For Gen Z, TikTok is the go-to destination for all things entertainment. Beyond the pranks, choreographed dances, and weekly trends, however, people are finding nuggets of gold: real life advice. For those jumping into the professional world, TikTok can be a great resource with interesting perspectives and unique tips that you probably won’t hear from your typical career advisor.
It can be hard to filter through the stream of videos featuring get-rich-quick schemes promising millions in months, but real advice for new job entrants is out there. For those looking for help building a successful and fulfilling career, we’ve saved you some time and compiled a list of our favorite pieces of advice from TikTok in 2021:
1. Don’t attach your identity to your job
@vanessasantosfeinYou are more than just your job. #lifeadvice #careertiktok #careeradvice #life #corporatetiktok #lifecoachforwomen #latinxcreatives♬ Emotional Piano Instrumental In E Minor – Tom Bailey Backing Tracks
It’s easy to start seeing your job and who you are as a person as one and the same. Strategic advisor and co-CEO of Weallgrow Latina, Vanessa Santos (@vanessasantosfein), stresses the importance of separating the two and making sure you aren’t emotionally invested in a job that won’t love you back. Santos says by setting boundaries in her life and keeping her identity separate, she was able to devote more time to things that she’s passionate about. She credits this simple tip with improving her overall mental health. “You are not your job,” Santos reminds viewers.
2. Keep a master list of all the tasks and projects you do
@emilybruceskyEarly career tip! Keep a master list of everything you do #careeradvice #interviewtips #careertips♬ original sound – Emily
TikTok life and career coach @emilybrucesky recommends compiling a list of all the things you do on the job. This master list can help you reach out to your manager if you need help prioritizing assignments, and it’s also useful when you need to update your résumé or negotiate a pay raise because it allows you to point to concrete examples of what you have delivered. Having a complete understanding of your skillset and all that you have accomplished will help you move up the professional ladder.
3. Verbalize assignments back to your supervisor
@holistic_career_chicaHow many times can I say “you know” ???? #internshiptips #jobtips #careertips #corporate #worktips #fyp #learnontiktok #womeninbusiness♬ Poison – Bell Biv DeVoe
It’s easy to misunderstand assignments, especially when you’re still adjusting to a new role. Kelly of @holistic_career_chica, recommends repeating every task back to your manager to outline what you think they expect from you and avoid things getting lost in translation. If you didn’t understand an ask fully the first time, this gives your supervisor a chance to explain the task in other words, and maybe even share a few pointers with expectations they didn’t include the first time.
4. Stop worrying whether you have enough experience
@xavier.clbReply to @linkedinnick it’s about what you do have. that’s how you get the job (& the money????) #careeradvice #jobapplicationtips♬ Blade Runner 2049 – Synthwave Goose
If you are just starting your career, you likely don’t have much experience in any field. Management consultant @xavier.clb tells viewers that the quickest way to ruin a career before you’re even started is to play the experience game. He says that believing you don’t have enough experience for a position, or worrying that your major isn’t applicable to a new role will devalue you right off the bat and result in lower salaries from then on. Instead of worrying that you don’t have the right experience, reframe the things you’ve done to show employers what you bring to the table.
5. Create a strong introduction for yourself
@selenarezvaniStarting a new job? Make sure to save this.⚡️ #jobtok#careeradvice#careertips #careertok#newjob#postgrad#earlycareer#mentorship#earlycareeradvice♬ Wii – Mii Channel – Super Guitar Bros
Coming up with a strong way to introduce yourself may seem like an obvious piece of advice for new-job entrants, but it’s a crucial way to network successfully starting from day one. Author and Tedx speaker Selena Rezvani (@selenarezvani) suggests using a template of “My name is [X], I’m a [insert job title] and I manage [insert the purpose of your role].” Rezvani says this method will help you build credibility right off the bat.
6. Think of your manager as a career coach
@swangxswangEARLY IN CAREER CAREER TIPS #careertips #jobtips #earlyincareer #productivity #selfdevelopment #selfhelp #productivitytips #career #jobs♬ original sound – Sarah Wang
Instead of thinking of your supervisor as an authoritative boss, @swangxswang recommends reframing your perspective and viewing them as your career coach. If you think of a manager as only a boss who hands out assignments and judges your performance, you miss the opportunity to build a relationship with them and learn from their years of experience on the job.
7. Be cognizant of people trying to put extra work on your plate
@emilybruceskyEarly career tip! #careeradvice #careertiktok #careerplanning #careercoaching♬ original sound – Emily
It can be intimidating to say “no” early on in your career. @emilybrucesky reminds viewers that it’s okay to ask your manager for help prioritizing the asks of other coworkers and setting boundaries when taking on new projects. The career coach warns that some people will try to take advantage of new workers and that it is important to recognize this early on and learn how to say “no” when you have too much on your plate.
8. Don’t make any enemies
@marktilburyI Wish I Knew THIS As A Teen! ????#learnontiktok #teenager #motivation #careeradvice♬ original sound – Mark Tilbury – YouTuber & CEO
CEO of Model World Ltd, Mark Tilbury (@marktilbury) has gone viral with his career advice for young adults, encouraging viewers to build as many connections as possible and avoid making enemies. Tilbury says that we are all only only six connections or fewer away from anyone else. This reminder can be the difference between building a network of helpers or opponents—something that can make or break a career.