Why millennial women are turning to Facebook Groups for career advice


‘LinkedIn is a place to flex; it feels too vulnerable to ask for help. Facebook Groups give you an outlet to connect with like-minded people in a less formal way,’ says one job seeker.

Nicole Krensky believes she wouldn’t have her job as a product marketing director without a simple piece of advice she found lurking in a lifestyle Facebook group: Asking at the end of an interview, “Is there anything about my experience or our conversation that gives you pause in considering my candidacy?”

The 35-year-old stumbled upon the question while perusing career advice posts in the group during her job search last year. The commenter who suggested it said it allowed you to address any issues on the spot, Krensky says. Inspired, she tested it out.

As she tells it, the hiring manager expressed concern about her lack of management experience, so she connected him with her mentee and workers she informally managed. “I never would have thought to suggest those references without asking the question,” she says.

She got the job.

Personal networks, career coaches, and LinkedIn have long been the name of the game when it comes to career advice. But some millennial women like Krensky are leveling up their careers by turning to the everyday Facebook Groups they belong to for everything from referrals at dream companies to advice on transforming an interview into an offer. They say chatting with peers in a more casual setting allows them to feel heard and recalibrate.

“I typically go to my personal network first,” Krensky says. “But I think Facebook, particularly these groups with like-minded people, is awesome when I have a question that is either kind of awkward or personal or when my network doesn’t know.”

A new avenue in a hot market

While Facebook is still the most popular social media site, use has remained relatively stagnant since 2016 and has even declined among younger users. But Facebook Groups are buzzing; of the platform’s 3 billion monthly users, 1.8 billion of them use Facebook Groups every month, per a study by the Governance Lab at NYU and Facebook’s Community Partnerships team. More than half of all Facebook users belong to five or more active groups.

It makes sense that some of them are being used as a career advice outlet during today’s competitive market, says millennial career coach Eliana Goldstein. The average job seeker feels the market is incredibly difficult despite low unemployment, she says, adding that it’s left many using any avenue they can for career advice, whether it’s Glassdoor, ChatGPT, or a Facebook Group. “Facebook Groups tend to have a lot of people, so it’s a great place to crowdsource and ask questions,” she adds.

A not-so-great performance review last June inspired Lauren, 34, to seek tips on improving her communication and thought organization skills from her Facebook Group peers. The public relations professional, who asked that her last name be withheld for privacy reasons, posted again several months later when she was put on a performance improvement plan, asking about career pivots so she would “feel less doomed.”

She says commenters helped her navigate approaching workplace accommodations and offered support. One even became a mentor who has helped her “navigate through her career issues with a bit more of a level head,” acting as a sounding board for things like her résumé.

“LinkedIn is a place to flex; it can almost feel too vulnerable to ask for help,” Lauren says. “Facebook Groups give you an outlet to connect with like-minded people in a less formal way—even reading other people’s questions provides an opportunity to self-reflect.”

It’s likely women like Lauren crowdsourcing in Facebook Groups, says Goldstein, who has noticed career questions peppered in the mom Facebook Groups she’s in. After all, women are more likely to use Facebook than men, per Pew. Plus, “women are more likely to ask for help and more likely to give help,” she says. “So I think women just feel more comfortable sharing in those forums than the average male would.”

Searchability and anonymity hold power

Now, Goldstein says Facebook Groups aren’t replacing the more traditional ways of seeking career advice that still reign supreme. But they are diversifying job seekers’ approaches. A study by Nerdwallet and OnePoll finds that 37% of social media users have trusted social media as a place for career advice; the younger you are, the more likely that is.

The great thing about Facebook Groups is that posts are long-lasting and searchable, says Erin Andersen, a career coach specializing in career transitions. “It’s essentially a search app,” she says.

She says she’s been commenting on others’ career advice posts across three different Facebook Groups since the pandemic, as people rethought their work lives. She estimates she’s gained 30% of her clients this way, some of whom found her by searching through old posts. It’s also how you can find advice yourself, Krensky-style.

Just type keywords like “asking for a raise” in the Facebook Group search bar to bring up any posts on the topic. If you’re creating a post from scratch, be specific about your situation, use keywords so it has staying power, and ask questions for engagement. And don’t be afraid of anonymity. Privacy is part of the appeal, according to Goldstein; some job seekers fear looking for advice on LinkedIn will make their employer think they’re looking to leave.

As Lauren puts it, Facebook Groups are a “good place to seek perspectives from people who don’t have any stake in the game.”


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