A colourful illustration in the characteristically bright tones of Instagram, with a speaker at a computer, a megaphone, a white paper and a phone ringing outside office hours. Workplace stress factors: obsessing over e-mails, even while on holiday; loud voices; vague information and unpredictable schedules. This is one of the posts by Talkin Pills, which shares pills on Instagram about the world of work made up of insights, interviews and job alerts.
Coming about almost by chance in early 2020, the project sprung from the minds of two young Roman businesswomen, Carolina Sansoni and Ludovica Tofanelli, and very quickly became a benchmark in the sector, recognised above all by the many young people entering the world of work for the first time.
“During the first lockdown I was working in an advertising agency managing outdoor campaigns, but everything was at a standstill, so one day I was chatting on WhatsApp with three of my businesswoman friends and we tried to launch our own Instagram feeds, a bit like many others were doing”, explains Carolina Sansoni, who studied fashion business at the Marangoni School in London and has several stints in the fashion industry already under her belt, ranging from Stella McCartney to Tom Ford and then the consulting firm KPMG.
Studying abroad, Carolina Sansoni’s first work experiences were very different from what students at Italian universities usually do: first internship at 18, then one every year until graduation. “In contrast, there is a gap between young people and work in Italy, a gap that has become even more glaring in recent years with the emergence of new digital-related professions”, explains Sansoni. She adds that “unfortunately, some coming out of university are unfamiliar with the world of work and may already be over 24 years old: hardly prepared and lacking in basic knowledge and tools, they’ve never received a fair presentation of the working world of today and tomorrow”.
While closing this gap is somewhat daunting, Talkin Pills strives to forge a bridge between university and work for many young people, also thanks to its direct, simple and immediate impact style.
We interact a lot with our followers: they often send us questions, doubts, requests for future topics.
In the beginning it was just regular Instagram feeds, then came illustrations, videos, reels, interviews and all sorts of other content. “We always look for the most effective formats to convey any kind of message”, says Carolina Sansoni. “It is not easy to find the right model: the first phase was mainly trial and error, some things we rejected after a couple of weeks when we saw that the numbers did not meet our expectations. Obviously we were not conveying the message the right way”.
Talkin Pills now has regular columns, weekend memes, HR-related content on Mondays, while the Friday slot is dedicated to a usually longer video, such as a dossier. There are also recurrent formats such as “timeless professions”, about jobs that are dwindling, or “game changers”, dedicated to young people who are changing the way they work in a particular sector.
Obviously not all content lends itself to the container, i.e. Instagram: not all topics can be explored as thoroughly as they should be. However, Carolina Sansoni and Ludovica Tofanelli have done a great job of harnessing the platform’s potential: “We interact a lot with our followers: they often send us questions, doubts, requests for future topics”, explains Sansoni. “They often ask whether it is better to do a master’s or get their first work experience after a bachelor’s degree. They also ask us questions such as: I have experience in this area but I would like to change and do something else, what do you think? And then perhaps a job seeker will write to us and ask if we can suggest a company to work with”.
We asked ourselves what we would have wanted to know before entering the world of work: we want to be a reference for people with similar doubts.
The Talkin Pills founders therefore strive to bring guidance to anyone unable to find their way in a world of work that can be very murky. Also drawing on their experiences: “We asked ourselves what was missing during our journey, what we would have liked to know before entering the world of work or simply before making decisions about our professional future: we want to be a reference for people with similar doubts”, says Sansoni.
The founders of Talkin Pills do not claim to be able to help everyone personally, they are aware that they do not have all the answers. This is why the content published on the page is often entrusted to experts who share their words, looking to provide answers to the questions raised by our followers.
Talkin Pills also knows how to go beyond Instagram, and is now a brand capable of going beyond its original container. It is also a way to enlarge and diversify the business: “A substantial part of our work remains outside the visible scope of Instagram: we also work as a creative agency for companies, helping them with employer branding strategy, content strategy, HR campaigns and other activities. It is that dimension of our work that helps us make the project economically viable”, concludes Sansoni.