Talk vs. Reality: How Corporate Life is Portrayed on TikTok

By Rebecca Poznanski

No matter how many times I click the “Not Interested” button on TikTok, videos captioned “Day-in-the-Life of a [Job Title]” continue to show up on my For You Page. Day-in-the-Life videos are not new to social media; however, there seems to have been an increase in the amount of these videos which focus on the lives of individuals working in the tech and finance industries. Whether it be for a product manager role or the role of an investment banking analyst, these videos share one common theme: they capture a very idealized, often unrealistic, version of these careers.

For instance, employees will show off the “free” lunches and snacks and even office-provided hair tools. It goes without question that these are excellent perks, but these same content creators rarely ever show the actual work element of their jobs. It is almost as though their employers are paying them to post these videos to entice more individuals to apply to their companies.

These are great perks, and they should, of course, be considered when looking for a new job or company to work at. Inside looks at companies are a great tool for learning more about the company culture. Knowing that Google has dedicated gaming spaces is an excellent way of gauging what type of people are working at the company and can help someone determine if this is a culture they would enjoy working in. Most of the time, these videos fail to show the actual working elements.   

Recently, corporate companies seem to be trying to control their image on social media. Bulge bracket firms are known for being boys’ clubs, and tech companies have had their own share of criticism for their company cultures. To dismantle these negative reputations, companies have begun to create what appears to be a welcoming, fun environment for their workers. Interns will post about their all-expensed lunches and fun firm events, including yacht rides and concerts. Knowing these events will make their way to social media, companies can incentivize new applicants to apply, streamlining their diversity recruiting processes.

There are, however, few content creators who do provide a comprehensive view of the actuality of these corporate jobs. Naeche Vincent, a former legal analyst at Goldman Sachs, has previously posted videos of her leaving the office at midnight after being up at 5:00 AM. She became popular after posting a video where she talked about how she needed to get her fake nails removed because long nails are frowned upon by her colleagues. Such videos highlight the many flaws attached to these corporate jobs. Although it may be nice to have unlimited access to a company gym and have meals expensed, systematic issues regarding diversity, equity, and inclusivity continue to go unaddressed.

This TikTok trend of highlighting the perks and benefits at different companies can offer a lot of insight and guidance for those who are seeking employment. However, it is essential for creators to be transparent and also highlight the realities of the industries they work in. Although it seems glamorous to show off the benefits of investment banking, it is also necessary to address the sociopolitical problems that still exist within this industry, and the same can be said for many other industries as well. Of course, this can be viewed as very risky for those working at these companies, so we may not see such problems being addressed via social media for some time.

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