They tell you that you’re going to be living below poverty line and your mouth drops open. College educated and poor by social status, my cohort and fellow VISTAs embrace it. We live with our parents and roommates, roughing it pay check to pay check. We become more than just service-minded world changers— we become college educated po’ folks.
In this moment, I realize that this year’s journey is more than just professional development, it’s an opportunity to change what’s around me. An opportunity to listen socially. Now you may ask, what is social listening. According to Social Media Examiner, social listening “enables decision-makers to find and better understand opportunities and stakeholders.”
In other words, an opportunity to engage with people via social media. For me, this is
“a chance to connect service-minded professionals with socially conscious career opportunities.”
On Friday, I started perusing the online world to kick off of Opportunity Knock‘s online presence with some social listening. Checking out who was looking for nonprofit jobs and how I could help them connect the dots.
Sometimes the act of social listening can be misconstrued and become annoying and invasion of privacy, but in my opinion you have to become uncomfortable to become comfortable. This feeling of being uncomfortable presents a true commonality between impoverished people and most job seekers: they are embarrassed. Impoverished people hide that they rely on food stamps while job seekers shy away from networking and putting themselves out there. However, through the process of social listening, I plan to diminish this embarrassment and remind nonprofit job seekers to embrace their status so they can stand for something greater. In turn, encouraging impoverished people to no longer be embarrassed.