that the younger generations, the Millennials and Gen Z’ers, are the masters of data and devices. No hurdles for them in this realm.  But as is the case in as so many other areas, conventional wisdom is seldom right.

When the young executive and I began to talk about mega data and the science of data analytics — how (our) information is harvested and analyzed, or the implications these developments could have on his reputation and career, he became decidedly less certain, less confident.

Big Brother Dives Into LinkedIn

He is whip smart, destined for a remarkable and rewarding career but as we discussed a career plan and strategy, I began to realize that his lack of understanding of how the  collection and analyzing of data will spill over into career management had a leveling effect.  His knowledge on this subject and its implications put him right in the middle of about 90 percent of the US workforce.  Right now his lack of understanding is not a career limiting factor, but it will be sooner than later.  Programs already exist, although they are not yet widely used, that can dive in to LinkedIn and other professional and social media sites, scanning what and how you write — what words you choose and how you form sentences.  As I wrote last week, from this scan they can create a DISC©-like profile that will enable corporations who include this technology into their talent acquisition process to determine whether they want interview you now or in the future.

“So this type of program, combined with Artificial Intelligence technology that is making its way into the employment process, will produce powerful and probably potent tools that will create all manner of new challenges for prospective employees.”


So, this type of program, combined with other Artificial Intelligence technology that is making its way into the employment process, will produce powerful and probably potent tools that will create all manner of new challenges for prospective employees.

You Have Time to Prepare

Before you set your hair on fire with anxiety regarding yet another hurdle you must overcome in an already crowded executive job market, you have some time to prepare.  Yes, the technology exists, but  it is not yet cost effectively available or scalable across the broad spectrum of industries and companies.    

Like anything else there will be strategies for job applicants to help them deal with this amazing new capability.  Our firm is well invested in this development and will begin incorporating information into our coaching modules very soon.  

As you think about the implications for the job search market and your career, here are some important caveats for you to consider:

3 Caveats to Consider

  1. Change is now occurring at a much faster pace than at anytime in our lives.  You must be aware and be prepared.
  2. Do not underestimate the role big data can and will play in how you manage your career going forward.  
  3. This technology will impact you whether you are an active job seeker or will be a candidate in the future.  Not being visible on sites like LinkedIn is not an option because that is where 93 percent of the corporate recruiters go to find leads for candidate sourcing.  If you do not understand the impact of these programs, your lack of knowledge will come back to hurt you in a job search.  

© 2021 John Gregory Self

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