A few years ago, I was employed at a healthcare company when social media first started becoming popular among businesses. I successfully launched a social media presence for this company by teaching myself everything I could about digital and social media marketing. Our expansion in the industry over the past year has impressed our funders—a tremendous accomplishment in the non-profit world. I was proud of what I had accomplished, but I wanted to achieve more.
Even though I had studied psychology and health care, I didn’t feel drawn to pursue those fields. After I accomplished that, I decided that working in social media and digital marketing at an agency was the career path for me. I didn’t know how to make the jump from my current situation to something new. All of my connections were in health care, and changing careers seemed like a daunting task.
I began my journey by joining Twitter and following various thought leaders within the digital marketing and social media realm. I chose to reach out to help people on Twitter rather than rely on a website that would likely never read my resume. When I was younger, I used to wish for someone to introduce me to an exciting agency where I could have my dream career. I thought that all of my troubles would disappear if I could just find the right place.
What I thought would be easy ended up being a lot harder than anticipated. When I tweeted, very few people responded. People would follow me and even comment on my tweets but nobody wanted to let me into their inner circle.
I started following a VP at a well-known social media agency, and I commented on one of her Tweets. I sent a personal Tweet, and not related to industry news at all. So, I wasn’t expecting a response back. But she tweeted me anyway! I took advantage of the opportunity to research her company and clients. We carried on a conversation from there.
Approximately three months after my initial email, the VP replied and eventually became my boss.
This one Tweet changed my career for the better, and I’ve learned a few lessons from it that can help anyone in their career:
- Never be discouraged to seek different employment; if you plan and use the right tools, you can achieve the career goals you desire.
- Your social media accounts are powerful tools – use them wisely by staying current and engaging with others in your field. Oftentimes, the most rewarding opportunities come from starting conversations with people you wouldn’t normally talk to.
- In my experience, a personal Tweet not related to their industry is what got the attention of the person I was trying to reach, but your mileage may vary.
- If you want to transition into a new career, show off your thought leadership in your current industry by starting a blog or sharing your thoughts on social media. This will get the attention of the people who can help you make the move.
The most important lesson is to have faith in yourself and take a risk!
In what ways has social media helped further your career? Let us know in the comments!
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